After what seemed to be an endless journey for me, and an even longer one, I am sure, for my seat mate, Nancy & Udean's Christian Tours finally rolled into the greater New York Metropolitan Area. Everyone was giddy for different reasons. Many were excited to finally get to see New York City, a lot were thrilled to finally just get off the bus, my seat mate was happy to have some breathing room, and I was thrilled to be out of the enclosed space with Evil Nancy, the Christian Tour Director. Although she would remain with us and in charge while we were in the city, at least we were not trapped with her and could spend time with our friends from Bus #1, which I had now dubbed the "cool bus."
|(Stewart & Haley. Oh, & Lady Liberty)|
|(This ain't Ellis Island)|
|(A nicer picture of Chinatown.)|
Once we actually hit Manhattan, the real fun began. We made a stop for a shopping excursion in Chinatown. For anyone who doesn't know, Chinatown is basically a large group of city blocks that for all practical purposes would be called a flea market in any other town in America. It isn't the cleanest place, and all of the items purchased there are either illegal designer knock-offs or just plain illegal. It did cross my mind that while shopping in Chinatown is a common tourist activity when visiting New York, it was an odd choice for Nancy & Udean's Christian Tours.
|(Vendor thinking he was going make a big sale)|
As we stepped off the bus, I am sure that the vendors and booth workers began licking their chops. Here were one hundred country bumpkins with their eyes bugged out and their mouths gaped open stepping onto their sidewalks. The vendors knew the bumpkins would have cash and would want designer souvenirs from New York City. You could almost see the excitement in their eyes as they sized us all up and decided that today sales be good and money would flowing. That was their fatal mistake.
|(Innocent or Savvy?)|
they were stymied with an onslaught of bargaining that was unrelenting until the Appalachian was satisfied. There were lots of problems communicating due to the competing strong accents, but I think everyone concerned knew exactly what was meant by comments such as "Brother, don't pee on my leg and tell me it is raining," and, "Uh Buddy, I said I not for that price. You keep flappin' your jaws like that and you'll get your tongue sunburned." However, when asked if a particular brand of purse or sunglasses was "any count," most of the vendors did not quite know how to reply to their customers.
|(needs a few mountain women)|