I moved to… New York City in September 2013. The decision to move here was made in a few days; and when I got here, I still didn’t realize that it happened for real. Am I in New York? Oh yeah!
Before that I lived in… Belgrade, Serbia.
The reason for moving here was… First, there was this dream of living in America that I had all my life. Besides that, the very bad economy and living standard in Serbia, plus losing my job and having no success finding another one in Belgrade… So I decided to go for it 🙂
If I were to describe my current city in one word, that would be…Amazing. Definitely unique, a city that you cannot compare to any other.
The first thing a new expat needs to know when moving here is…you are in a completely new world now. A beautiful, urban, creative, fun, loud, young world. Oh, yes, don’t forget – a pretty expensive one!
The language issue…I was not confident about my English when I came here. I was kind of afraid to start conversations, worrying about not choosing the right words or making mistakes that could cause misunderstandings etc… After a while I realized that NYC welcomes you, wherever you are coming from. It welcomes your funny accent too!
Since I moved here I stopped… Being angry all the time…I got relaxed and started enjoying living; that’s what I like most.
Since I moved here the new thing I stared doing is… Recycling! Oh… yes, that is something that people in Serbia doesn’t care much for… Also started to be open minded, I guess. Learning about different cultures, exploring, getting familiar with many things I had no chance to meet before.
My biggest lesson learnt was…Tolerance. For everything; which I believe it was a good lesson.
Some weird habits at the locals… You are allowed to bring your pets with you, almost everywhere. Seeing cats in deli stores and dogs in some restaurants was something I considered weird at first.
My biggest cultural shock was… Gay population. In my country it is not easy to be gay, not at all. Of course, there are many in Serbia, but most of them are living “in the closet” and keep their homosexuality as a secret. It took some time for me to get used to seeing gay couples walking, holding hands, kissing…
My funniest/weirdest/scariest experience was… Halloween’s parade J First time being part of it, getting the right idea of how people really love this masquerade! Parties are all over the city, everybody’s having so much fun!
What I miss the most from home is… Food. New York City has so many choices, you can find many cuisines, try the most different dishes, enjoy them… but still there are some things that you cannot find… And even when you find them, they still don’t taste like home 🙁
Whenever I get home sick, what I miss is… Family, Mom above all…friends, some “happy places” from my memories.
I go home as often as...I guess I will not go back for few years…
I keep in contact with my friends and family… daily, mostly via Skype, but I use other applications too (whatsApp, Viber…)
My favorite dish/local food is… I have tried some dished I never had before and I love it! Hummus, Shawarma, many middle-Easter dishes, then Mexican food… In NYC you can find places with great sushi, too…I stay away from American food, as much as I can 🙂
My favorite places in town are…Central Park. Anytime.
I get around the city by… Subway, sometimes taxi, but I’m trying to walk as much as I can, since that is the best way to see the city.
Street fashion? I love it… NYC makes you have your own style, which is so different comparing to Belgrade, where girls tend to look alike, buying and wearing the same clothes…At the end, they all look same.
My view on people: Being part of this city is not an easy thing to do. Everything is sooo expensive, starting with rents, other costs of living, food… But on the other side, it’s worth it. NewYorkers are very aware of it. Sometimes it is not just glitter and shine. But if you start doubting your lifechoices, all you need to do is look around. When you see how beautiful the city is, you remember that life is so short…and that you live in NYC 🙂
Being an expat… I guess it is NYC that never lets you feel like an expat. Of course you can recognize the “lucky ones” who were born here… But still, very soon after you get here, you start thinking, talking, walking and looking like a NewYorker…
In 5 years, I see myself living… NYC, Manhattan. No alternative to that 🙂