I'm here. New York. The City. The Big Apple. The Big Smoke Across The Pond. When I landed I got that familiar feeling in my stomach that I always get when I travel - oh crap, I've done it, I'm a world away from all the people in my life and won't be returning for a while. Doesn't matter how much and where I travel to, I still get this. At least I don't have to overcome any language barriers here, good cause it makes me less nervous; bad because i dont practice, and it makes me less self reliant.
Give it a week or two and I'll be a different person. I'll probably write differently.too. Once I re-get over the British culture shock again, I'll start conversations with shop staff and talk to people who sit next to me on the tube. Speaking of which, either I've come to new york during some yoga charity drive, or EVERY WOMAN and HALF THE MEN in the city do yoga in the evenings. Wierdly, all at the same place/chain, which suggests its some form of brainwashing/eugenics/cult control mechanism.
I'd forgotten how run down america can look. The effect of urban sprawl caused by 1 story buildings makes it worse; sure the US build their skyscrapers, but in the suburbs they have all the space, so they don't need to build things up, they just build them out, and the block system means everything is square and rectangluar, no buidlings are crammed in to fill the spaces like in the UK; business parks are made of the dame drab looking 1 story sized office buildings. Imagine if housing estates did business parks. The colour patterning of dull grey steel and faded beige ceramic tiles that pervades the rail system makes everything look dirty. Then I remembered everything IS dirty when I looked at my hand. Also, having only been to NYC once, in February, I had failed to appreciate before how hot the NY subway is. Anyone who's stepped off the plane in Florida, or South Asia in the middle of the hot season; it's that as a base level. before anyone starts to crowd the platforms and add their own BTUs. It's actually worse than London.
That said though, america still has its plus points. When they say air conditioned, they mean air conditioned, as opposed to a light breeze of warm air. Penn Station felt like New York, and began to ease the nervous self imposed abandonment feeling. And my hostel, whilst on some dodgy backstreet you'd never show your parents, is quite nice on the inside.
For now hhowever I am tired, and need sleep, or at the very least, tea (i brought 2 bags of flowering green tea with me as a survival aid). Will have a US cell phone tomrrow.