Friday, 17 October 2008

Five things I liked in New York and miss in Bratislava

1. Free water in restaurants
I am a fan of good hydration. Here in Bratislava you have to keep ordering small (0.25l) bottles of water at EUR 1-2. In the US they charge more for your meal but keep your glass full (although I wouldn't mind if they eased up on the ice a little).

2. Nice food priced reasonably
Unlike here you do not need to eat at posh places to get great food. Moreover, there is always not one great restaurant of each kind but several to choose from (which, of course, explains why they are priced reasonably). I ate outstanding Thai, Ethiopian or Sushi, all at places that weren't expensive.

3. Regulated taxis
Never thought that I, the free market champion, would admit this but taxi regulation seems to work. Unlike here in Bratislava you will not be picked up by a rattling Skoda Felicia and you know what the price will be if you hail any of the thousands of yellow cabs. The drivers always knew the way and the bullet-proof barrier allowed you not to converse if you did not wish to.

4. Easy credit card payment everywhere
You can easily charge a cab ride, charge up your Metrocard to use on the subway or pay for a bottle of water. For smaller purchases you don't even need to bother with entering a PIN Code or signing, you just swipe and go.

5. Compliments from random strangers
This happened a number of times during my 12 days in the US. The bartender the day after my arrival told me I had a great jacket, as did a TSA screener who helped me put it through x-ray (credit belongs to my wife Sona who chose it for me). A barrista at Starbucks thought my Threadless Urban Goddess t-shirt was "dope" (pick one up for only $9 right now) and a Northwest flight attendant told me she loved the hat Yuval gave me. Two hicks on the subway asked a young man with siliconecollagen-filled lips for the name of the next stop and then complimented him on his sunglasses. Couldn't really imagine strangers in Bratislava complimenting you on anything.

Look out soon for my list of five things I disliked in New York.


lidija said...

The kids are STILL asking about you!

niko said...

finally something worth reading ;)

welcome back andrejko :)

dusoft said...

we want more... :-)