For those of you that have never lived in New York City, you may not quite grasp the insanity that is this place. It's one thing to visit, it's another thing to actually be here day in and day out. There is always something going on; you can walk down a street and stumble onto a film set - or - a mariachi band may get onto your subway car when you least expect it (this usually happens to me when I'm exhausted after a long day and have a pounding headache). I have also had some of the most random experiences here. I've gotten into a cab once and my friend from grad school was the driver (What are the odds?). I also run into people that I know on the streets a lot more than you'd believe; in a city of 8 million people, you'd think you could be a little more anonymous (like I always say: there may be millions of people, but we're on a tiny island). Anyway, the point of this blog is to document some of the insanity I personally experience on a daily basis.
For example, yesterday I had an extremely awkward encounter with a bus driver. I had my earbuds in (naturally, since NYers like to keep interactions with others to a minimum and to drown out whatever obnoxiousness is going on around you) and as I got on the bus, the bus driver motioned for me to take them out. I obliged (only because he's a bus driver) and he said to me, "You have got some nice toes." Really? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Couldn't keep that comment to yourself homie? I appreciate the compliment, but not sure it was really necessary.
So today marks the beginning of what I hope to be a daily account of my life here. Here goes:
Date & Time: Wednesday, September 15th around 9 AM
Location: 99 Cent Store on 8th Ave in Harlem
I was getting some much needed cheap cleaning supplies, when I had the pleasure of having an exchange with a crazy lady (who from hereon will be referred to as CL). I could already hear the craziness from about half an aisle away. CL was rambling to the woman behind the counter about something and the woman looked equally annoyed and terrified. The woman gave me this look as I set down my items on the counter. CL eyes locked in on me (I, being a trained social worker, avoided eye contact but didn't ignore her so as to not agitate her in any way) and she went in on my height...
CL: "You're so tall. You know they have tall men out there for you."
Me: "Yep. I know."
CL: "Oh yea, I bet those tall men love you... Are you a virgin?"
* Woman behind the counter looks at me to see how I'm going to respond...*
Me: "Um, that's pretty personal, so I'm not going to answer that."
CL: (After contemplating for a moment) "You're right, that is personal. Sorry. You are a nun. N-U-N."
Me: "Um... sure" (under my breath to the woman behind the counter: "Can we please hurry this up!?!?")
CL: (As I'm hustling out the store) "You take your time sister; you look good. Take your time..."
Lesson learned: Pay the extra $0.50 for your Ajax from now on; you end up paying more in other ways when you shop at the 99 cent store.