Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Yorker v1.1

It seems that you notice even more how much of a New Yorker you have become after spending a week in London when ...

Your friends are concerned that you are mildly obsessed with Barack Obama because you have read both his books and are recommending them to everyone you talk to, you brought the Time Magazine Special Election Commemorative Issue with you and you explain that you ended a recent casual fling on grounds of "irreconciliable political differences".

You keep calling London "the City" causing many confused looks - while in New York the City refers to Manhattan, in London it is the nickname for the Financial district.

You find an English accent utterly endearing and charming, realising you had somehow become immune to it over the years.

You almost choke when having to pay $120 for a taxi ride from Central London to Essex where you were staying for a night - in New York, this could almost get you to the Hamptons!

You make twice a day pitstops at the Starbucks around the corner from the office for a Tall Black Americano - not because you like their coffee but because it "feels like home".

Your resolution to take the Tube everywhere lasts for less than 24 hours! After that, most of your time is spent desperately looking for a black cab, loudly cursing their elusiveness outside of the city center.

Your face drops when, after spending the night at a friend's in South West London, he suggests that the best way for you to get back to Central London is to take a bus ... a bus! And then you of course spend half an hour looking for a taxi instead.

You think that hanging out with a 6'8 transvestite that you randomly met in a nightclub and talking about the merits of push-up bras is completely normal.

You take an hour train ride from London to Kingston and back and wonder how you managed to do that commute every weekday for nearly 7 years without losing the will to live - it gives a new meaning to the rat race which I don't think I could ever go back to.

When having said that, you find London trains to be very clean but ever so narrow and Londoners to be extremely polite and reserved compared to some of the more colourful characters you have encountered in the New York subway.

You feel that London is too big or at least too spread out compared to Manhattan. I am never more than 20 minutes away from where I want to be, whereas in London going back to wherever I was staying after going out seemed like a mini-adventure, without the reassuring part of knowing I would actually find a way to get home.

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