Emigrants Dictionary – C

Emigrating to a new country brings a ton of expected and unexpected emotions and situations. So I grouped them in my Emigrants Dictionary! Today the letter C, telling about getting around in New York, and our pets:

C is for Cars

It felt like a sad day. I just handed the keys of my Audi TT to the new owner. My freedom gone!

This helpless feeling of not having wheels around was new to me. Becoming dependent on public transportation? Horror! That however, turned out to be the Belgian mind fooling me. As soon as we arrived in New York, not having a car became a positive. No need to find a parking space, no gridlocks blocking me and making me stressed and late. No – I have a 24/7 solution: the New York Subway. Subway might be overcrowded at certain points, and you meet sometimes a bunch of uncommon people, but it’s by far the most efficient way of traveling around.

We would love to use the service of Zipcar one day, especially now I have my NY drivers license, but that will take a while. As my new drivers license is so young, and they are not accepting my Belgian one, they require me to deliver a criminal record. And that – you guessed it – cannot be delivered by the consulate in the USA. I had to write a letter to a central service in Brussels and hope they will send me any time soon this paper. (see also in the Emigrants Dictionary: Administration …)

And for the occasional traffic in the meanwhile, we can use rental cars. Not everyone in New York agrees with us driving them, resulting in some cars being pushed of the road once and a while.

C is for Cats

People without pets think we are crazy. Maybe we are. We miss our two cats. In the past 12 years, I had a companion every time I arrived at home. Both of them are a liitle too old to make the journey to New York, and we felt that changing their HUGE garden for a shoe-box apartment was cruel to them. So we found good homes for them. They seem to have less an issue than we…

C is for Checks

Back to school: new old skills to learn. 20 years ago, the european banks have done all they could to get us of the checks. And they succeeded. It was a shock to find that in the USA, lots of the payments are still done with checks. banks are making tons of money by keeping a system that in europe has had its best a generation ago. But hey, we adapt. Back to the future. Write that check.

This is part of a series of posts that gives you an insight in our impressions after the first 100 days living in New York & the USA: More in http://blog.blanquart.be/category/vrije-tijd/travel/emigrants-dictionary/

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