What nature of transport will it take to get me to Lagos, Nigeria today?
Tuesday, March 24, 7:45pm: Cambridge MA by taxi to South Station: $23, including tip.
8:30pm: Bolt bus (way cheaper than Amtrak, though not as cool as a train, either the Acela or the good ole Northeast Regional) to NYC via the Mass Pike/84/91/95: $10.
Wednesday, March 25, 12:15am: Eighth Avenue and 34th Street in front of the New Yorker Hotel. Bus has dropped us, left, and I’ve been told by a yellow cab that he doesn’t even go to New Jersey. “Call the car service,” he says. “2-1-2, all 3s or all 7s.” I compute that quickly in my mind, and call the seven car service. He’s there 15 minutes later in the chilly New York morning. Construction on the NJ Turnpike means a big detour through East Rutherford (Go Giants!), and then on to the Newark Airport area. $74 including tip.
1am: check in to a Holiday Inn near the airport that smells like sweet rose candy air and carpet freshener. $69
5:30am: wakeup to catch free 6am hotel shuttle to airport. free.
6:30am: airport monorail to terminal. free
8:15am: Virgin Atlantic to Lagos, via London/Heathrow (6h30m to London, 2h @ LHR, 6h01m to Lagos). $604.
Thursday, March 26, 5:55am: arrive Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos. Two hours of sleep on the plane, ready to sleep forever. Kole meets us at the airport along with the “Captain” who gets us through customs and out the door with no problems.
7:45am: arrive at Hotel Le Parisien in a car driven by Dyer. He’s going to have to spell his first name for me, but I’ve pronounced it perfectly according to him. free for now, it’ll come out of the budget for Kole later.
It’s overcast, humid, but the air has that familiar smell, that quintessentially West African urban mix of open fire/car exhaust/grilled meat ions.