紐約自由行│紐約住宿│夜半活屍,布魯克林驚魂記(下)│Travel│New York│Midnight walking dead in Brooklyn II

夜半活屍,紐約的第一晚,布魯克林的暗巷,心裡放的歌也從Alicia Keys的紐約之光,換成貝多芬的命運交響曲。正當我以為已經到谷底的時候,啊哈,竟然還有一個坑在等你。

I’ve always been unsure about the idea of visiting United States. Rightfully so, for my adrenaline was boosted to 200% during my first night in New York City. The soundtrack of this trip went from “Empire State Of Mind,” by Alicia Keys, to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

連環錯,你以為你可以,其實你不行。
I thought I could handle it, but, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

人生中有很多的事是:你以為你不行,但其實你很可以,你只是沒有勇氣去嘗試;
當然一定也有很多是:你以為你可以,但發現你真的不行,你需要好好了解自己。
例如:便宜的住宿。

There are many things in life, you never thought you could achieve, however, you can. You just need a bit more courage to try.  

There are also things you thought you can handle, but actually not. When that happens, you really need to know yourself and be honest with yourself more.

For instance, a cheap hotel.

前情提要:【 夜半活屍,布魯克林驚魂記
Recap: 【 Midnight Walking Dead in Brooklyn

拖著28公斤的行李,一階一階上樓梯,迎接我的還是一片毛骨悚然的漆黑。

我站在樓梯的最後一階,眼前一片深淺色階的黑,深灰黑、伸手不見五指、不知眼睛是張開、還是已經閉上的黑。

印象中房東說,「上樓後要左轉」,我鼓起勇氣,百般不願意地,以一種戲劇性的慢動作,在心裡默數五秒、頭才往左後緩緩轉去。路上沒有街燈,明明是帶窗的牆,卻什麼都看不到。

我頭皮發麻。想用手機手電筒的光源往那照去,但往未知照去前,還先深深吸了一口氣、把行李箱輕推離腳邊,以備隨時需要大奔跑逃走… 膽戰心驚地,我把手機光源移過去,看見類似門框的輪廓,於是不情願地,把行李箱拉回腳邊、當作盾牌往前移,慢慢走過去。

I walk up the stairs with my 28 kg (61.6 lbs) luggage. Step by step, I’m dragging my feet. What awaits me is a completely creepy dark scene.

I arrive at the top of the staircase, and all I see is a deep darkness consisting of different shades of black: night dark, pitch-black, the darkness that confuses you if your eyes are open or not. 

“Turn left when you reach second floor, your room is there,” is the text from the airbnb host that just came to my mind. I prepare myself with courage, nervously count to 5 in my head. (People in my country usually count to 3 just like you do, but here 3 second isn’t enough so I have to count to 5.) Then in dramatic slow-motion, I turn my head towards the left rear side. I couldn’t see anything in the black, even though there was a window on that side of the wall, because there were no lights from the streets to come into the room.   

I couldn’t see my hands in front of my face and this raised hairs on the back of my neck. I want to light up the darkness with the flash light from my phone. But before I do, I take a deep breath, and push my suitcase slightly away in case I would ever need to run away from any danger.

Holding my nerve carefully, I slowly point the light from my phone towards the left-rear of the room. I see a blurry line of a door frame.  And then, reluctantly , I pull my suitcase back and slide it to the front of my feet, as if it were a shield to protect me while walking toward the door.     

「這應該就是我的房間吧。終於到了,沒事的。」

手機的手電筒射出白光,可是無盡的黑暗把我僅有的光吃掉,我站在房門口,膽戰心驚地把光往裏面照去,「嚇,黑暗中有兩個男人!」

” That should be my room.” I thought. “Finally, everything will be OK.”

The light keeps projecting from my cellphone, however, it vanishes in that deep, deep blackness. I stand by the door, holding my breath, intimidatingly pointing the light into the room, ” What!? There are 2 men standing in the dark!”

「這應該就是我的房間吧。終於到了,沒事的。」手機的手電筒射出白光,可是無盡的黑暗把我僅有的光吃掉,我站在房門口往裏面照去,「嚇,黑暗中有兩個男人!」我大抽了一口氣,背脊一路涼到底,在那一瞬間真心覺得是行李箱的手把支撐著我,我才沒有倒下……

但,「美國人這麼矮?」0.1秒之後想起在網站上的照片,這房裡有古典素描用的半身石膏像。干、甘、乾,我不行了,此時此刻毫無文藝復興的浪漫感,我只覺得心臟快被掐爆。

” That should be my room.” I thought. “Finally, everything will be OK.”

The light keeps projecting from my cellphone, however, it vanishes in that deep, deep blackness. I stand by the door, holding my breath, intimidatingly pointing the light into the room, ” What!? There are 2 men standing in the dark!” I gasped. It sends shivers down my spine. At this moment, I truly believe that the handle of the suitcase is what keeps me from falling.

” But wait, how come Americans are so short? ” It dawns on me after 0.1 second that those were the plaster bust statues for sketching. ” Fxxk, fxxk, fxxk, I can’t do this anymore… These? Here, and now? I can’t feel any romantic sense of the era of Renaissance” Only the feeling of someone compressing my heart till it’s about to explode. 

心中默念 Seneca (斯多葛主義派哲學家) 的哲語:「大多數的時候,事情真的不像你想的這麼糟。」不要再自己嚇自己了,但我的手電筒還是哪裡都不敢照。緩步移進房間,順著牆面摸到開關,嗡嗡閃了兩下,燈亮了,呃,是只有20佤嗎?此時此刻,心好累,已經連髒話都罵不出來了。

在昏暗的黃光中,我環視房間一圈,照片中的書牆?有;油畫?有;半身石膏人像?…有兩個;還有堆滿精裝老書的古董木書桌,嗯,好奇的我走前細看,桌上還有許多年代久遠的家庭照片,小男孩穿著格子襯衫,在泛黃照片裡憂鬱的樣子,我拿起來,照片上佈滿灰塵。

「男孩應該還活著吧?」「拜託照片裡的人不要動,這不是哈利波特。」要這麼戲劇化嗎?腦子裡的劇場嚇唬自己,但一邊苦笑著。

「沒有那麼糟,不要自己嚇自己。」一邊重複默念這句,我走回門邊,把門鎖上,我放鬆了幾秒,但這門很薄。

本該藝術味十足的airbnb,現在我只能一直重複念著「為什麼?」
整牆鋪天蓋地的書?在昏黃的燈光下看起來毛骨悚然。
素描用的歐洲文藝復興氣息石膏像?拜託不要轉過來跟我說話!
牆上兩幅的男人肖像的油畫,濃厚深色調很有林布蘭的味道,但是此時此刻,gosh,我只求他們炯炯有神的四隻眼睛別盯著我看……

這一切,在過度昏黃的燈光下,都錯到不能再錯。

然後,正當以為已經可仰天長笑,已無法再更糟糕時,我發現這房間有四道牆 (正常標配)、兩個門 (咦?),一個是我剛剛走進來、已經鎖好的很薄的門,另一個門在房間深處、書桌的左方,只有門框… 干… 它連接到隔壁的小工作室,門框裡,放了一個胸部高度的長書架,上面放滿了書和其他舊物,完美卡住,我過不去,也移不開。

” We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. ” Repeatedly, I say this quote from Seneca (a Stoic philosopher) to myself . “Stop scaring yourself,” I try to convince myself. Still, I don’t dare to point the light toward anywhere else. With heavy steps, along the wall I find the light switch. “Zzeee,” the light flashes before it is dim. ” Mmm… That’s dark! Dimming?” Now I have reached the limit, it is too much that I even give up cursing.

In the very dim yellow lighting, I browse through the entire room. I think of the pictures on the Airbnb website: The book wall as in the picture? Yes. Oil paintings? Yes. Plaster bust statues? Yes. But, there are 2. And an antique desk with old books piled.

I walk to the desk and examine it. There are many old photos of a family. A little boy with sorrow in a photo catches my attention. I pick it up and try to see the boy’s face more carefully. This picture is so old that it’s all covered with dust and with yellowing edges. “Is he still alive? Oh my god. People in the photo, please don’t move. We are not playing Harry Potter.” So dramatic? I know. With a wry smile and all the crazy thoughts, I scared the hell out of myself.  

” It’s not that terrible. Don’t scare yourself.” I repeat this again and again and walk to the door and lock it. This action bought me a few seconds of calmness. But, this is a very thin door. 

This should be a very artistic Airbnb stay, but now I keep wondering, “Why is it so creepy?”

An entire wall of books? Creepy is the only word to describe it in that dim light. Renaissance plaster bust statues for sketching? Please don’t ever talk to me, statues. 2 oil paintings of men’s portraits with Rembrandt’s dark, heavy color tone? Gosh, those 4 sharp eyes. Please don’t stare at me.

Everything in this room just couldn’t feel more wrong, especially with this dark dim lighting. 

And just when I think I can laugh at the situation because things couldn’t get worse, I look around the room, “At least it has 4 walls… and 2 doors. Wait, what?!” One was the door I came in through, which had already been locked properly even though it was a very thin door. This other one is located deep in the room, to the left of the dusty desk. To make things worse, it’s only a door frame, not an actual door!

” Fxxk, there is a HOLE in my room!” I wondered, “Is it an outlet, or an inlet?!” It linked to a small studio room. No door in the door frame, just a chest-high shelf filled with books and old stuff. The shelf is wedged in there preventing me from passing through. I can’t even move it away. 

房內有第二個門,但卻只有門框。倘若隔壁的工作室有人,他也過不來,但他只要探頭,就看得到書桌、沙發、和我的床。

A second door but only the door frame. If there is someone in the studio, (s)he can’t get into my room, but (s)he can easily peek in and see everything here, desk, sofa, my bed, and me.  

如果有人想從一牆之隔的工作室進來,他走不過來。但他只要身高超過 140 cm,他的頭就可以探進來,看到我房間裡面的一切,包含我與我的床在內。

「那如果把工作室的另一個對外的門給鎖上,不就解決了嗎?」(工作室的另一端,還有今晚見到的第三個門,是工作室對外的門。)『嗯,對,但工作室通往樓梯的那個門,也只有框、沒有門。』哇哈哈哈,崩潰至此,我的內在已經分裂出第二個人格來對話了。

好了,現在我可以仰天長笑了,不能再糟了。

仰天長笑完,我無力地躺在單人床上,看著天花板的燈泡,再看看矗立在床邊、我右手邊的書牆,「我好累」『對呀,上一次躺在床上,已經是24小時之前了吧。』原本在挪威轉機出境遊玩的開心,現在卻被第二人格質問當初怎麼不直飛呢?

If there is someone in that studio, (s)he can’t get into my room, but (s)he can easily peek in and see everything here: desk, sofa, and my bed.  Yes. A panoramic view of my room. Me and my bed are included as well.

” Why don’t you lock the door of the studio room, the third door here, the one facing the stairs? Problem solved.” 

” Mmm, yes. But that third door in the studio room has also no door in the frame.” I laughed, it’s like the last straw to breaks my sanity. This pushes me to the edge so much that my second personality is born to converse with myself.

OK, now I can laugh insanely because it just can’t be worse. 

After I laughed at myself, I dropped my body into the bed as if all my energy has been sucked out. I stare at that dimming light bulb and at the wall of books standing at my right side, thinking ” I am extremely exhausted. You know? ” ‘Yes, I believe so. It has been almost 24 hours since the last time I lay in bed, right? ‘ It was supposed to be a smart move to pick the non-direct flight for a short stopover in Norway and to see Oslo city, but now I am accused of doing so by my second personality. ‘ Why didn’t you take the direct flight? ‘ 

「這大概比在阿姆斯特丹吃完大麻太空蛋糕那晚,還驚恐十倍吧!」
『早知道就不要來美國了。』第二人格不斷叫出歐洲朋友們問我問題的記憶,來美國到底要看什麼?川普嗎?

「晚上十一點了,不然就休息幾個小時,等天亮就離開,再重新訂旅館。」為了省錢,極度想說服自己留下,想要闔上眼睛,然後不小心睡著,假裝忘了少個門板的事實。「想想巷口的巡邏警車,八小時後再找個更安全的住宿吧!」第二人格沈默,就在快要妥協之際,「哈啾!哈啾!哈啾!」對灰塵極度敏感的鼻子開始抗議,是床上?還是身旁的書架?是另堆書還是雕像?無論這一切太古董、太文青,我已經不在意了,想到這,露出來的手臂已經開始發癢了。

24小時沒睡沒洗澡、剛剛路邊的活屍大叔、記憶中的布魯克林槍擊案、三個門有兩個沒有門板、燈太暗、恐懼無限飆升、頭皮涼到背脊再涼到尾椎,這一切之後我還是可以試著安撫自己、試著不小心睡著,但灰塵和塵滿讓我噴嚏連連和全身癢?不行,我要走了。

 “This is 10 times more terrifying than the night trying space cake in Amsterdam! “

‘ Why did you even decide to come to America? ‘ My second personality keeps replaying the memories of my european friends asking me what I want to see in America? Trump?

” It’s already 11 p.m. How about resting for few hours and leave when the sun is out? Then rebook a hotel.” For the sake of money, I am trying to convince myself to stay. Close my eyes and fall asleep even though I don’t intend to do so. I’ll pretend I didn’t notice there are 3 door frames but only 1 of them has a door.

” Remember I saw a N.Y.P.D patrol car parking down the street. It should be Ok to stay here for an 8-hour sleep.” Just before my second personality was about to give in, “A-choo, -choo, aaaa-chooooo!” I start to sneeze like there is no tomorrow. My nose is very sensitive to dusts and now it refuses to stay. Is it because of the bed? The bookshelf right next to me? Those piles of old books or the statues? It doesn’t matter anymore. At this point, the exposed skin on my arms start to itch.    

Being 24-hour awake without showering, the walking dead on the street, Brooklyn person fatally shot at campus, no doors, darkness, horrible lighting, shivers from my neck down to the spine, after all these I was still able to convince myself to stay. But, a dusty room causes me to sneeze and itch? No, no, no. I want to leave now. 

還有,你要知道你自己是什麼樣的人。

有時候可以妥協,但妥協太多,之後你要花加倍的時間和金錢,去得到你真正要的東西。

Note that, must know who I am.

Sometimes it’s ok to compromise, but if it’s too much compromising I end up spending way more energy and costs to get what I really wish for.

晚上十一點半,搜尋完曼哈頓島上此刻可訂的飯店,住到明早11:00 am離開的代價是4000台幣起跳,而且這已經是午夜的六折特惠價了,這,連剛剛從瑞典、荷蘭、挪威等高物價地區離開的我,都驚訝的眉毛挑高、心下沈。

午夜十二點,在陰暗的房間掙扎了一個半小時後,我還是刷了卡,再叫了一台 uber,前往尊貴的曼哈頓島上的四星飯店 (便宜的都被訂光了,或者看起來比這裡更可怕。)

「那布魯克林的住宿呢?」
『等天亮再回來看看,白天應該就沒有這麼糟了。』第二人格企圖安撫我,但事實是後來沒有再回去了。
「看喜歡你就訂了,你好奢侈。明明這裡四天的住宿費都付了!」我對第二人格咕噥著。

『下次要先搞清楚當地房間的價位,避免到了當地再多花時間搜尋、和重複訂的花費,避免到國外再浪費時間和金錢,其實是個比較有效率的做法。

還有,你要知道你自己是什麼樣的人。

有時候可以妥協,但妥協太多,之後你要花加倍的時間和金錢,去得到你真正要的東西。』第二人格把這番話寫進第一人格的腦中,我一定不要再犯一樣的錯誤了。

Now it’s 11:30 p.m. I have to pay more than  $135USD for a 12-hour stay in Manhattan island, according to my search result. This price is AFTER the 40%-off midnight discount. ” What? So expensive!” My heart sinks while my eyebrows raise. I just came from NORWAY! Also Sweden and Netherlands were my visits in the past weeks. These places are ranked top expensive countries. But even so, I am still very surprised by the cost of hotel in Manhattan.

12:00 a.m. Midnight it is. Struggling for 1.5 hours, I still booked a room in Manhattan and a ride via uber. I am ready to your highness, Central Manhattan, and the 4-star hotel. ( The rest of the choices are either more unaffordable, or look more creepy than where I am.)

” What should I do with this Airbnb room?”
‘ Wait till the day comes and come back. It should look much better when it’s bright.’ My second personality is trying to comfort me. But the fact is I’m never coming back. 
” Such a waste of money! I paid already for 4 nights here!” I mumbled, complaining to my second personality.

‘ Next time you have to figure out the local costs of living. It’s much more efficient to do so beforehand, in order to avoid spending more time, energy and costs in foreign countries. And note that, you have to know who you are. What can or cannot be compromised.’

‘Sometimes it’s ok to compromise, but if it’s too much compromising, I end up spending way more energy and costs to get what I really wish for.’ My second personality forces me to write these into my brain. I must not make the same mistake again.

五分鐘後,uber的司機到了,戲劇化沒有底線,他的名字也叫Anthony,跟幾小時前在機場,把我當肥羊的那位司機一樣的名字,但不一樣的是,他是個溫暖的大叔,「目前為止你喜歡紐約嗎?」苦笑後我把今晚發生的事情,荒妙的另一個Anthony、被誆騙兩倍的車資、路邊活屍、昏暗的房間、石膏男人雕像,這一切都告訴他,一來一往的笑答中,翻過這趟旅程的序,為美國初旅開啓美好的第一頁。

接著,配著映入眼簾的曼哈頓百萬夜景,驚人的氣勢讓Alicia Keys的紐約之光也重新在我心中唱起。

What a nigh full of drama!

5 minutes later my Uber has arrives. Guess what his name is? His name is also Anthony, same as the first driver who drove me from JFK airport and took a lot of money from me. But thankfully, this Anthony is a nice guy, warm, smily, funny. ” Do you like New york so far?” he asks. With a bitter smile, I tell him everything happened tonight: The other Anthony – the villain, paying double for my first ride, the walking dead, the creepy dark room, and the 2 scary plaster men statues. Riding through the late night, giggling and chatting back and forth, I turn the page of the ugly beginning to my journey, and start to write the first beautiful page of my trip in USA.

The breathtaking night view of Manhattan finally reveals herself to me. It’s so stunning and beautiful that it brings the theme song, “Empire State Of Mind,” back on track.


隔天一早,在被幸運升等的套房客廳裡,想著昨晚的一切,從小被教導不要跟人吵架的社會價值觀,到底哪裡來?是「以和為貴」嗎?

事後很氣自己,怎麼就這樣接受機場計程車的漫天開價,還沒有厲聲斥責、也沒有討價還價,但,與其說氣,倒不如說是困惑,到底是什麼把我養成這樣?而且還答應他一起自拍…… 荒謬至極!昨天在車上到底發生什麼事了,怎麼如此神智不清?

太累智商降低,嗯。
被誇到得意忘形,嗯。
覺得價錢不對時,沒有據理力爭,嗯。
原本對美國的恐懼幻想,讓我太害怕如果討價還價激怒司機,會被丟包在路邊,對!

說到底,就是覺得不合理的時候,要聽自己的心,要勇敢、要據理力爭,不要隔天再來後悔困惑。(當然還要確定自己可以活命。)

I wake up the next morning in a nice, comfortable suite (luckily I got upgraded.) I tried to recall what happened last night.

I am so mad at myself. Why did I accept the deal with the fake uber driver at the airport? I felt tricked when he said that price but I didn’t fight for myself. Neither did I try to bargain because I felt it might be impolite to do so. (What?) Ridiculously, I even said yes when he wanted to take selfies with me! What on earth has happened to me? I was taught to not to fight with others, but why? Who instilled this doctrine to me and to the rest of society? “Harmony is precious.” Is it from Confucius? (Yes.)

Too tired to think properly? Yes.
Too happy and distracted by his compliments? Yes.
Did not even tried to fight for about the doubled price? Yes.
Too afraid of being dumped on the highway due to the horrible imagination about this country? Yes.

But, at the end of the day it is I that needs to fight for myself when my heart tells me something is wrong. I have to be brave and be not afraid to fight. (Remember to make sure that it will not get me killed, of course.)


最後附上當晚最後開心到長天使翅膀的影片:
( 碰到 uber 暖大叔、看到鑲金的曼哈頓夜景、被飯店升級到厲害的套房之後)

Last but not least, here is the video of me, happy smiling with angel’s wings.
(After meeting the warm uber driver, seeing the stunning night view of Manhattan, and being upgraded by the hotel.)



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