If I had kept a list of things to see/do in NYC (except the one with addresses of stores and diners which I’d made several months before the actual trip, together with a mental plan of what the best route would be to maximize the amount of items bought/eaten and minimize the time in between locations), it would most definitely not have included the following:
– witness an arrest
– getting lost in Brooklyn
– dealing with rude people
And yet, had these items been on that virtual list, they would have all been checked off.
Witness an arrest
We were at the Port Authority, on 8th Av, when a drunkard began screaming, swearing and basically telling the entire silenced audience to f*ck off! Two female police officers were patrolling the area and intervened. After several futile attempts to calm him down, “Baja la voz!” they would summon him in Spanish, they cuffed him.
So witness an arrest – check!
Getting lost in Brooklyn
It was my idea to walk on the Manhattan Bridge because my guide books said that was the best spot to see the Brooklyn Bridge from. And it was, we took some cool pics.
We walked from China Town to Brooklyn on this bridge, every minute our eardrums shattered by the trains passing by 30 feet away.
Once in Brooklyn, around 8pm, we had to find a metro station that would take us back to the city. Easier said than done. Without a map, we were just wandering in the dark and almost-deserted streets. Such a contrast with the armies of people crowded on the streets near Times Square!
We wandered and wandered, for about 40 min, and we finally decided to ask someone for directions. D went up to a guy that looked a lot like 50 Cent in the dim lights of the street lamps and asked where the closest metro station is. The guy didn’t even stop, crossed his arms and pointed in opposite directions “That way!”. Thanks a lot asshole!
We finally found the train station, but I must admit that I was clinging to D’s arm with quite a grip, and was getting a bit scared. Getting lost in Brooklyn – check! But definitely not up for a redo!
Dealing with rude people
The 50 Cent lookalike is a first example. Another one would be the maid at our hotel who would only change the towels if we left a tip every single day. (I risk pulling a George Costanza here, but how much do you tip a maid in NY, anyways? Isn’t $10 enough for 2 days?)
D is really bothered by people who won’t give the change back and just decide to keep it as a tip. It’s not out of cheapness, by any means, it’s because he expects a minimal amount of curtsey from people. I’ll leave you a tip, just let me decide it, don’t act as if it’s rightfully yours!
So taxi drivers, oh dear! They really pushed his buttons. This last guy in particular who felt thought that getting a 60% tip was his birthright. With such idiots pretending like your money is rightfully theirs, you just have to set aside your common sense and respect for other human beings and switch to badass mode. Seriously!
Dealing with rude people – check! But let me tell you, it felt so good to be back in Montreal where taxi drivers say Hello and Thank you and help load your the bags in the trunk.