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Monday, December 05, 2005

It's just like the movies!

Columbia University

So after a 20-hour caged torture known as the "long-haul flight", I finally arrived in the Big Apple.

My first impressions? It's just like the movies!!! It's so bizarre to step into a city which you feel you know so well after a childhood diet of sitcoms and TV dramas. There are the superwide sidewalks which can fit six pedestrians abreast; the corner shops everywhere with just the word GROCERY or DELI printed on the awnings; the squat yellow school buses which we've all seen... just like the movies!

yellow school bus

Even the accents seem overdone. For the first half hour I was sure they were deliberately faking that Noo Yok twang.

But first: Immigration. Did my fellow Antipodeans know that all international visitors get electronically fingerprinted (both hands) and then photographed? One never feels game to argue especially when he's wearing a starched black shirt with an oversized cloth badge adorned with a glaring almighty eagle. Just as the cawfees come in super duper sizes, I'm sure their cloth badges are extra large too.

It snowed tonight as we did some shopping. As I understand, New York had their first dump of snow on Sunday night, which meant our plane circled over gingerbread-looking houses as we came in to land.

Snow-encrusted garbage bin with yesterday's newspaper

Big fat snowflakes are still a novelty to me. The stuff I've experienced on the snowfields in Perisher, or the streets of London, always melted on impact and could barely be seen.

This New York snow was gorgeous, collecting in our hair like clumps of confetti and adding the perfect festive touch to the Christmas trees and wreaths for sale on the sidewalk.

Christmas trees for sale

Yep, this is what a white Christmas is all about...

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/05/2005 11:55:00 pm


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