I love learning the lessons of New York City the hard way through direct experience:
Nothing looked familiar. Whenever we slowed down, those behind us pushed us forward with yelling and insults about being tourists. We were met with ugly stares on the street and we were mocked from storefronts pocking gutted brownstones. People would stop, open-mouthed, to look at us — we both with bright, garish, white skin and matching white short-shorts and tank tops and goofy, glowing red “Nebraska Cornhusker” trucker hats — as we strolled by trying to figure out how to get back to our new home.
Night was falling fast as we continued to walk and Janna began to shiver a little. The lights became more garish and throbbing in the night. The sounds of traffic and street hustlers grew so intense it hurt your ears to try to make sense of the multiple conversations happening in concert. We kept walking. We kept our head down. We tried not to make eye contact. Each tiresome New York block became longer and longer as we yearned for a familiar landmark. We stopped talking to each other as we concentrated on trying to find our way back home. We finally came to the end of the road.
One of the toughest lessons we try to teach to those who visit us in New York City is that if you plan to buy something, YOU MUST BUY IT NOW WHILE THE ITEM IS IN YOUR HAND!