Your Body Adjusting to the City: Bring A Roll
One thing I've picked up pretty quickly since moving to the City is that you need to have a roll of toilet paper handy on you at all times, no matter where you're going or what you're doing. There is an alarming lack of public restrooms in New York, and subway stalls can change your commute from a 20 minutes train ride to a two-hour underground sit-in. I've already been forced to squat in a corner three times since I've been here, and I only had a roll of toilet paper one out of those three...
No, I'm totally kidding. That's absolutely disgusting. I just wanted to see if I've built up enough credibility for you to believe it. You know, so I can knock that credibility down.
In all honesty, it's nowhere near that atrocious, but you do have to become familiar with the areas of the City that have public restrooms. Think about it: this isn't like Southern California where you can cruise anywhere you want to in your air-conditioned Honda. In New York, the main means of transportation is your own two feet. Sure, there are subways and taxis and buses, but what happens when the subway is taking too long, or the bus is being rerouted, or there aren't any cabs in sight? Sometimes it's a lot quicker to just walk to wherever you're going, but that can be as long as thirty city blocks. You're exercising all day long here, which means you need extra hydration and nourishment.
I learned this the hard way. In California, I was accustomed to a routine: a certain amount of food with each meal, a certain amount of water per day, etc. Here, I throw that all out the window. It became evident to me when I almost fainted from a hunger I didn't even have the ability to recognize. After talking about it with my roommate Bella, I realized I needed to eat more food than I'm used to. "You're burning calories all day," Bella told me, staring at me with what I interpreted to be incredulity. "You have to make sure you're eating enough because it's a big change for your body. You're not driving everywhere anymore; you're walking up and down stairs, you're walking to and from work, you're standing in the subway...you're always moving."
How exciting is that? A free pass to eat more food? However, it's these adjustments to your body you have to pay attention to when making a transition. I'm still learning, and still hungry most of the time, but I'm getting there. The headaches (from lack of water) have gone away and the blisters on my feet...well, that's just an excuse to get new shoes.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of my Chronicles, set to come out in the middle of next week. Is there any particular aspect of my experience you'd like to hear more about? What advice do you crave? Let me tell you about my mistakes so you can learn from them: trust me, I've already made a plethora.
Until next time,