New York

In New York currently. I myself am a ‘Californian’. Went to Dunkin’ Donuts this morning. I walked in and looked at the menu, researching my order options, but the lady kindly asked, ‘What do you want?’ before I really had a chance to decide.

I stepped up to the counter, petrified, and blurted out a word that didn’t exist. She raised an eyebrow, chewed her gum, then said, ‘What?’

So I just ordered a medium cup of coffee. ‘What kind?’ she said. I started responding, ‘Mocha…’ but her eyebrow raised even higher, so I just finished with ‘regular.’

‘Mocha regular?’ She said, as the other employees all snickered and pointed at me.

‘No, just a regular, please.’ I said.

‘Whatever. Anything else?’

‘No, that’s it.’ Said I.

‘That’s it?’ she said, gum clicking loudly.

‘I guess I’ll get a bagel with egg, cheese, and sausage as well.’

‘What kinda bagel?’ she said, tossing her head side to side with a hand on her hip and foot tapping the floor.

‘Ugh… uh.. umm…. regular.’

‘Regular?’

‘Yeah. Get me one of those regular bagels.’

Her and the employees laughed some more, but eventually I had my coffee and sandwich. No sugar, and there was no barista stand, but I was too afraid to ask. As I walked out I heard them call me an idiot but then tell me to come again soon.

I said I wouldn’t, but they all raised an eyebrow at me and chewed their gum extra assertively. So then I said I’ll be back tomorrow, so now I have to go.

On my walk to my car, I tried to make it up in my mind that New York was not an unfriendly place, it was just a different culture that took some getting accustomed to. Then a bird crapped on my arm.

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