Ten things you can only understand if you move from the UK to NY

1 – You will go home and want to eat your dinner off the floor of the tube it seems that clean compared to the subway and will wonder (or try not to think about) why every single elevator smells of wee. You will also take a while to learn to avoid the crazy person on the subway, crazy people in NY are around 89% crazier than in any other part of the world.

2- For the first few weeks after you move you will think the local “organic” “fresh” deli on the corner of your street looks wonderful and convenient. You will soon realise that you cannot make a meal from any of its contents and although you strive to support local business wish to god a Sainsbury’s Local would open up down the street.

3- You will never completely understand why they don’t sell wine in supermarkets but do sell beer in pharmacies.

4- You will not understand Stoop Sales at first where people leave their old crap on their steps to give away. Of course you would never pick something free off the side of the street! A few months in when you are broke as hell from living here you will be sad not to see free toys, books, hats left out for your taking at any given time. A stoop sale is a wonderful wonderful thing.

5- New York can do many many things well when it comes to food. A really good curry  or fish and chips it cannot.

6- When the temperature drops below -10 degrees and snows for an entire month you will start longing for a good old grey British winter. When August hits you will still try and carry on as normal, convinced your British constitution can survive 98 degrees with 90% humidity; then two blocks from your house run home crying “I’m Meeeeelting” and spend the next two hours clinging to your air conditioning unit and wondering if you can in fact fit inside the your over-sized US freezer.

7- You will think that living in a Brownstone will seem like a romantic idea until you realise they are insanely cold in the winter, impossibly hot all summer, usually have 300 stairs to negotiate and let’s not get started on the cockroaches…

8- Yeah you all speak the same language but ask for water, a mocha or gnocchi and you may as well be speaking Cantonese.  At least one person a day will marvel at your great Australian accent and at least half of those people you won’t bother to correct.

9- The banking system feels like you stepped back into the 1980’s but without quite as many shoulder pads or side pony tails. Goodbye direct debits and standing orders, hello writing and mailing cheques for absolutely everything. The money itself will never make sense, it is all the same size and colour and I categorically do not use small change any more. What’s a dime you say? Your guess is as good as mine.

10- Your perception of size will change completely. 700sq ft apartments will feel spacious, NY size pizzas will not feel excessive, postage stamp size balcony will become a sizeable back garden and a coffee, smoothie or bag of Kale chips can never be big enough.


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