Complete strangers may not smile at you. It’s weird, but they’re not actually being rude.
Your bank will not give you a temporary debit card to tide you over till your actual one arrives in the mail (for security reasons). It will also not mail you new checks; you have to pick them up.
Most anyone will let you into a secured building if it looks like you want to get in. (I think it helps if you are short and appear harmless.)
Everyone jaywalks, even people with babies in strollers. Even when there’s an oncoming car half a block away.
You can buy a cup of tea on the breakfast food truck by your work place for a dollar.
If it’s raining, someone near the train station will be selling umbrellas out of a bucket.
Your public library has an initial probation period. You can only check out 5 items at a time during your first month. After that, you can have up to 30 at a time—presumably for good behavior.
Your public library does not allow you to place hold requests on movies through their online catalog.
The motion-sensitive lights in your office turn off every 5 minutes and the by-the-pound Goodwill nearby has lots of lamps but no shades.
The train can suddenly turn from a local to an express (skipping stops) if it’s running late. If you didn’t need to get off at one of those skipped stops, great. If you did…
You can equip your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry shelf entirely through items bought at the 99c store.
You thought the free Slavoj Zizek lecture at the CUNY grad center would actually have seats open. You were wrong, naturally.
Your groceries are bagged for you. Double bagged. In a lot of plastic bags. Even when you tell them you have a re-usable bag.
People—young and old—hang out at the benches on the busy sidewalks near the train station and enjoy people-watching.
You DO put your garbage in a chute if you live in an apartment building like mine and not have to go down to the dumpster.
People have mad skills when it comes to parallel parking.
Everyone speaks Spanish so you need to learn some. Pronto.
Two young adults at your job called you “miss.”