Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Toaph's Amazing Journey

Intro |Overview |Highlights |Photos |Coincidences | Done

Ithaca -> Washington DC -> NYC -> London -> Ithaca

I received notification that my latest video, "Pee Wee's Sodomy House" had been accepted by the London Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. The one other time London accepted my submission I toyed with the idea of flying over to watch the screening, but it didn't happen. This time it was more realistic. I asked to be notified when they finalized the schedule so I could make travel plans. They said they'd be glad to do that, and that they could even arrange a home stay for me.

Time went by and I all but forgot about the London festival. My friend Ron mentioned to me that the New York International Auto Show was coming up, and we made tentative plans to travel there together over a weekend. Then work scheduled me and my co-worker Steph to travel to Washington DC for training early the following week. That threw a monkey wrench into the Auto Show plans. I considered going to NY with Ron for the weekend, taking Amtrak to DC for the training, and returning to Ithaca with Steph.

Then something gave me the idea to check the London Film Festival web site to see if the schedule had come out yet. It was all there, and no one had bothered to notify me. My video was screening the weekend after my training in DC. By a striking coincidence, I appeared in another film in the same program: Rodrigo Bellott's "Sexo," which was filmed in Ithaca while he was an Ithaca College under grad).

I considered altering my plans again. I could drive to DC with Steph, take Amtrak to NYC to check out the auto show by myself mid-week, and then fly from JFK to London. There were airline tickets available, and the cost wasn't too bad, but I had nowhere to stay. I contacted the London festival about the home stay they'd mentioned. They never got back to me.

My friend Adrian had a friend in London named Joe. He put us in touch, and Joe very graciously agreed to put me up. My new friend Todd lived in Queens not far from JFK. I got in touch with him and he said I could crash at his place the night before my flight.

Everything was coming together, but it was happening so fast that I didn't know if I really wanted to go through with it or not. It was a hell of a long way to go to watch my own video that I'd seen a hundred times. But the coincidence of Sexo playing in the same program was too much to pass up. And the general absurdity of the whole trip was something that really appealed to me. With less than a week to go I finally bought the airline tickets and committed to the trip.