[Soundtrack to this post: C.R.E.A.M. by Wu Tang Clan]
I'm five weeks into my new American life. I'll admit that adjusting to a new country, a new neighborhood, and a new way of spelling the word "neighborhood" hasn't been easy-breezy. I should have seen it coming when I flashed my American passport at the border and instead of a "Welcome back, Beth! Where've you been for a decade?" they searched my U-Haul and confiscated my extra "u"s (sorry, "neighbourhood", "colour", and "favourite.")
And so began the culture shock.
In addition to flimsy green dollar bills (so long for now, "loonies" and "toonies,") I write "checks" instead of "cheques," "dip" my debit card at the ATM, and flash ID when I use my credit card, even if it's just for a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter.
When I first moved to Canada, I marveled at all the Bryan Adams on the radio. Did they not know that his popularity had fizzled after one last great slow dance ballad (entitled as I recall, "Everything I Do, Ahhh-ahh-ahh, I Do It For You")?
My friend Alli explained that it was a legal requirement (Americans, that would be "Canadian Content" a.k.a. "CanCon.") Here, a generous helping of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett seems to satisfy any legal requirements.
But I remain an optimist about our future together, me and New York. After all, this place is throbbing with culture and I am truly enjoying my classes at Columbia. M&Ms taste like they did in my childhood and there's mail on Saturdays - for now, anyway.
If I can just make one complaint, New York, the honking has been hard to get used to.
I bought myself these lady earplugs to muffle the sounds of the cars racing down my street and honking up a storm all night long. These helpful drivers wake up the neighborhood to let us all up to let us know that other cars are double-parked. Thanks, guys!
The Duane Reade cashier just laughed when I complained about the constant noise, repeating what everyone's been telling me: "You'll get used to it."
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About this blog
I'll use this space to write about movies, bikes, communications trends, pop culture, and my adventures as a new New Yorker.