T H E U S A
- The service tax you have to pay on top of the advertised price is kinda sucky. It’s only 9% on top but when you see something you like and think “Great! What a bargain! Less than 10 bucks” it suddenly becomes over $10 when you ring it up at the register.
- I was freaking out about how I go about tipping but restaurants print suggested gratuity amounts on their receipts so that was really helpful. Although the whole tipping thing got me suss about how nice waiters truly were when they served you. Would they be as nice and helpful if tipping wasn’t a thing? Hmm…
- PayPass doesn’t appear to be popular or used over there. In SF, they still have a swipe system and then you either sign the receipt or enter your PIN but you’re always asked to show some ID. In NY, you would sign most of the time but no ID necessary.
- The New York subway is like a whole nother world underground. You’d think if the streets are busy and filled with millions of people, the subway would be less crazy but no, it is just as crowded and bustling.
- You haven’t truly experienced New York until you feel the stress and frustration of getting stuck in traffic!! A family friend I met up with while I was there was kind enough to give me a lift to Penn station to save me dragging my luggage through the subway. We left the apartment on the Upper West Side with just over an hour before my train departed but in the end I only just made my train – which was a later one than I had planned on catching. What was supposed to only be a 20 minute drive tops ended up being 70. But I got the airport fine and with enough time to check in etc. It’s just when you’re waiting between 45th and 44th street and you haven’t moved in the last half hour that you get anxious and want to strangle someone!
- Everyone sounds like the movies. I guess it’s because most movies I’ve watched were filmed in America about Americans and so every time I hear people having conversations around me – I just think it could be a script taken from a movie or sitcom. I was on the train in SF heading home from Downtown and overheard a young black girl catching up with a young black guy whom she hadn’t seen in a while and it surprised me how much they speak in the way that you would stereotype them. American accents are quite fun to listen to however, the true New York accent is kinda harsh and ugly sounding (sorry!). Although having flown to the UK straight after NY and hearing those Brits talk – I must say, there’s something about the English accent that is way more attractive than the American accent (again, sorry).
- The men here are really forward. Examples to come…