Click on State to see Photos of my visit and adventures
St Louis  MO
Chattanooga  TN
New Jersey
NZ - USA  OCTOBER 2006
    My dream was to meet up with the man of my dreams and although 15 years later we are best friends we only
    met once and he ended up doing 3 terms of duty in Iraq.
    I also wanted to spend my birthday in New York.
    Then I had the opportunity to meet up with 2 other families from Georgia and Virginia.
    I had a wonderful experience,
    then got the crazy idea I wanted to go back there and see what it would be like to live there
    which is what I did.


    2006
    Airports and security
           Airports -  People pushing and shoving
    baggage handlers running up to an hour behind schedule
          Airport Security –- No Jackets, belts, shoes, and luck of the draw with the scanner depending on the mood of
    the security people- very unfriendly
    Air Flight - waiting to taxi out for up to 45 minutes making connecting flights a real concern
    Snow on the runway taking off and landing very very scarey


    Everyday life
             Tipping - what do you mean you DON'T tip - Lady you are in AMERICA - I learnt that real fast
             Taxi drivers - How do I get to that place - do you have a map - another experience
          Taxi ride through Manhattan, lady I think it would be quicker for you to get out and walk
        Traffic Wardens - Cars are iced in instant parking violation because they can’t
    move their car
          Sidewalks yelled at for not walking on the correct side - who does that at home not me
         Told you are stupid when you don’t cross because the Hand it up saying don’t cross -  told the cars are going
    the other way so cross the road lady
        Food Poisoning - beware where you eat even in Manhattan
           Rats from Downtown Manhattan to the low economic area of Flatbush Ave Brooklyn
    I thought they were small dogs in the 2 foot high pile of garbage on the sidewalk
          Bed Bugs -  OMG the worst ever experience  - even in the best hotels.
          Cockroaches - Crawling everywhere
          Contamination man coming around once a month to spray poison on every surface of my kitchen  - the joys
    of living in Flat Bush Ave in a low economic housing area.
         Mice they seem to  party at my place every night, mouse poo everywhere, on the bench, in my dishes in the
    cupboard, all over the stove top in the morning and not a mouse to be seen, just where they have eaten
    through the walls in the kitchen.
           Mouse Traps  sticky pads everywhere so that little mouse gets it feet stuck but not a mousetrap to be found
    in the shops.
       Dress etiquette in New York and the Mid West no Kiwi style sundresses here or you are scarlet woman
          New Yorkers rudeness, just don't know how to smile or say hello

    Ignorance
         I once encountered a Black Journalist in a bar in New York when I first arrived here telling a fellow New
    Yorker that I was from New Zealand. “Where is that” said his friend and I quote the journalists words "Oh the
    Last Bus Stop on Earth, you know that place where all those backward people are"   -    “NOTE”- There are some
    people in the US who have never been outside their local town let alone a neighbouring state or outside of
    America.

    Racism
    I experienced racism and saw it from both sides. Yes it goes both ways.
    It was a major learning experience for me and I grew from it.

           Getting spat on both in the street and in a grocery store by black people.
          Being called White Trash by a young black guy as I walk down the street minding my own business
           Being dragged out of a changing room in a store and told, - we don’t serve white trash
           Being abused for walking with a black man publicly by a smart ass white idiot.

    New York Cops
        Cop cars screaming through Manhattan sirens going,
    RED LIGHT – all  STOP and wait for the green light,
    same thing in the next block –- cant have been to urgent – in fact one of the funniest things I have ever seen
          Cops once again screaming through Flatbush Ave, One stops  dead in the middle of the road for no reason
    major 3 car pileup,  all COP cars, an hour later when I was returning from my walk they were still arguing over
    whose fault it was.
    Cops standing in little groups on corners of streets - guns in holster looking like cowboys ready to draw in a gun
    battle - at first I felt very intimidated then I saw the humour in these sad little people with short man disease.

    New York Extreme Weather

           Summer so hot and humid you are soaked with sweat when you go outside and the afternoon thunder
    storms, the grey overcast sky where the air is too thick with smog to breathe.

        Winter so cold you turn blue and shiver for hours when you step outside, taking hours to warm up again.  
    Stepping in the Black Ice that you did not’t notice – stepping around the huge mounds of ice built up on the
    sidewalk when you try to cross the road                   

    Homeless People

           San Francisco – Dead person on the sidewalk Fisherman's Wharf, people just walking by

           Seattle – so many homeless people sitting and sleeping outside Boeing Manufacturing area

          Manhattan – homeless people sleeping outside major Hotels

         Brooklyn – Prospect Park – the home for the homeless grocery store trolleys holding their meagre belongings

           Brooklyn Prospect Heights - People begging outside grocery stores.

           Florida – Veteran Soldier with huge placard – Please give a $ for a homeless Vet.



    “SO THIS IS THE AMERICAN DREAM"

    Oh what a fast learning experience I got in the  first few months after arriving in Brooklyn.  I came home but
    went back because despite all the eye opening experiences the landscape is beautiful and I wanted to see more

    I did a lot of travelling and met up with some of my very special American friends
    A great place to visit, and amazing scenery and fun parks -–but to actually live there was just too hard for me to
    adjust to. The stupidity of the racist bigoted people and the ugly politics  that’s a whole different story. I am
    just glad that I did have some wonderful friends over there outside of New York; I guess I was just in the wrong
    place at the wrong time and made some bad choices and decisions. These are all actual things I have
    experienced  in the first months and later months of living in New York.  

    I eventually came to the conclusion that the ÁMERICAN DREAM' doesnt even come close to living in the
    Paradise I call home  NEW ZEALAND  - but glad I had my experiences in the USA - it made me grow and be more
    aware of how other people live.