Tuesday, 5 April 2011
New York Conversation
Here's a quick post I thought I'd stick up after chatting with someone at work today.
The first time I went to America I landed at JFK airport and caught a bus into New York city to the Port Authority Bus Station.
After walking out of the station and standing open-mouthed, gazing at the enormous buildings like a rubber necking simpleton I went to the Interclub Hostel on the top floors of the Carter Hotel on 43rd Street.
For $15 I could get a bunk in a dorm for the night and I was planning to travel the country, so I had to keep an eye on my spending.
After chucking my bag onto the bunk bed in the dorm I was sharing with two Germans and a Japanese guy, I went outside looking for food and cigarettes.
So there I was, walking along a New York City street just off Times Square at 22:30 at night, people everywhere and car horns beeping incessantly, I kept expecting Spiderman to swing past or Woody Allen to go by.
I walked into the first likely looking shop and went up to the counter. There was a fat guy in an apron standing there who said "What can I get ya"?
"Coffee, two of them donuts and twenty Winstons, please", I asked feeling like Popeye Doyle.
This was fucking great, it was like being in a film.
"You want twenty packs? You wanna die young or sumpin'" said the bloke.
I then found myself explaining to the New York shop guy that in England we buy cigarettes in packs or ten or twenty so when I ask for twenty Winstons I just want the one pack of twenty fags.
I then found out that fag means something different in America.
The point of this is that the colleague I was talking to at work had gone to New York but had only eaten in McDonalds or drunk coffee at Starbucks because they knew exactly what to expect.
I suppose I could have done the same and that is the appeal of these chains, wherever you go in the world the quality and taste remains the same.
But what's the point in travelling somewhere to get something I can get at home?
Instead I went into a New York deli just off Times Square and it was brilliant.