nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

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Tonight’s experience just reminds me quite how different NYC is to NW3. I was out at 8pm after a school thing with a bit of baby sitting time in hand, so I wander over to 3rd Avenue and get my very favourite lychee flavoured bubble ice tea with a large bag of rice crackers from the health food store next door. Best enjoyed at home in front of Project Runway or The Blacklist (new series just started last week). And then I decide to get a spontaneous (and that’s not something any mother of young children can remember being) manicure. I know I’ve gone on about these before, but I feel the need to share. Here’s how the conversation went with the very nice lady doing my nails:

“Chinchilly?” she asks.

“Chinchilla?” I respond.

I look at the bottom of the bottle of nail polish and see it does indeed say Chinchilly.

“Chinchilla? That’s an animal, someone told me that” she responds, as if I don’t know that.

“Chinchilly. Yes, a cold chinchilla!” I smirk and think she will laugh at my lame humour.

“Eh?” She sort of says, but in a Nepalese way.

I then have to explain that chilly means cold and that it is a play on the word chinchilla, but her eyes glaze over and I give up.

I then apologise for my British humour and remind myself that I left my humour at Heathrow last time I left London and I never make a joke here because there’s no humour here. Not my kind anyway.

(NB: writing this blog post, the text editor has told me I have made four spelling errors besides the obvious chinchilly. Can you spot the US and UK English?)

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The beauty wars

Previously I was shocked to find a man massaging my shoulders as I had a manicure in my local nail bar. It felt rude to ask him to stop, mostly because it was quite nice, but also because I thought maybe that was part of the deal. Apparently not. He stopped suddenly, said did I want a massage, 10, 20 or 30 minute? I said no, thanks, but it was everso nice. British politeness never fails me, even in massage incidents. I tried not to take offence when he went straight to the sink to wash his hands, clearly not enamoured of my slightly sweaty skin. Hey, I didn’t ask for it! Anyhow, having got over this by now, I actually asked for a massage today after my manicure and nearly started world war 3 between the heavy handed massage guy and the manicurist as they argued who would have the pleasure. Really? It’s not worth it, not for the tip, anyway. I am regretting it now. I was pummelled consistently in the same place on my shoulders and my arms felt like they were being rung out such that they were squeezed – maybe an antidote to bingo wings? I particularly liked the classy part where she plonked down a timer, like the one I have in my kitchen, to make sure she didn’t go over the 10 minutes. Once I’d baked, she then proceeded to knead my forehead and stretch it like some kind of amateur face lift. Who needs botox with that manoeuvre? I am a victim in the beauty wars.