I don’t like New York.
I’d go as far as to say it’s my least favourite place on the planet. And I’m pretty much the only person I know who feels this way.
I had a discussion about this with a friend the other day, and it suddenly struck me: the reason why I don’t like New York is not so much because I don’t like the place itself, but because of who I went with. It entirely influenced my opinion and view of the place.
All I have are bad memories from a dreadful week spent there.
However, I was stupid in the first place. I decided to go away with someone I’d met only a couple of times, for a few hours at a time. I barely knew him at all. In the few times we had met up, we always seemed to get along and have a laugh, so when he messaged me and told me he was thinking about going to New York and did I want to go with him… Well, I jumped at the chance!
We met up on the day we were due to leave, and within literally about 10 minutes of being together, he was already starting to grate on me. His accent was so much stronger than I remembered, which meant I couldn’t understand a word he said – more than a little frustrating as I don’t like constantly saying what? every two minutes! On top of that he was carrying an ENORMOUS camcorder with him, straight out of the 90s, and insisted on filming me pretty much non-stop — when I wasn’t even doing anything! It started to really piss me off, and it was also a little bit creepy too!
After allowing him to book a hotel before we left, I discovered we were 30 minutes away from anything. And it was scary too, as in, you could hear gunshots at night. On top of that – he’d booked us a room with a double bed, knowing that I had a boyfriend back home!
If I had booked it, I would have checked out the local hotels to make sure there was enough space for me to have some privacy and my own bed! One thing I did learn from this trip is to never let someone else take care of finding my accommodations.
The trip itself… Well, lets just say I discovered we were two completely different people. I mean, I like to wander around aimlessly — this guy wanted to march everywhere at a ridiculous speed, and for 12 hours straight! By the end of the week we spent there my feet were covered in blisters and I could barely walk.
Other treasures from the trip involved him laughing at me when I had a panic attack, laughing hysterically when hearing someone on the TV say “oral” (seriously??), not allowing me to watch anything I wanted on the TV because he was “The Remote Master” (no lie..), and buying me a copy of the Karma Sutra as an early birthday present. Wow.
It was incredibly overwhelming having to follow this guy around the city 24/7.
While marching along, his eyes were attracted to yet another shop filled with the same generic NYC knick-knacks as the last 20 he found on the way. Not being able to take anymore, I told him I’d wait outside. As I stood there silently cursing him a devious plan was hatched — a peek into the store, a peek down the street, another peek into the store, another peek down the street… The coast was clear! As he was holding yet another I <3 NY t-shirt I made a mad dash down the street as if my life depended on it!
Finally feeling blissfully happy, I called my boyfriend excitedly to tell him of my masterful plan. Unimpressed with my covertness, he sternly told me I had to return back and find him. Sadly, I realised he was right and trudged back to find him. Surprisingly, he hadn’t realised I’d even gone and was now on the other side of the shop trying on the $1 pot leaf gold chains…
My entire trip consisted of long phone calls to my parents and boyfriend saying how miserable I was, and how I just wanted to go home.
Every memory I have of my time in New York involves me being pissed off, frustrated, and wanting to go home.
Because of my anger and frustration, everything seemed to be intensified — the buildings looked taller, making me feel claustrophobic. The people seemed busier and ruder, making me feel inferior and out of place. I just wanted to escape, get out of there as soon as possible, and I’ve never been happier to leave somewhere before in my life.
I’m sure one day I will return, and if it happens to be with someone that I like, then I’m sure I’ll like New York a lot more than I do now.
It just goes to show how the people you’re with can really influence your experiences whilst you’re away. It really can make or break the trip.