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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Big Apple

Here are some bites of The Big Apple.
Here you can see some snaps from The Feast of San Genarro, which should be familiar to anyone who watches The Soprano's, and snaps from the Seaport where we went to that unpleasant Bodies exhibition and then had a vast meal of Cuban barbecue.
The delight of having such a wonderful meal of seared flesh made the images of mummified Chinese people disappear almost instantly.
Incidentally, the process used to preserve the bodies is called "plastination" which sounds to me like a new kind of animation.

Walking in Manhattan:
New Yorkers have an unspoken set of rules about using their pavements.
I have not yet worked out all the details, but I can explain some of them for anyone who happens to be heading this way.

1) Keep With The Flow.
If you need to stop to pick your nose or tie your shoelace then get out of the fucking way.
Or better still, if you intend to walk around and have any intention to stop without buying something, don't even bother to come into the city.

2) No Apologies.
For many people of Commonwealth origins, it's common practice if when you bump into someone on the street that you apologise to them.
Do not bother with this in New York.
You will only be revealed to be a tourist which is something best kept to yourself here.
New Yorkers don't want to be reminded there are tourists messing up the place and when you try and talk to them they don't like it.
It's likely that they won't understand you anyway and they may be required to say, "What???!!!"* wasting further valuable seconds on stupid tourists.

3) Don't Start.
As you've just read, if you bump into someone don't bother to apologise.
Even more importantly - if someone bumps into you then take your beating.
There is a habit among Brits when they feel they've been wronged and not had the wrongdoing acknowledged, to stare open mouthed with a kind of haughty look on their face (my parents have not lived in the UK for over 40 years and still do this).
Don't bother with this as it means you'll have to stop in the street and you'll be kicked to the ground by the rest of the herd.
Under no circumstances should you ever do anything silly like say "Oi! You just jostled me" or "Ex-cah-use me!".
If you try anything as foolish as this there'll be one of two responses:
a) You will be encouraged to go fuck yourself.
b) You'll have an argument on your hands, which you don't want. These people are expert arguers. They'll use the expression "Go fuck yourself" so often that it'll render your carefully worded complaint completely useless.
There is an exception to this rule though.
If someone tries to steal your cab, not only are you allowed to argue and say "Go fuck yourself" as often as you like, but the law says you are also allowed to punch, kick and even stab the other person until they surrender the cab to you.

* Translation for Brits and other creatures: "What???!!!" means "I'm terribly sorry but I didn't understand what you were just saying just now. Perhaps you would be so kind as to repeat it. Silly me!".


M@ said...

Go Fuck yourself.

Paul Mckeown said...

you're back....well hooray. For some reason London was dimmer without you.
That may have a double meaning, though I'm loathe to dig deeper.

would be great to go for a beer and catch up!

Elliot Cowan said...

Crookie - I will!

Paul - I'm not!

Matt J said...

When I went to the city on the TAXI ride in from JFK we saw similar 'GO FUCK YOURSELF' behaviour-but between DRIVERS! One cab cut up a 4x4- 4x4 dude proceeded to veer in front of cabbie,stop dead,get out of vehicle & bellow the following-'try that again & I'll fuckin' KILL YOU!!'

New Yorkers also like to talk LOUD while walking, especially on their 'cells'. Best overheard conversation while I was there in winter 2004:

'It's colder than a nun's vagina!'

NYC is NOT a city for pussies!

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