New York New York

Trip Start Jul 15, 2004
Trip End Apr 05, 2005

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, August 19, 2004

At last the real travelling has begun.

Europe was ok, but everywhere we went was very similar. Everywhere has an old town, a castle(on top of a big hill) and pavement cafes.

America is a bit different, because everything is brand new. Or at least not more than 200 years old.

From our four days in New York we have discovered that there are two types of American. One is overly friendly and helpful, the other is a complete opposite.

We met the first as soon as we stepped off the plane. The immigration officer who let us in the country was so nice it was like talking to a bag of sugar. She was a big shiny black woman and asked us lots of friendly questions with a cheery smile on her face. She never quite gave the impression though that she was actually listening to our answers.

We met the second, a bus driver, when we left JFK to get to Manhatten. He was very grumpy and short tempered, answered any question with a grunt and had two arguments with other passengers in the 60 minute journey to the center. It was quite amusing to note he had a sign at the front of his bus thanking you for any tip you gave him.

I have never been to a place where there are so many arguments. Wherever you walk someone is shouting at someone else, either in person, or more often while walking down the street on a mobile hands free kit. It is a very odd site to see someone appearing to talk to themselves when they are really on their mobile with a microphone attached to their ear.

America is the land of consumer choice. It had been quite difficult for me as I am very slow at making decisions. I like to be sure I have made the right choice. This causes a bit of a problem when you go into a cafe and ask for a cheese and tomato butty. You get asked what type of cheese, what bread, how much tomato, mayo or salad cream, eat in or take took me about twenty minutes to answer them all.

We have also noticed that people here do not say "have a nice day", but instead go one further with "have a great day". You cannot carry out any transaction without being wished a great day.

Well, we have had some great days here, but tomorrow we are packing up and going to Niagra Falls. Farewell New York.
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