Two weeks ago today, at this exact time, I was sitting on an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, anticipating an exciting new adventure. Now I have already dived into it entirely. On Friday my boss asked me “When did you start again?”, and after telling him he replied: “Man, it feels like 2 days ago!”. I could not agree more.

As I showed you in the pictures, I have already done a lot of sightseeing, but there is so much more left! I already feel like I don’t have enough time. But this article shall not focus on sightseeing, but on the new experiences and little things that I have noticed.

They use feet and inch!

Of course I knew that, but before starting to work here, I had never reflected on how much this would affect me. As an architect, basically all you do is typing dimensions into a CAD-program. Boy, I had a hard time on the first day, and I still have! What kind of system is this, where 5’6 and 5.5 are exactly the same? And how much is actually 1/32 ?

The New York grid is clever!

As a European I am not used to numbered streets, so I never took a closer look at New York’s  system of naming streets. But after doing so, it is super easy to navigate yourself through the city without a map – brilliant! (Just sometimes when you’re deep in your thoughts, you blindly walk out of a subway station and go several blocks and maybe even do the turns you needed to do, before you realize that you started completely in the wrong direction and have to go all the way back)

US toilets are terrible!

I don’t know how to explain this without disgusting anybody. But not only that most toilets here seem to be children-sized, they’re also gross. Who’s idea was it to fill them up entirely with water? I won’t say more, just look at Bart’s and Lisa’s bathroom product race here, and imagine the rest:


Groceries are super expensive!

…or maybe they’re just cheap in Germany. I went to buy a loaf of bread, some bananas, one package of turkey slices and another one of cheese and I paid 18,50$! That’s double the German price and even more than it was in Finland. A package of “product of ham and water” with 35% added ingredients, basically the cheapest stuff they have, still costs 2$. For 2€ you can already find great “Schwarzwälder Schinken” in Germany – without added water at all.

The customer service isn’t as good as it’s praised!

With all the political and social problems they have, when there is one positive thing that Europeans have in mind about the US, then it is the great customer service. Well… during my short time here, I came across employees who were rude to me, rushed me or didn’t take me serious. When my SIM card wouldn’t activate I waited for over 20min in a hotline until I gave up without being attended at all. Of course, in other situations I have also been spilled with the US-stereotypic exagerated kindness. I would say, it is how it is everywhere: Some employees do great service, others don’t.

The weather here is crazy!

I am a person who just can’t be bothered to check the weather forecast. I simply dress for the weather of yesterday, it’ll do. Bad mistake here. New York City is definitely not the place to do that. One day we could go for lunch in a shirt, the next day I leave the house and it is SNOWING! I didn’t trust my eyes. The temperature dropped from over 15°C (that’s around “go google it yourself” in Fahrenheit) to under 0°C (“another random number that totally gives no sense at all” Fahrenheit).

Snow in Central Park
Snow in Central Park

This is it for today – hopefully this list of insignifant details didn’t bore anybody. I am still really enjoying my time here and I’m sure I will come back soon to report even more. Until then: Have a good one!

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