It is now ten days since my arrival from my roomy house in an Italian village to a student dorm in a metropolis, and I am coping reasonably well with the lifestyle change so far. In practical terms, I have worked out the essentials for my new no-frills lifestyle: a microwave steamer to prepare healthy meals; a mini clothes horse and small tabletop ironing board; a large coloured cushion and tasteful throw to convert my bed into a chaise-longue for daytime study. My computer multi-tasks as a radio and DVD player as well as a study and social networking tool. Supermarkets continue to be a challenge when certain products I am used to are not available here. It shouldn’t unsettle me, yet it does, perhaps because these are the differences I least expect. But I am trying to rise above this.
My first week of work and study was daunting, intense, but doable, and I am starting to organise my time into blocks of study, relaxation and exercise. One of the most thrilling discoveries I have made is the college dining room with grand piano for people to tinkle on should they feel inclined to do so. And they do. The other is the M104 bus which runs along Broadway uptown. I caught it yesterday evening back from 66th street after a last minute walk downtown for a pillow case. This is where you will see the cast of diverse and fascinating people living in New York.