Thursday, 28 February 2013

New York on my mind

Here's a little secret. Nothing important, but it was just a fleeting aspect of my life. More than 10 years ago, I almost ended up with an opportunity to work in New York. This chance came at a time when my working life was at a major crossroad.

My employment at that time was in transition. The company was being swallowed by another in what was being touted as a “friendly merger” but as we all came to realise eventually, mergers are anything but friendly.

So there I was, being transferred from the Head Office of a bank in Penang to one of its branch offices in Kedah. I remained there for about a year before deciding that enough was enough with looking after other people’s money.

So how did this opportunity arrive? Somehow, a friend hinted to me that there was a company that was looking for people who was willing to work in New York. Of course, my ears pricked up. Won’t yours? All sorts of ideas popped out of my head. But soon later, reality set in. Did I really have to go work in a strange land when my family is comfortable here and it was not impossible to get another job? After some hard thinking, the decision was rather easy to make: no, this adventure would not be suitable for me. Despite the turmoil, I was still contented here. Penang was, is and will be my home.

So holidaying in New York, yes, but not to work there on a long term.

You know, when I was much younger, I used to imagine how it would be like to be even there for a holiday. All those vivid images of New York’s attractions that had been playing in my mind, thanks of course to the countless movies which were set there, such as Saturday Night Fever, King Kong and many others. And memorable songs such as Frank Sinatra's New York, New York. That city is a place where excitement never ends.

I would presume that getting to New York would be easy enough although flying halfway around the world – and possibly changing flights as well – is a daunting thought and is not exactly something that I especially look forward to.

Then there are so many questions to ask. For example, after arriving there, where can you stay at a reasonable price? Where can you dine without blowing your budget? How would you get around New York when you are on holiday? What are the time-honoured tourist attractions for first-time visitors to this grand city? What is the best itinerary when time is at a premium. When is the best season to be there? Of course in this time and age, it only takes several clicks on a computer to find all the answers.

With information so very easy to obtain nowadays, perhaps one day I will still be able to find the opportunity to visit this remarkable city called New York. Provided, of course, I have a fairy godmother to take care of my expenses. Ha ha!

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