Diaspora Diaries, Chapter 6: Metamorpho-city

I have run through yet another box of cereal. I eat so much cereal, it’s amazing that I still crave it at the end of the day. In Trinidad, I never ate much of it really. It was an occasional sort of thing for lazy mornings, or midnight munchies. It wasn’t something I bought often, and I had to be in the mood for it. Plus, all that sugar! In New York, I have more cereal than I do water. Even writing this, I feel to pour myself a bowl.

Day to day life is definitely different. Simple tasks can be so much more difficult. The little things I took for granted at home, are shaking their asses at me, with the satisfaction of an ex who you see out with their new squeeze.

Yesterday I went to the supermarket…. by train. Imagine a 5 foot tall girl carrying 35 lbs of food between a backpack and a near ripping fabric tote through the streets, then waiting for a train for 10 minutes in a crowded subway, then being jammed up in said train with a dozen obnoxiously raucous teenagers, standing for 5 stops, then walking another 9 mins to get to her building, where she lives on the fourth floor sans elevator. Here, this story is not worth a blink.

But after coming from a routine of having my groceries escorted to my car where I then easily drove them five minutes to my house with one flight of 16 steps, the train ride for groceries was an ordeal. I keep staring at the food in the fridge with the same sort of look my mother gives me when she’s about to delve into her “You know what i went through to bring you into this world” spiel.

New York is changing me, as I obviously anticipated. It’s mainly the little things I notice. The cereal for one. It’s cheap, full of fibre and requires no cooking. Issa meal. A lot of my friends turn to Cheerios for dinner; normal. Other little things would be my shoes of choice. I wear sneakers daily. I am told constantly how short I am. Thanks guys, I didn’t realise until you pointed it out. I always wore heels or wedges in Trinidad. If I did that here, my shoes (and feet) would need to be thrown in the garbage every week. I looked at the soles of all my shoes recently. Their mileage is definitely showing. I can’t believe I’m a sneakers person. I’ve previously only ever worn sneakers to school, or the gym, that one time I ever exercised. Same with backpacks. I legit walk around with a backpack and sneakers like a thirteen year old boy.

A couple weeks ago I recognized another impact living in New York has had on me; my concept of safety. It’s a far cry from Norway, but I surely feel safer here than I did in Trinidad. I’m oblivious to danger in some cases.

Ignorance can be bliss, or it can be dumb. Me taking the train home at 1 am from Harlem to Brooklyn? That was probably dumb.

Some fears have stayed the same, such as how I feel about school children. It seems high schools all over the world breed scary mofos. I walked by a group of school kids fighting one day. They were wild, and I had nowhere else to pass except for cuff-to-face range with these kids. Babylon pulled up and I thought “Oh Jesus. Am I going to witness one of those White Cop, innocent Black victim shootings?”  I’m mostly law abiding, save a couple instances of jay-walking here and there, but the sight of the police here makes me nervous. I wanted to run, but then he might shoot me. Overthinking on a hunnit. These children did not share my fear. They were giving the cops the finger, laughing in their faces, mocking the siren… madness. Don’t they watch the news! I don’t know what happened next because I slid outta there like I was bathed in KY Jelly.

New York is great. I’m loving every expensive moment of it, and I am so intrigued to see what other impressions it is making on me. It is a colourful place against a concrete background. You can get anything you want, available at anytime once you’re willing to go for it. And that it the moral of this whole experience, isn’t it?

Stephanie Ramlogan

Stephanie Ramlogan is a NYC based Trinidadian Fashion Stylist and Writer, mostly known for her wildly popular blog NoMoreFashionVictims.com. You can reach her at writeme@stephanieramlogan.com or check her out at StephanieRamlogan.com.

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