Here is a story of my recent NY visit experience. I am a native New Yorker and think of myself as somewhat savvy. Wrong!
I visit my mom in Long Island, New York often. Most of the time, we hang around and do errands (I could be in Ten Buck Two since I do not really go anywhere). This recent trip I had plans to go to the city, lunch with a colleague before an appointment in another part of the city.
New Experience #1:
I began at the train station where I lived to buy a ticket. The old ticket booth I used when I grew up was, no longer used, so I asked someone where to get a ticket and was pointed to a new building, with only a ticket kiosk. I was unsure of which station I would return to, so played it safe and bought two one way tickets. I was beginning to feel a bit out of my comfort zone.
New Experience #2
After walking in the 25 degree weather to meet my colleague for lunch, I decided to get to the next appointment I would take the subway.
My friend had to go that way so she escorted me. I said to her, “Oh, I do not have a token” at which she smiled and replied, “We don’t use tokens anymore” and she slid her metro card in and treated me. I felt like Mike Myers in Austin Powers. For those of you who did not see this movie, he was frozen in space for many decades and when he came back, he was way out of date–and so was I!
New Experience #3:
At the end of the day I planned to take a taxi back to Penn station, but alas in the cold there were none with a lit up sign to indicate an empty taxi (I assumed that has not changed). I passed a subway and asked someone if it went to Penn Station and to my delight, it did. I went to purchase a one-way ticket and saw I had to first purchase a metro card. The person next to me and behind me, both saw my consternation at reading the machine and one gave me one of his cards and the other helped me pay. I could hear my mother in my mind–don’t talk to strangers or take money out either! Sorry mom, I needed help.
Again, I felt like I was very out to date and was grateful for the kindness of these NYC commuters.
- Even though I know how to buy a Breeze card in Atlanta it does not mean it is easy to navigate elsewhere. Know there is a learning curve to everything.
- This is the stuff that can cause anxiety, fear, and frustration–if you allow it to.
- Keep a big sense of humor–NY stopped using tokens in 2003!
- I realize, I am getting old!
- Do not generalize: Strangers in NYC can be awesome. Stay open and value difference.
- Most importantly: Be okay with who you are! I am not a cool city girl anymore (okay, I never was cool, and never lived in the city). I am simply, Awesome Me!