The cab driver weaved in and out of traffic. My anxiety was high and my emotions were all over the place. I felt queasy from the cab and light headed from not eating before my flight. I didn’t know where Chinatown was exactly, I just hoped that the driver was taking the quickest route. Thanks to my extensive Google Street View stalking, when I saw the sign for Canal St I knew I was close.
I got out of the cab. My heart was beating so fast as I watched floods of people rush by. My new roommate, Brad, came out to meet me just as the cab driver was putting the last of my three big suitcases on the dirty street. I struggled up the steep, landing-free, three-story walk-up. Finally making it to the top and into my room, I tossed my heavy bags on the creaky floor and threw up my hands in excitement. Yes, I did it! I moved to NEW YORK!
As the nervousness subsided, the intense hunger began to set in. I hadn’t eaten all day because I wanted to wait for New York food. So Brad, his friend Jill and I set out to find something to eat.
Once outside, I felt out of place. Brad and Jill were zipping between people. As I tried to keep with them, I was bumping into people coming in every direction. I didn’t like anything about it. Not only was the chaos overwhelming, but also It smelled like cigarette smoke mixed with fish, trash and very bad B.O.
We finally made it to this little place called Lovely Day. There were two perfect little tables out front on the sidewalk, and inside a bistro type setting filled with a pretty and chic crowd.
My mouth watered as I scanned over the Thai-based menu. I was planning on eating everything in sight, and at this point I was already strategically planning out my starter, salad, meaty entrée, probably at least three glasses of rose and of course, a dessert.
Just as I was patting myself on the back for creating such a perfect, meal-game plan, I looked up and saw a sign that read, “Cash only.” My heart sank. I knew that I only had $22.00 left in cash.
It turned out to be just enough for one glass of rose and a small vegetable fried rice. I guess this was officially my first New York City lesson, always bring enough cash for rose.