Sitting down on a bench at the subway station, with Kindle in hand, waiting for my 2nd train to take me home, I “sense” a family to my right whose 9 year old son was instructing his father that they were meant to take an R train to R Street for the W. Something sounded off since, technically both the R and W trains ran most stops downtown, I couldn’t imagine what he meant by “R Street.” So me, being the Good Samaritan that I am, knowing this was a family clearly here on vacation, I said to the kid, “So tell me, where is R Street!”
The kid just looked at me, excited because he was clearly in charge of directing his family to wherever it was that they were headed, but not really sure how to answer my question…so he referred to his cell phone where he came up with an actual Street name. The whole family cheered. I asked them where they were from, they informed me that while they were Egyptian and Moroccan, they lived in D.C. and were up for the weekend. The boys had never been to NYC before and were very excited to be here.
The two of them were smart as whips! Telling me about where they were from and how excited they were to be staying at the W Hotel (silly me, thinking they were looking to connect to the W subway!). The parents both went on to tell me funny stories about how the boys were so excited to be there. The mother in particular was in awe of the amount of people there were everywhere.
As we boarded the subway, I pointed out to the whole family the electronic grid located on the subway that lists the station where we were, the station where they were going and all the stations in between. The oldest boy then asked me how often I see celebrities in NYC! I laughed out loud and told him I see celebrities all the time! The mother, still in awe, said, “See, she is from here, this is nothing for her!” And we all laughed again!
Wow! “She is from here…” really grabbed me! Yes, I am from here, this is my home! And I am so proud to not only be so comfortable here, but to have recently had two good friends visit me from Mexico on separate occasions, both of whom are actually originally from different European countries (one, really from two of them)…who had both been so pleasantly surprised at how friendly NYers actually are!
NYC can be such an intimidating place…I get it! But anytime I see people who come from somewhere else, maybe a somewhere else that doesn’t have a HUGE transportation system like our MTA’s finest…or maybe just a smaller version of one…or even who doesn’t speak the language spoken by the train conductors…which more times than not is just static…I LOVE helping people find their way to their destination. I LOVE when I see the big eyes of children experiencing this for the first time in their lives! As I see their imagination running away from them and considering the possibilities of what they might witness the next day!
Today, just before I got off the train at my stop, the youngest boy asked me how long I thought it might take for me to fly to work and how cool it would be if we all had our own jet planes! I laughed all the way home!