Confessions of a LI & NJ Hater

This just in. For once, I’m going to give Long Island and New Jersey a break. That’s because I’ve been to one of them almost every week this summer. Now in defense of my regular trash talking about both places, these trips have all been to the BEACH!

I’ve taken the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) – which apparently isn’t a time machine like I’ve always suspected – to Long Beach and the ferry to New Jersey. And, I’d do it again if we could squeeze out one more hot day!

Here are some observations on my trips yonder:

  • LIRR is really not all that concerned about running on time.
  • I’m confused, what is it with those slips of paper the conductor slips near your seat after you give them your ticket? Couldn’t I just take that with me and re-use it? This conductor system doesn’t seem that efficient.
  • They charge LIRR passengers too much. Comparatively, the subway is a bargain. You can ride ride the subway for an hour and pay $2.25 (or less if you have a unlimited pass). Yet to ride 30 minutes on LIRR, it costs $8.50!
  • The ferry also cost a lot — $40 roundtrip. How do people afford this on a daily basis and why would they pay it to go to Jersey?
  • NJ is obsessed with Italian food and sandwiches.
  • People in LI love their space. If you put your towel or chair down within 50 feet of them, they will pitch a fit and then move.
  • It sucks to have kids tell you what to do. Those life lifeguards cordon off certain parts of the water so that they have less to supervise. I never pay attention to this. I CAN SWIM. So you know I was whistled in numerous times, right? Are we quite sure that those lifeguards are qualified to save lives? They have no muscle mass and are socializing the whole time, so I’m not convinced.

Although it was a fun summer romping on the beach, I’m concerned that the company I kept may have been a bad influence. I bought sweatpants recently. Oye ve! They have yet and hopefully will never be seen by any human. However, this might be photographic evidence that they exist. Or it could be Bigfoot. 

What’s next, I’ll like LA?

Paris vs. Milan — The Report

Here’s the long delayed report on my April vacation to Paris and Milan. This time, instead of writing about what I did and saw, I decided to assess each city in a gamut of random, yet meaningful categories. Folks, you’ll never find observations like this in a travel book. Check out the winners!

1. Most bonafide gingers None at all spotted in Paris
2. Most men you want to look at Tie – Parisian men win the fashion, but Italian men are really handsome. A hybrid would be perfect.
3. Most women you want to look at   Hands down, Frenchies win this. The Italian women are atractive too, but their attire negates that.
4. People spotted wearing fur even though it’s Spring A surprisingly tied category
5. Tightest clothes Damn, signoras!
6. Most plastic surgery Donatella would be so proud
7. Most blondes
10. Most people wearing all black
11. Best lingerie Paris (however, see below)
12. Most clothing designers who actually realize that women have breasts
13. Best shoes French, you don’t have to leave the US to know that
14. Best sunglasses Enormous and always on, even on a cloudy day
15. Weirdest eyebrows Tie – In Milan, they draw them in quite dramatically. In Paris, their eyebrows don’t match their hair. Quell horror!
16. Best makeup Can you say cat eye magnifique?
17. Best smelling… people
18. Best smelling…shops
19. Least rude I was done with the Italians within an hour. New Yorkers and Parisians don’t even rank as rude in comparison
20. Quickest switch to English when noticing my slow processing of information
21. Most romantic
22. Best cocktails Milan didn’t even bother with cocktails, usually only offering a wine list
23. Best tap water Always on the table in Paris. Milanese looked totally offended just by the request for non-bottled water.
24. Tastiest tomatoes
25. Best french fries Only Amsterdam is better
26. Best overall food I walked down the street eating bread in Paris and pretty much starved in Milan
27. Best sweets Neither. Both need to learn how to use SUGAR
28. Most addictive snacks Total tie. In Paris, it was crossaints. Milan, lemon gelato.
29. Best public transportation Paris was quick, clean, no complaints. Milan – confusing as fuck.
30. Best cars Milan, you fancy, huh?
31. Fastest drivers
32. Most honking They might be worse than NYC cab drivers
33. Where you’re most likely to get run over by a motorcycle They’ll jump a curve in a minute
34. Most places to easily trip and fall
35. Most iPhones Tie. It is seriously outta control. Apple rules the world.
36. Most Beats by Dre headphones Yes, those enormous ones
37. Best music In Paris, I felt like dancing everywhere. Milan had the sound of cymbals in their music– or opera, God forbid
38. Most Angry Bird fans
39. Most public drunkenness
40. Easiest access to birth control Condom machines are in every subway station!
41. Best dogs They were usually small and had long hair and accessories!
42. Cutest kids Both had some pretty cute kids, but the Italian kids were cute AND entertaining
43. Least Americans spotted Americans are generally embarrasing
44. My most used phrase I want to buy this Do you speak Engish?
45. Place I could return to over and over and OVER

Talking funny in Bali

The funniest things I heard during my recent trip to Bali, Indonesia:

Uluwatu, Bali

1. “They act like all us white people look alike.”  Frustrated Australian tourist to her friend in a huff about Balinese tour guides.

2. “You’re from America? Like Bob Marley!” A clearly confused waiter to me who laughed goodnaturedly when I explained that Bob was from Jamaica, a totally different country.

3. “Sweetie, come meet this lady, she talks funny.” Australian father yelled to his daughter after meeting me at the pool bar. Later, his wife says to me,“I’m glad you’re talking to my husband because I’m not. I’m mad at him. ” Weird2.

4. “Do you know Justin Bieber?” Pre-teen to me after finding out I was from New York.

5. “I love King Lebron! I LOVE this game!” Taxi driver to me about the NBA. Unfortunately, I devastated him by breaking the news of the Dallas sweep over the Lakers not knowing that the game played the night before hadn’t yet aired in Bali.

6. “You have brown skin, just like me.” Balinese woman said to me, in wide-eyed wonder after offering me a massage.

7. “Is your hair original?” Hotel clerk to me when complimenting my hair.

8. “And this is our cat shit coffee. We do wash it first.” Coffee plantation tour guide says to me after offering me luwak coffee.

9. “I don’t understand how to make you happy, Miss Tina. Do you want low price or good quality?” My driver to me after I first complained about the high prices at one silver jewelry store and then the low quality and lack of originality at the second, cheaper store.