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Report 825: Discovering Central NY

By Upstate NY from New York, Spring 2005

Trip Description: April 9, 2005 - April 18, 2005 Taking visitors from Japan around Central NY, with a side trip to Boston.

Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - East Coast

Categories: Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 3-4 people

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Page 1 of 11: How I Discovered Central NY Or As The Locals say: Upstate

photo by Arline Saiki

On the platform at the Utica train station

Saturday, April 9, 2005 – I am waiting at the train station in Utica, NY. Utica’s train station is a beautiful historical landmark, built in 1914. I sit on what must be the original benches, wooden with high backs. They remind me of a period movie. I keep running to the ticket window to find out when the train is going to arrive. I don’t see any place that lists the actual arrival times and the train is delayed, 20 minutes ... 45 ... 1 hour. There is a freight train that has to pass the passenger train and it is late. 1 ˝ hours later, the clerk at the window says that the train is coming soon (that’s kind of a typical statement in the country, even though Utica is actually a nice-sized city) and I go outside into brilliant sunshine to wait at one of the platforms (there are two). Ten minutes later, the train pulls slowly into the station.

I’m sure that I can find them, even though we've never met. They had e-mailed me a picture of themselves the year before, when they were originally supposed to come. But I know I can spot them because not a lot of Japanese come into Utica’s train station. I see them come off the train, toting huge suitcases and some carry-on luggage. I run up to meet them. “Konnichi wa”, I call out. They are obviously surprised and I realize that they hadn’t expected me to be Japanese (actually Japanese-American) because all of our correspondence had been in English! These were close friends of my sometimes “boss” for my freelance, interpreting job. (I was actually born and raised in Utah, but I have a degree in Japanese). My boss had wanted to join them, but as usual was too busy with work to make the trip up. They were planning to stay with us for nine days and I still didn’t really know what they wanted to do.

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