A slight return

I’ve been in New York for one month and one day, and now I’m sat in terminal 7 at JFK Airport awaiting a flight to Manchester to see family and friends. So I thought it would be a good chance to look back, and see what I’ve discovered about (American) mankind over the last few weeks.

Among the pearls of wisdom that I have garnered are the following:

• Fresh milk comes in cartons big enough to flood small villages in Wales, and will allegedly not go bad for about four weeks. I don’t even want to think about the number of chemicals that requires.

• Some American women are capable of incredible vanity. One girl that Soon To Be Wife and I walked past last night actually turned to her friend and used the phrase, “You know, I think she f***ed us over because we’re hot.”

• Asking for still water in a restaurant will earn you some very blank looks. I still think that requesting ‘flat water’ suggests that you’re going to get previously sparkling water that somebody mistakenly left the top off overnight.

• Complaining about the weather is difficult when it’s still well into the 80s in late September.

• Britons struggle for small talk when they can’t complain about the weather.

• Fitting the stereotype perfectly, any American mocking your British accent will sound like Dick van Dyke. But they’ll still sound more convincing than Don Cheadle in the Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen movies.

• New York has the best bagels in the world. No question.

• Swearing in the workplace is a rare mistake, rather than an occupational necessity.

• If cutting up shop-bought salads for lunch is just too much work, you can ask the person behind the counter to chop it for you. Sadly, however, most waiters won’t cut up your steak and feed it to you, no matter how difficult a day you’ve had at the office.

• There are probably more people from Britain in New York than there are in Swindon. Clearly US immigration’s standards aren’t as high as they used to be. And I should know.

What I’ve also finally learned is how to use Typepad’s stats engine properly, and it seems that quite a few people are reading this blog, for some unknown reason. I’ve been blogging properly for about 30 days, and already there have been well over a thousand page impressions. Admittedly most of those are probably my mum refreshing the site just to make me feel good about myself, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Anyway, to those who are reading, or that have sent me emails saying that they’re enjoying it, thank you. Please do pass on the link to anybody you think might find it vaguely entertaining, and feel free to leave comments if you’re seized by the desire. I’m actually really enjoying writing on a regular basis again, but it would be great to have even more people reading.

In the meantime, I’m off to the UK. Don’t tell anyone, but I might actually miss this city while I’m gone.

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