Why would someone from Britain travel across the Atlantic to go to New Jersey? It was a long long journey. I woke up at 3:30 am to catch a night bus which would take me to Holborn tube station in time for the first tube, then I went all the way to Heathrow on the Piccadilly line.
I had to go through Deltas security questions – I have never had to answer security questions at any airport in my life before – all before my eleven-hour flight to Philadelphia.
I was heading to NYC, but I had to transfer in Philadelphia and go border control. The border control guy was a little intimidating, but he stamped me in. I had to recheck my bag, go through security again and board the shortest flight ever to JFK.
Lifesize Donald Trump
I found a shop which sells life-size cutouts of Donald Trump in the Philadelphia airport. I’m not sure what to say about that.
Maybe people use it as a really flimsy punching bag? I honestly cannot imagine anyone making a lifesize Theresa May.
You can also buy ‘Make America Great Again’ hats and tops, and I’ve seen more flags in one day in America than you’d see for months in England.
It’s quite easy to navigate the transport in NYC as the Subway is quite similar to the Metro system you’d find in most European countries. The easiest and quickest way to get to NYC from JFK seems to be the air train to Jamaica and then the Subway.
Lodia, New Jersey
Lodi is the leafy, artificial grass lawn, stifling family-friendly environment that teenage emo’s dream of escaping.
I have a strange obsession with American suburbia, but the real reason I’m staying here is that it was basically impossible to find cheap-ish accommodation in New York.
I am morally against spending over £30 on a shared dorm in a hostel, but the makeshift Airbnb hotels in NYC and Brooklyn (one which involved sleeping in a tent like a pod on a shared bed with a stranger) were not that appealing either. So I opted to stay 30 ish minutes away from Port Authority in a lovely Airbnb in the Garden State.
The room is nicer than most hotel rooms (granted I don’t stay in many hotels) and staying here allows me to soak up the calm, quiet and beautiful houses whilst still managing to get into the city in less than half an hour.
First Impressions of America
A lot of the people I spoke to in the airport were kind of rude. Like I’d ask a member of staff a question about where something was and they’d look really annoyed and make it seem like I was a total cretin for asking. They didn’t say that of course, but you could tell.
I’m not saying Americans are rude in general (I did meet a friendly security guard from NYC), or that I even blame them considering that the airport staff get a lot of rude customers and are probably just sick of customer service in general (I know that feeling all too well), but I think it surprised me because in England we are notoriously polite.
We apologise when someone walks into us, we apologise when we accidentally graze someone’s arm on the tube, and when I ask a member of staff a question I normally lead with “sorry”.
Another weird thing was the whole shopping bag situation. Not only do we charge for plastic bags in England but we are fast replacing the cashiers with self-service machines. However, in Lodi’s ShopRite mega store they have people whose entire job seems to be packing the customers shopping into as many plastic bags as possible.
Also, why can’t you buy alcohol in the main shop and why don’t they sell them in the Seven-Elevens. I don’t’ think I’ve ever walked into a supermarket in the U.K which didn’t sell booze.
Is it meant to make fewer people buy alcohol because it’s a bit less convenient? They do that in Australia too and I just don’t get it.
I’ve discovered Cheetos. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them before, but they are now my favourite thing ever. I think the crunchy ones are better, but the other kind is still glorious.