Expat life #4
Readopting (good) habits | (vol. 2)

nycnight_1In this previous post, I told you about my (re) adaptation to my new life in the City. I am back with the second part of it. Follow me, c’est par ici:

At the restaurant, I don’t need to beg ask 10 times to get some water anymore. I am pretty sure that, for you, it’s something completely normal, but in Switzerland people are usually paying for bottled water and getting some free tap water demands to plea for long among of time!

At the restaurant, again, having the waiters removing all the plates and glasses just after you ate your last bite. Sometimes, you even don’t get a chance to see the dessert menu before getting the check, or, worse, they tell you that “if you want to continue the “party”, you can go to the bar, because [they] need the table!” Maybe, if you are New Yorker, it’s something usual, but for European people (who tend to spend hours at the restaurant table) it’s incredibly rude!

One of my biggest problems here is about your odd different metric system. Believe me, I have no idea about how much is 4fl. Oz, 5.3 feet or 1 pint. (But I am working on it!) (And I am already capable to speak in inches. Yay!)

I also had some issues about the temperatures in Fahrenheit. But I discover a simple calculation to do the conversion. It’s not perfectly precise, but it works quite well. (Take a deep breath, everything’s gonna be alright!)/(even if you use to suck in math class):

F = 2C + 30
(Fahrenheit = 2 x Celsius + 30)

So, if it’s 20°C you’ll do: 2 x 20 = 40 then add 30 = 70°F
(And 20°C is exactly 68°F. Not bad, huh?)

When you buy something with your debit or credit card, the machine asks you a lot of questions (is the amount correct, do you want to donate for sick kids, orphans, 5 legged cat, …) as well as “do you want cashback?”. It means that you buy money from the store: you pay both your groceries and your cashback to the cashier and the guy gives you a bill! Spending hundreds of dollars in clothes and receiving money in the end. USA, I love you.

When I visit a city, I hate acting like a tourist, so I do whatever it takes to appear like an inhabitant. However when walking in New York, you will be approached by people who wants you to give money for sick kids, orphans or 5 legged cats. And I hate that! Therefore, when one of those get me, I play the stupid blond girl by explaining in a really bad English that I am a pour tourist who is unable to communicate! (And it works!) (Even the day I was walking with a huge Home Depot bag and 2 curtains rods!)

When I visit a city, I hate acting like a tourist, so I do whatever it takes to appear like an inhabitant (again). However, when walking in New York, you will be approached by people who wants you to go to the Empire State Building, to rent a bicycle or to buy a CD. And I hate that! Therefore, when one of those get me, I tell them in the best English I can “Comòòòn dude, I live here for God Sake!” (And it works!) (Even if my US accent is really bad!)

Crossing roads, New Yorker way. Quiz: In the city, how can you know for sure that the person crossing is living in New York? Answer: It’s the one waiting on the road. Even If he’s just 10 inches from the sidewalk, he’s never waiting on it. That’s also the one looking nervously from right to left and back, to estimate the time left before crossing or to calculate the probability of getting hit by a cab by crossing when still red. He may be also checking the street number, since every inhabitant of Manhattan knows that it would be crazy not to wait to cross the 34th street, while the 43th is free to go! And when the light goes green, he’s always the first to move, because he knows that when the cab starts braking, it means you’re good to go!

As well as:

The banker offering you a “reward” credit card, which gives you some cash back if…. You pay your bill on time!

The credit card, again, which is giving you cash back every time you buy something! The more you buy, the more you “earn”.

The waitress (or the salesperson) telling you her (his) name when you get in. I am really bad with names, so I will forget what she said 10 seconds after entering and then I will look stupid by saying her “ehhhh…. You (?) excuse me”.

The fact that you never know how much you are going to pay, because of the taxes and the tip! (But I am working on it and I start to understand a few things about it!)

That little suspense that take possession of you while entering in shops or restaurants: you never know if you will be completely ignored, totally mistreated or nicely welcomed. Of course, in some places, there is no suspense at all, but sometimes, though, you can be (nicely) surprised. Like that cashier at Fairway who make a joke while bagging my pineapple. Crazy.

And there are also some other things which are less funny, in the everyday life, and I will tell you about it in the future!

See you!nycnight_3nycnight_2 Pictures : New York, West side. Along Hudson River. Nikon d7000 | lens 18-200 mm

6 Responses

    1. Merci pour ton commentaire 😉 Vivre ici est une superbe expérience, mais rassure toi, il y a aussi du négatif, comme partout je pense. Tu n’as jamais pensé à t’expatrier?

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