A holiday is always something to look forward to. And being a little child, it’s wonderful to see the big world. So being a six-year-old, it obviously made me excited to be travelling abroad and especially to a city like New York. After a few hours on the plane, when we were approaching our landing, I looked out of the little window beside me to catch a glimpse of what was to be the city I will be residing in for approximately a month. Arriving at the New York City Airport, my mother’s uncle had come to escort us to his home.
It was my first encounter with him so I was quite unsure of how to react and what my response should be when he had tapped my head and asked me how I was. I just smiled and didn’t really say anything. After collecting our suitcases and all other items of belonging, everyone climbed into the car. The drive wasn’t too long. Driving up to the house, I captured a view of a blue house with wooden railings. One of the thoughts in my head was that this house was quite big considering that my mother’s uncle lived alone.
But upon entering, it wasn’t quite as I thought. We had to climb a flight of stairs which proceeded onto a dark brown door and finally leading us into the interior of the apartment. Inside, the place was quite spacious, just like an ordinary-sized home. Now, thinking back to that time, I’ve understood the definition of the common proverb: “You don’t judge a book by its cover”. According to the fact that a holiday is for exploring and travelling (in my own opinion), we journeyed through the city, examining the different buildings.
Nothing really was breath-taking. The most likely reason for that is probably because London was a similar city with glass skyscrapers and New York didn’t have much of a difference. Maybe there was just more of the bustling and all the yellow taxis. Some of the New York icons which we visited were the World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty and a few other places. I remember climbing up the never- ending swirl of stairs in the Statue of Liberty. It wore me out after a while, therefore I chose to rest at short intervals.
After what seemed like endless clambering, it seemed a great relief to reach the top where the statue’s head was and it held a great big torch of fire in its hand. Soon after, we returned to the stairs and I started running down them, eager to get them over with. However, I slowed down after some time and decided to sit down while descending. It’s funny to think that my pink jeans had become black at the end of it. My mother’s uncle drove a yellow taxi, which meant we were fortunate enough to be driven around in it.
The different thing about it was that the driver was on the left-hand side and instead of having a single passenger seat separately, there was just a long seat for three people to sit in (the driver and two other people). At another occasion, we went to the World Trade Center, also known as the Twin Towers. The two buildings are almost identical, hence the name “Twin”. One stands higher than the other. I can’t quite recall whether we went into just one or both. However I do remember that inside there were high binoculars.
It reminded me of something a pirate or a sailor would use. But unfortunately I hadn’t reached the height to be capable to look out through the two holes out at the city. I was bobbing up and down but seeing that I wasn’t successful in my efforts, I gave up and just walked away. I looked back at what had just deceived me and had taken advantage of my height. We strolled around the huge building and at short intervals, stood to smile at the camera for a family picture. One of the main highlights of our trip to New York was the wedding.
It was my mother’s uncle’s. He was a young man but was an uncle to my mother in relation. The groom had been dressed up in fine clothes and was prepared to accept the marriage and make his vows to his wife. I noticed that the Bengali people in New York are very different from the ones in London. They somehow seemed to have more class, style and modernism flaring from them. They were extremely dressed up for the wedding. We were whizzed off to the hall in a long white limousine. I remember how I was dressed up, or rather, how my mother had dressed me up.
I wore a long pink dress and a handful bunch of my hair was tied up which made it look like I had a coconut tree standing on my head. Or a palm tree. What difference is it? I don’t know, but it makes me giggle to think of the picture. On entering the hall, a frenzy of overdressed people and strong perfume had hit me. There were some young girls chattering, with their hair let down at the back. I noticed there was glitter covering some regions. I thought that it wasn’t meant to be like that and started to cautiously pick at their hair.
They didn’t notice but soon moved away. They probably sprayed it on to add a touch of glamour. Being a kid, style and fashion wasn’t a great trend, which meant that I didn’t quite understand the reason for spraying glitter on your hair. But now, reflecting on that, I understand that it was for style. I felt like a little fat child because I was in love with the food. Especially the little pieces of chicken. The buffet service was excellent, I thought. I was asking for extras after I had completed my share, so my mother lent me some and I was able to satisfy myself.
I can’t believe I was like that. I’m never the type to be in the mood for more food. Maybe the glitter I had touched had given me a spark of magic. I wasn’t the kind of child that wanted to eat much. Anyway, that’s that. Towards the end, the bride and the groom (my mother’s young uncle) were gathered and gifts were given and people applauded to congratulate the new couple. The bride’s name was Diana and her beauty truly did reflect it. She wore a decorated red dress, which suited her beautiful face. Also, on her head sat a tiara made of gold, gently placed.
When she was brought to the house, I sat near her and enjoyed the strong, yet delightful fragrance which had diffused into the small atmosphere around me. I was like an insect attracted to the scent and beauty of this beautiful flower. It was winter in America when we had gone for our holiday. There was a terrific amount of snow. I’d never seen as much in London. I wasn’t very stable when walking and a few times I experienced slips, trips and falls. None of them were tragic or painful, so I was able to scramble to my feet and continue taking my cautious little steps. I thought we were going to be arrested by the police.
Honestly. I wonder how it would be to be imprisoned in America… and while on holiday! It was once when my family and another group of people which we knew were driving around in a van. A police officer had stopped us on our way. He gave a sudden loud knock on the side of the vehicle, which had penetrated a bullet of fear and anxiety into me. I sat at the back of the car, whispering my little prayers and hoping that we would be let off. Maybe we had past the speed limit. I’m not sure, but I was thinking of the worst that could happen. Luckily, we were shown mercy and we drove off with our hearts beating heavily.
Then it came back to its normal pace and became lighter as we were relieved. I enjoyed my short stay in the city if New York. It’s nice to reminisce over the good parts of life. As part of the holiday, all the above mentioned, I assume, were the main events which had occurred. It was about 8 to 9 years ago. It’s good enough to remember that much. Roughly a year after the holiday, I came home from school and heard the shocking news that the World Trade Center has had an attack and has been completely demolished. The first thing that came to my mind was that I had just been there recently.
I was thinking of all the people that had to die in such state and the fear they must have felt. Such enormous buildings had become rubble in just a matter of seconds. Out of all the buildings, it had to be such great ones as the Twin Towers. The buildings were part of the skyline of the city. But now, they’re not part of it anymore. Probably nothing else can replace the World Trade Center. Writing this autobiography, thinking back to my visit to New York, I suddenly realise that what once was, no longer is. There is always something to remember about that holiday.