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At that time, I was 19 years old and a qualified merchant navy deck officer. I was very much indeed looking forward to see the States because it was my life dream. Unfortunately, once we took off from Rome airport... after a couple hours of flying, we ran into a very nasty turbulence. We had a very bad time, indeed. The plane was going up and down without a proper control and it was really shaking this badly for about an hour. Unfortunately, for myself I was shocked. And, when we approached JF Kennedy airport in New York I felt... really not sick, but terrified... and, had a bad neck and ear pain. It was an unbearable pain.
Once we landed to New York, I felt ill. There was no way that I could put again a foot on a plane. But, again I had to do so in order to reach Philadelphia Harbor and the Exxon terminal where the Italian Motor tanker was waiting for the crew replacement.
After all this bad journey I had again to fly from NY to Philadelphia a very short voyage, but believe me a terrible one again. A Pan Am Boeing 707 with two old pilots. I can't forget their face anymore with a stewardess and only nine of us as passengers.
Anyway, we some how landed at the Philadelphia International Airport in the afternoon. Again, I was in a lot of distress. But, soon I realized how beautiful and real it was -- Philadelphia. Philadelphia... giving me that beautiful feeling that I never was expecting. In fact, what I was thinking of America and Americans was much less that what I saw and experienced. To me it was beautiful: the City, the inhabitants the way of living, the weather, and that strange but rare atmosphere that was in the surroundings which never before I experienced.