I’ve been to New York many times. Some of my favorite memories include the Jamaica Avenue street vendors who will sell you anything, for almost any price. In the early 90’s I purchased a cassette tape of MC Hammer for $2 USD. Here’s how that went down.
Asif: do you have MC Hammer?
Vendor: Yes, wait here.
Vendor then immediately abandons his cart of cassette tapes with me, age 10-11 approx and runs down the crowded street. He was gone for a good couple of minutes and came back with the tape. Dude should have charged me $25 for all the work he did.
These days I go to New York for business and I don’t find anything to be cheap anymore. I had to sign a contract and get it to its destination and my pen ran out of ink, so I stopped into a stationary store to get the cheapest pen I could find – $20 for 1 pen!
After the September 11 attacks in New York, getting into the USA has been a little harder for me. I went to New York recently and they stopped us at the border, had bomb sniffing dogs sniff through my car, and had me remove all the items from the car. I was questioned about why I had so many bibles (because I give them away to people who give their life to Jesus) and why I had so much cash on me ($500 USD). They were obviously looking for a reason. People like that are dumb. The worst part actually, I mean the most uncomfortable part of this was that 99.9% of the people stopped at the border were colored people. Look I completely understand the need for this and to be extra safe, but come on.
The ultra rudeness of the lady behind the counter was almost unbearable. She was nasty on a level that I couldn’t understand, she was speaking to me as if I was her personal enemy. She didn’t ask me where I was going, where I was staying, what business I would be conducting, she asked questions that I had no answer for. She asks “what’s your fathers name Asif?” And of course I have no clue what his name is, I never met the guy – so I tell her this and this made her very angry. She screamed at me in front of everyone about how suspicious it was that I didn’t know my fathers name, and so loudly that a supervising officer probably felt bad for me and he simply shut her up and let me into the USA with an apologetic face. After that I’ve been going without any issue.