Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"How are you today, sir?"

This is very American, I think.

Every morning, as I come out the elevator, the superintendent of our building asks me,

"How are you today, sir?"

I do appreciate his interest, whether it is genuine or faked on the premise of courtesy. Still, I have difficulties trying to restrain myself from answering tersely by saying,

"Well, I just woke up half an hour ago. How in the hell would I know?"

Instead, I try to smile politely and say,

"Well, let's see how it goes."

I am a Japanese educated in England. I am supposed to be naturally shy and reserved and perhaps a little cynical, although that supposition is by no means true in my case. Nevertheless, I am finding it a little difficult adjusting myself to the American ways in this particular respect.

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Having spent nearly a month at our temporary accommodation at East 47 St./Tenth Avenue, we are now moving to a posh apartment in the Upper East Side, near Metropolitan Museum.

This is what East 47 Street looked like on the day after my arrival.

Down the street, there is a "gentleman's club", which I have not had a chance to venture into due to my wife's earlier-than-expected arrival. There are many interesting restaurants in the neighbourhood, too. My wife, in the end, however, couldn't take all the yobbos drifting from the Port Authority Bus Terminal area any more.

So it's bye-bye Springsteen and hello Cole Porter for me. Soon, anyway.
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