Saturday, April 19, 2008


I was walking past the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel yesterday evening when I was accosted by a fat man covered in gold braid. (That's not a typo by the way, the Waldorf=Astoria has in its name what they call a double hyphen and what everyone else calls an equals sign.)

"You can't come past", said he.

"What?", said I.

"Someone's coming, you can't come past. You can go that way", pointing across the street.

Aha! Someone eh? This is New York, lots of important people here. If someone is coming, I'm not going to stand in their way, so I crossed the street. The doorman turned his attention to an old green car parked outside the underground car-park entrance, but the driver ignored him.

From the other side of the street I realised that the sirens I'd been listening to for the last couple of minutes were The Someone. There was a motorcade approaching very slowly. There were about eleven vehicles, with the vanguard being a police cruiser with lights and sirens flashing. Most of the rest were dark vans with black windows. In the middle of it all was a limousine with little flags on the bonnet. The flags, Lily could probably tell you were South Korean. Looking in the news later I saw that New York was receiving South Korean President Lee Myung-bak that day.

When the cruiser reached the blocked car-park entrance there was a momentary pause and then the cruiser's load-speaker rang out, "Move your car NOW, Sir!"

The green car was gone within five seconds.

Police here seem to get a lot more respect than in Britain.

No comments:

Post a Comment