The continuing saga of Christopher Columbus' daughter, many times removed.
People. Friendly, after all. So not everyone's a customs official. "How're you doing" greetings bouncing off the walls. Perhaps with fewer people than back home, it's possible to individually greet everyone whose eyes meet yours.
New Jersey. Clean, wide roads. Greenery. Woods. Backwoods, actually. Life here revolves around Route (pronounced to rhyme with "pout") 1 and Route 9, call-a-cab services, watching traffic zoom by on the highway, exits 131 and 130. And road signs. Every 5 yards. Still no people though - except, perhaps, at Metropark station, waiting for trains or cabs. Indian suburbs - filled with Kanha sarees, Dimple Fast Food, Dosa Express (muy excellente dosa) and Subzi Mandi.
New York. May-the-lord-be-praised-it's-a-city. I see land. Smelly. Noisy. Dirty. Tall buildings. Bars. People. Activity. And smack in the centre (center) - or close enough, Central Park. This is my heaven. Complete with two of my temples: 59th Street Bridge and Central Park. Fire engines passing by with shrieking sirens every 15 minutes. Confusing and chaotic - I bet this is how all non-Indians feel when confronted with an Indian city. I feel like the quintessential tourist, staring with open-mouthed wonder at the mythical monster. And recognising (recognizing) in it the family pet.
Hmmm. Yep, as long as I can get a weekly dose of The City, I think I'll make it.