Before I left Perth I tried to get as much advice and information I could out of everyone I know who has traveled, and didn’t get much out of them other than the usual stuff about being safe, keeping your wallet protected, etc. Now that I’m a man of the world I feel it’s my duty to give prospective travelers a few clues you can use if you come to the good ol’ US of A.
1. Always keep in mind that the word ‘Starbucks’ is actually code for ‘public bathroom’.
I can’t stress this enough people. The coffee is dreadful, and they’re more numerous than rabbit offspring, but you’ll be thanking your lucky stars for Starbucks when you’ve got a bladder full of soda, which will be all the time (because you’re in America).
2. When ordering fast food, always ask for the small size.
When the food arrives, you will realize you actually have a large. Get used to it. And throw away the rest of your soda / give it to a homeless person. No body needs to drink that much in one sitting.
3. At traffic lights, ignore the crosswalk lights and just cross when it’s safe.
This is one of those things that makes you look less like a tourist. Too many people stand around waiting for the ‘walk’ sign, and it can really clog the sidewalks in a big city. Just always be aware of your surroundings and get a move on. Sure it’s technically jaywalking, but all the cool people do it.
4. Walk fast and be nimble.
This is another important one in big cities, especially New York. You’ll get around faster, and you’ll piss off less people. Also, you’ll look less like a tourist. Which brings me to a related point:
5. If you get lost, keep walking.
Don’t even break stride. Nothing is more infuriating then when people stop suddenly to check a map, blocking everyone behind them. You really don’t want to look lost. Most places are pretty safe, but you never know. Try to keep walking and get indoors, perhaps at a local ‘public bathroom’ to check a map or change directions.
6. If you’re young, always claim student prices wherever you can.
This has saved me so much money. Most museums and art galleries are half price for students, so you can really save those pennies. I used my expired UWA card whenever asked (it’s not dated, and they never checked the guild stickers on the back). But seriously, 9/10 times they don’t even card you.
Well, that’s all for now. Perhaps more will come to me later. Adios.