Love New Yorkers
It’s very easy to stereotype certain countries, and we are all guilty of it. The French don’t wash…The French are rude…Americans are stupid…Americans have no sense of humour…The British aren’t friendly…etcetcetc. We’ve all heard at least one of these remarks and I guess we have to wait to see how we feel after we’ve visited said countries a few times. I am currently in New York City, a city that I adore and that I am so happy to be in again after two years. My Mum first visited NY when she was five months pregnant with me, and I only found this out last night. We concluded that that must be the reason why I love the city so much – because I was soaking it all up from the womb 20 years ago!
Anyhow, I digress. My point about New York is that whenever I am here, I am treated with the utmost friendliness and warmth that, quite simply, it makes me feel really good. I suppose, the waitresses count on their tips so of course, being attentive goes a long way, but it isn’t just the waitresses. The staff in the shops are smiley and ready to help with any request I have and today, in a lift, an American guy heard us talking to each other in our British accents and asked us how long we were staying in the city and if we were enjoying ourselves. Maybe we’ve just been lucky, maybe I have a rose-tinted-spectacle perspective and am looking for the positive because I just love New York so much, but I don’t go to London with a bad attitude/perspective and I am usually ignored in the shops or have surly service at best.
I was in Paris two weeks ago, for the third time in my life, and I must say, a couple of the stereotypes felt a little bit true. I love Paris, don’t get me wrong. It’s romantic – you feel like you’re the starring role in a wonderful movie that can only end happily. But when I was there recently and was desperately trying to string together a sentence in French – and yes, unfortunately, I am terrible – the waitresses and shop staff didn’t try and understand what I was saying, like I would if someone was trying to speak English to me in the best way they could. They just glared at me and left me stumbling on my words so that I felt embarrassed and foolish. Not everybody was like this, but a lot were. It just feels like they have less tolerance, less patience. Maybe if I was fluent in French, or at least a hell of a lot better than I am, my experience would be significantly better. So maybe it’s my fault.
Anyway, for now, this is just a little blog post to express my love for Americans – or more specifically, New Yorkers. Every visit, they have been kind and so helpful, and for that, my love for the Big Apple only grows.