Lennart and I braved the crowds on Saturday to attempt a little Christmas shopping. HA! HA! It is to laugh!
It's no wonder that tourists think that New York is always packed and crowded and busy. Because if you hang around midtown on weekends, summers, and holidays, it IS that way. But trust me, this is one of those places I'd rather live than visit, because down on our local streets, the amount of people is normal, and the variety and atmosphere is fun, and not overly hectic.
I have, in this past year, learned how to tell the tourists from the locals (tourists stare up a lot, stop frequently in the middle of the sidewalk, wait at the curb to cross the street; locals stare ahead, gauge the crowd and navigate accordingly*, and stand a couple of feet into the street waiting for the lights to change before they cross.) I have become a local myself, though now and then, I can't resist a peek at some of the buildings.
I have learned how much New York lets you be your own person. In Idaho, and in Gbg, my turquoise leather jacket gets stares of disapproval (probably mostly in Gbg, though, since in Sweden, leather should be black...or sumpin'). Here, I get, "I LOVE your jacket, and "Cool jacket. Almost as cool as you!" (This last by our favorite doorman. I like how people don't negatively appraise you on the street as much as at home. But after living here, I will also know that it's not anything wrong with ME, and I'll be able to hold my head high, and not look away guiltily.
I have learned who to tip, and roughly how much. Though we just discovered that you should give your doormen a Christmas bonus, so Lennart is asking people at work for the protocols on such a thing. :)
I have learned again that I am pretty. Why do we forget these things? Why are bad things easier to believe?
(I also want to thank Lane Bryant for showing me how to be a girl again.)
I have learned that I love good fois gras, geese be damned!
I have learned that working part-time makes me a much saner, happier person. Is it the work, or the hours, I don't know. But I don't have ulcers anymore, at least.
I have enjoyed New York, and there are so many things I will miss (Fresh Direct, the Doorman, the package Valet, Delivery.com, Madison Square Park, SAPA's cosmojitos (though we've almost got the recipe down), the parades, protests, and street fairs, and more) but I really am looking forward to returning to Europe, where I feel like it's more home to me. And London will be another new adventure. But one that lets me visit my sweet friends more often! I have missed them dearly!
The Lennart, the cat, and I are heading home to Sweden for Christmas tomorrow. It will be nice.
*A sidenote to Sweden: You would think that with the greater number of people in New York, as compares with Gbg, people would be bumping shoulders and running into one another constantly. Not so. The whole time I've been here, I've been bumped into twice, and both times apologized to. So, you know that excuse that it's just a big city attitude, Sweden? Nuh-uh! You have bumped into me repeatedly, and HARD I might add, and have yet to turn a head and acknowledge my existence. Sweden, I love you dearly, but you need to learn that strangers DO exist, and they sometimes have painful shoulders because of you. A little, "Oh, sorry" now and then...would that hurt so much? It's just politeness, you know. Beware, those who bump into me in future. I'm going to SEE you, acknowledge you, and say, *gasp*, "Excuse me," politely! So there! :)