You know you live near an Indian neighborhood in New York when you go to a grocery store and instead of staples, you return with tapioca chips, khari, and Bourbon biscuits.
You learn never to walk in one direction while looking in another, not even for a second, because you will crash into someone cutting across right in front of you. This is true irrespective of the site: a sidewalk, a crosswalk, a train station, a hallway, an office, or a bathroom. There are a lot of people per square foot and they’re all in a hurry.
Items you bought on Craigslist with the intent of hauling them back on the subway get heavier. It is as if the planet develops extra density with every block you have to walk to and from the subway station.
Grocery stores either do not stock microwave popcorn or are ashamed of it and hide it on some invisible shelf.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond sprays its entire store with a medicinal perfume that makes you sneeze and gag at the same time. But thanks to a friend’s gift card, you now have doohickeys that stick to the wall and can hold all the items that kept falling off the corners of your tiny bathroom sink. You now also own a zebra print chair.
Cereal costs $4.99/box even on sale. But you can often get a gallon of olive oil for that price.
Your building’s younger super from the former Yugoslavia may ask you about tutoring once he learns what you do. He may do this every single time you see him in the hallway till you feel like a jerk for saying that you have no time.
Food truck felafels #fail.You go to a circus run by a bearded lady and participate in a sing-a-long about how to respond if you are subject to an NYPD “stop and frisk” (don’t run,don’t resist,take the cop’s badge number, remember your right to remain silent, always keep your hands in view).
Your new public library may label a DVD as a 7-day loan but its catalog may think it’s overdue after 3. Since you are on probation, you may get worried and take it in to point out the error. They may open the box, discover the DVD is missing, and not believe that you hadn’t opened the box yet. They may try to convince you that their system does not check out empty boxes (i.e., you are a liar and a thief) and then attempt to demonstrate it. They would be proved wrong. At this point, they may just accept the DVD box and take the item off your record. You may later realize that the fines you accumulated (unfairly) are still on your record and the online catalog (wrongly) thinks they are too high to permit you to borrow any more items. You may then have to go back to the library and hope you meet someone reasonable. You might. You may decide never to borrow DVDs again just to be on the safe side.
Your old phone company, which took an extra payment from your bank account because of an automatic withdrawal arrangement, will return it by check a few weeks after you close the account. It will then send you a letter claiming you owe them money and that they will be charging you for a bounced check and sending your bill to collections. The person you reach is very confused and finally waives the charge. You hope she tells the collections people…
Indian Chinese chicken lollipops: what all chicken wings should aspire to be when they grow up.