New York and England

One of the main topics of discussion when talking about New York at the office with the New York folk is talking about what differences New York has over ye olde London. Most of them are well known but it’s a lot cooler when you experience it first hand, anyway here’s the list of things I’ve noticed when I’m in New York… and ONLY things I’ve noticed:

Accents and wearing monocules
People dig the British accent, it’s quite like that dude in the BT ads in the film Love Actually. Everyone finds the accent awesome so I try my best to flaunt it (wish I brought my monocule :/), occasionally I ham it up a bit more but only for snobbish occasions haha. i sometimes try and talk like an american for comedy purposes (ordering as cup of cworrfeee at Hungry Johns) But yeah, I have someone who loves my voice so it’s all good 🙂

Taps make so much more sense in New York. Why have separate taps for hot and cold, usually you want a mixture of blistering hot and freezing cold water to make a “just right” temperature and there’s none of that in the uk 🙁 I suppose one of the cons of having a single tap is that if you’re drinking tap water, you might be drinking from the hot water tap too which is obviously yuck.

People love their phones; almost everyone has a blackberry whilst kids have crazy sidekicks for hardcore im action! I’m sitting next to two girls playing tetris right now and though they think they’re awesome, boy do they suck at it. I’m guessing they cost a lot less than it is here.

Tipping and pricing
By far the most obvious difference. Usually in London you would tip, but only when the service is awesome or when it’s a fancy place. The tips are usually around 10% of the bill and all.
Totally different story in New York, first thing I did in New York was tip the cab driver $1. The trip cost $49 so I thought paying $50 would be alright… Boy was I wrong, the cab man was pissed as I was told that was uncool haha.
Now where’s the measurement of how awesome a service was if you tip for EVERYTHING. The guy didn’t talk or do much so meh. We were also given lots of “mandatory” gratuity charges during the week. When you think heavily hinting for tips was alright, you get people actually whacking it on a bill, what if the waiter or waitress swore at you and gave you trouser food? Bet the tip only fuels them for more trouser action. The system is built into a painful tradition of forcing people to pay for things that they should have a choice in.

Now it doesnt end here, the next tedious thing is the pricing, why adding VAT afterwards? I went into a resturant with just enough change to buy something and bam, vat. Makes the though process confusing, it’s mandatory so why not just shove it on all the items to avoid the confusion, guess it would be hard to change.

Now this is what I loved most, yummy food hehe. One of the things I kept hearing most is how monsterous of a proportion the food is. I must say I didn’t really get huge portions. They were larger than food in London, but not by a lot. The food is slightly cheaper than London and in most cases, a lot nicer (sometimes at the expense of it being a really unhealthy meal hehe)
There’s definitly more specialities in America than London too, pizza in New York is generally a lot nicer than London, not to mention their breakfasts. If you go to places that aren’t the hotel cafe, you can get a proper fry up at a reasonable price. (just don’t forget to tip hehe)

One way streets are fun, you hardly get that in the uk. As well as that, walking across the road is a new experience altogether too, damn white traffic lights, I prefer the green and red man, associating yourself with colours adds another layer of instant recognition, the white lights just confuse me 🙁 and when you do cross the road you’ll find that some cars from the left or right will actually continue to drive through. You’d think you’re free to go but you get cars moving still which means you can still risk getting running over even when you’re walking on a go sign, granted they do stop for you, but what if you popped out of nowhere. Bam!

Grid like city
I quite enjoyed the fact that the entire city was grid based, if you wanted to find a place all you had to do is find out the street number (eg 56th Street) and then find the numbers, the bad thing was that one street or avenue can be super long! Otherwise it really helps for those poor tourists who have no idea where they are.

Disturbingly tall buildings
Probably the first thing you’ll notice, the buildings are disturbingly tall. And since it’s laid out like a grid this means that winds can be pretty harsh. Lifts didn’t have a 1st floor, the ground floor is usually that which makes more sense than G, 1, 2 etc.

Plugs and sockets
Now we all know North America has a different plug compared to the UK 3 pin plug. I got myself 2 adaptors and lent one to my colleague. Boring? Yeah I know, the main thing I would like to point out is that when you buy cheap 2 pin adaptors instead of the more modern 3 pin us plug, be prepared for a shocker! Literally! Man the amount of times I got shocked haha. I was too scared of turning on / off my lamp switch in my hotel room without protecting my fingers, I even got zapped when using my finger print reader on my laptop.

that’s all I’ve got for now, will write some more when they come up!

1 Comment to New York and England

  1. […] Comparing new york and england […]

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