Although it is now 8 Months ago that I flew almost 24 hours, through gut-wrenching turbulence and extreme hot-to-cold weather conditions, I can still smell the city of New York like I was there just yesterday. There is something particular about the aroma that associates itself with the Big Apple: It’s alive and fierce, while homey and comfortable. New York is everything you read in travel guides, and everything you see in movies.
The city is always moving, as if we are in a futuristic bubble where someone is sitting at a control panel but forgets to put the off button at the end of the day. There is something about the city that gives anyone the confidence to hustle and strive. I discovered this many times, but more so when I observed a seemingly caring gentleman offer directions to tourists who seemed lost. And then, unapologetically produce a tips container at the end of the service. Even though you didn’t know you were entering into a service.
Of course we had to leave sunny South Africa and throw on heaps of layers and thermal undergarments (thanks mom for persuading me through much of my resistance). And although we didn’t get any snow, we still got the icy winter knife! Yes, that was intentional. Knife. Because the cold cut through most of your attempts to shield yourself and jabbed at your skin. But New York City welcomed us with open arms nonetheless, and when the ball dropped at midnight on New Years Eve, we could tick it off on the bucket list. Would I do the New Years ball drop again? As much as standing 9 hours on the freezing streets, holding in my pee and suffering from crowd claustrophobia was… something else, I’m glad I got to experience it first hand. And New York City has not seen the last of me.