They say New York is the city that never sleeps. If that’s true, then Manila is the city that is on its 12th cup of pure caffeine and meth. New York does sleep. It has its moments where it quiets down and breathes – almost tiredly and languidly; trying to catch its breath before the next cycle of mania comes in.
Mania is defined as thousands of tourists taking their selfies in Times Square, Ellis island, the raging bull and everywhere else that’s considered as tourist traps. Add to the mix the barkers who are selling tickets to the bus tours, a comedy show, a gentleman’s club and in hushed voices – marijuana.
Surprisingly, most New Yorkers are polite and helpful. Smiling at you and greeting you the appropriate time’s greeting and opening doors for you. It’s almost unnerving and surreal. There are the unusual ones too – those who smell like a urinal and mutter to themselves in the subway; the ones who wear 15 layers of clothes that never match in size or color and walk as if they were from Notre Dame and the ones who are just “fashionable” or so they claim. Not any different from Manila, except in our city, they have less layers of clothing. Quite hilariously, New Yorkers can be nicer than Manilenos. Maybe native New Yorkers will say the exact opposite.
Maybe it’s my age showing or maybe I have a different palate now but after spending a week in New York City, I think I am absolutely sure that I am done with it. Our romanticized love affair fueled by movies and TV shows that glamorize being a resident of the city is finally over. We are now just friends. Maybe even just acquaintances.