I’m admittedly a cheapskate when it comes to NYC transportation. I just don’t see the point in blowing $30 on a trip to midtown when it takes the same amount of time to just take the smelly train at the bargain-basement price of $2.50*.
But maybe sometimes you’re exhausted and you can’t bare the thought of standing with your bags in Grand Central with all of the humanity and all of their…fragrances… waiting for the 7 Train to arrive on the humid platform. Last night when I decided to splurge on a serene cab ride home, I knew it would be different. Upon entering the cab (that actually stopped for me, what?!), the cab driver offered me some homemade baklava that I would have taken him up on if I weren’t dieting for swimsuit season. We got to chatting, and he gave me these 5 ridiculously helpful wisdom bits:
1.” Once you live in NY for 1 full year, you’re officially a ‘New Yorker.’” You have to make it through some natural disasters, a never-ending winter, Christmas season, rush-hour traffic, overreactions, germs, language barriers et al. —12 months is the duration period of the sadistic hazing ritual that is the big city.
2. “If you drop something on the ground in NY, let it go.” Not big things, obviously, but if you lose a dollar or some change you absolutely should not pick it back up. He claims that (a) it will come back to you 10-fold and (b) the germs your item will have accrued in that transaction are not worth the risk.
3. “Don’t trust ANYONE who talks about how short life is.” To directly quote, “The older I get, the longer my life seems.” He is of the opinion that people use it as an excuse to do things they ought not do, under the false presumption that regrets don’t exist. This is part of the reason I’ve always been a little leery on the term “YOLO.” He says enjoy your life, but absolutely be smart about it.
4. “If you can, live near the water.” I think this goes without saying, but he went as far to explain how we’re all mostly just water, and how there’s nothing as calming, even if it’s just on the Hudson River or something. I’m game.
5. “Just enjoy the life.” This particular cab driver was an older, well-traveled, Yiddish man originally from the Ukraine. While discussing this abysmally sad winter, we talked about how beautiful St. Tropez is during Carnival, how soothing Aruba is year-round, and how San Francisco is where he’ll go to die. We started chatting about how balls-hot it is in NYC in the summer and how there are tourists everywhere when he sighed and simply said, “Just enjoy the life.” Sure, people stopping to take pictures of median-sized at best buildings is disruptive, but I live in New York Mutha F*%#ing City. I don’t have it so bad.
*at the time of this post, the MTA had just raised prices to $2.50. I’m sure it’s higher by at least 10x if you’re reading this even just a month after its original post date.