Tuesday, August 02, 2005

On Second Thought...

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.

7 comments:

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Mmmm, reminds me of the first time I came into Penn Station and the crowds were like a reviving draught after those miles and miles of empty back-yards! Do you take the Greyhound into town or are you on the rail-linked North Jersey shore?

Inspired to reminisce about those months. Perhaps.

Meantime, hazelnut coffee was one of my three favourite things about the US of A.

J.A.P.

vanlal said...

Damn! You always have the best lines progga.

shakester said...

is it? does The City make you feel more at home, because of the chaos? I have wondered that...

Heh Heh said...

Yeah, lovely City. It seizes you and makes you one of its own. A place with a different neighborhood for every mood.
As they say, New Jersey is little but an afterthought.

Nandu said...

I hate to say this, but I told you so...... No, actually, I love to say it!!

progga said...

JAP, I'm starting to get a little freaked out by all these onnections. Hazelnut coffee is what I'm flipping out on too. NJ Transit it is, Metropark to Penn Station. And finally, a plea: reminisce, post, please! We can compare notes!

Vanny, frog takes a bow! But for what, exactly?

akr, don't have an answer. perhaps it's not what you like so much as what you're accustomed to and miss when you're removed from it? At any rate, going to NYC was like a lungful of sustaining cigarette smoke is to the hard core smoker: it doesn't necessarily make sense, but there you have it. I would imagine that Singapore is vastly different, no?

Flame, wish NJ were an afterthought for me, but it's right there in my front yard, like Rosy, and refuses to be ignored.

Itineranting said...

Dunno if I told you - I hated NY the first time I was there - I was all of 11. When I went back 15 years later I loved it. And each time thereafter. And its always a gastronomic delight!
And strangely enough, the one thing that totally unnerves me -the sirens...