If you’re not from New York City, there are two things that happen in the city that is inherent to the city – ‘Showtime’ on the subway and tourists asking for direction. If you are from the city, you know those two things get more coverage across all boroughs than Verizon Fios. Today, I experienced the tourist asking for directions. Because understanding a city built in a grid form of letters and numbers is just too difficult, right? Right. I digress.
So I’m walking on the intersection of Mott and Grand Street in New York City on my way to Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli for a Banh Mi. My brisk speed walk is interrupted by someone wearing a paisley floral dress, what looks to be an 90 litre backpack, rocking oversized sunglasses. She’s looks like the kinda woman from places named Scottsdale or Cedar Rapids. She approaches me with phone in hand and like a premonition, I know this woman is going to ask for directions. The interaction is usually quick and straightforward but sometimes you come across folks like this.
Tourist: Hi, can you tell me which way is “Pal” street?
Me: You mean Pell Street?
Tourist: No. PAL street. It’s in Chinatown.
Me: Yeah, it’s Pell street. P-E-L-L
Tourist: I’m sure I was told P-A-L street. Are you sure?
Me: Ma’am, I was raised here. Trust me. It’s Pell street. There is no PAL street in Chinatown.
Tourist: Ha ha oh my people in Chinatown are rude! Must be the humidity.
Me: …. oh my god you know what? My mistake. PAL street where the Noodle restaurant is.. It’s actually a walkable 10 short blocks south. Once you past Houston street you’ll see it.
Tourist: Ok Thanks!
Her trip is going to suck when she realizes she walked in the opposite direction. Horrible I know. The humidity made me do it.