“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” I’ve always like travelling and getting to know other cultures. Although it was not till the winter of 2008 that I was able to fulfill my dream of travelling overseas, nowhere did impress me more than New York city back in august of 2013. It was love at first sight, and an unforgettable experience that I cherish down deep in my heart. It was one of those mind-opener trips, not only because it was the first time I was travelling on my own but due to the fact that I encountered an astonishing, lively city that can be so warm and cold at the same time. Nowhere in my wildest dreams did I imagine to find myself in such a place. But among many things I could recall to have learned from this trip, one of them is that it’s likely to come across respectful, nice, friendly people even in a big, cold, cosmopolitan city as it is New York.
My experience started right on the plane, on my way from Miami to New York where the respect of the people in general and the organization were obviously different from my experience on the flight from my hometown, Montevideo, through Miami. Heaven in earth!, I thought. Everyone respecting each other naturally. But one thing I remember that called my attention walking in the streets of New York, was the quiet, long, tidy line of people waiting for his hot-dog in one of those hotdog stands in the 5th. Av. alongside the Central Park. This is certainly one scene you don’t see in Montevideo where everybody is trying to take advantage and get in front of the line. That kind of behavior that may look so trivial and for many people just pass unnoticed, really got my attention. I got really amazed by such community made up from very different cultures and religions that can blend and coexist in such an harmonic and cordial way.
But even though as a cosmopolitan city it was full of people from different countries with different native languages, the only way to communicate was, of course, through english. Therefore I finally came to the conclusion that the first thing I would do just arriving at Montevideo, was improving my english skills in conversation. Even though I was able to get myself understand, I’m convinced that the experience would have been richer if I could have spoken a more fluent english. Even though people in New York were eager to understand what I was, so hardly, trying to say, I was very insecure about my speaking skills. The most frustrating experience in this sense was when I was trying to ask for some coffee milk on the plane, and no one could understand what I was asking for. On my way back to Montevideo, one task lengthen my to-do list: “practice english. NOW!!”
The Big Apple, as it’s usually known, was quite an enjoyable, unforgettable city for me. The city that blowed my mind. Its wonderful, amazing, well-developed landmarks, and its beautiful, breathtaking landscapes, along with the large variety of foods and goods made an indelible impression on me. It’s one of those places I definitely want to go back; not before, of course, I have make a good improvement in my english skills... and that’s for sure!