30 Tips For A Brit Living In New York City
- Public transport is not clean. There are rats on the subway. Get used to it.
- There is no subway etiquette like there is tube etiquette. Get over everything you’ve ever known about being polite and British, and just push.
- Accept that unlike the rest of America, New York doesn’t have Walmart. You can, however, do similar people watching while on the subway. Especially at night.
- If there is a seat on the subway, it’s probably because it’s next to a drunk, or a ranting political weirdo. Probably safer to stand up.
- Don’t make eye contact with anyone on the subway. Especially the people selling candy or busking.
- Buy the biggest handbag you can and barge people out of the way with it while scowling at them for to daring get in your way. Be strong and definitely do not apologize — after the initial guilt, this will get easier.
- Realize that it’s acceptable to have a shrink, and also to discuss what said shrink thinks of your mind, while in public. I felt bad for not having one and considered going into therapy to have something to discuss at work.
- Don’t try to drink the ‘tea.’
- Walk fast. Really fast.
- Stop being so polite. People think it’s odd. Shout a bit.
- Remember to look the wrong way when crossing the road, and learn to jaywalk. Those cabs aren’t going to slow down.
- Learn to survive on fours hours sleep a night. There’s always something amazing happening.
- When going to Williamsburg or Bushwick, don’t bother getting dressed properly. You will get away with just about anything being.
- Note for Bushwick: don’t ask anyone if they’re on Facebook. They won’t be, and will probably look down on you, Social Network drone.
- Sell out to Americanisms quickly. Don’t say “autumn,” “mobile phone,” or “cash point,” and make sure to pronounce vitamin or aluminum the correct way. Otherwise, you will be met with confusion and/or mockery.
- On this subject, don’t get into arguments surrounding the whole you say tomato, I say tomato thing, it’s futile and you’ll both end up watching that Ginger & Rogers clip at the bar and singing along to it in the end.
- When in public, try not to get too over excited about the availability of Skippy, Double Stuffed Oreos, Reese’s Candy, Fluff, etc.
- Drink gin. Americans think it’s a super civilized drink, not in fact ‘mother’s ruin,’ as it’s know in England, and something that old women like to drink.
- Don’t say “cunt.” It’s really not appreciated.
- Realise how far a British accent can get you. People didn’t think I was weird, just eccentric and British. Perfect.
- Following up on the accent, it is the best chat up line you will ever have. Walking up to a bar and saying, ‘Hi, I’m from England’ will immediately get you drinks/guys/girls.
- Again, re: the accent, I wore my pajamas in public quite a lot, as well as a Snapback that I acquired. I took to thinking to myself ‘It’s ok, I’m British,’ even though I definitely wouldn’t sport these items in public back home.
- ‘You Sound Like You’re From Laaaandaaan.’ This will happen quite frequently. Just laugh, and don’t say you’re not from London, as this will cause almost as much disappointment as admitting that we don’t call cops ‘bobbies,’ and that most people don’t get to meet the Queen.
- Pretend to like Downton Abbey, even if you’ve never watched it. This will go down well.
- Comment on how much you dislike L.A. This will also go down well.
- Don’t try to understand NFL, just drink beer and shout when everyone else does.
- Try not to look too suspicious when people in customer services are nice to you. They’re not being sarcastic, they’re actually being nice.
- Understand that brunch is a legitimate ‘thing.’ Not just something for students who didn’t wake up in time for breakfast.
- Don’t expect to meet anyone who’s actually from New York.
- Accept that you will fall in love with New York and not want to leave. Ever.
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