Wednesday 20 April 2016

Times Square

Times Square was weird. Because it's not actually a square. Not as I was expecting from my experience of squares in London. 

Also it wasn't exactly somewhere I really enjoyed on my visit. It was busy with tourists, people dressed a cartoon character, in bikinis and those handing out flyers. I don't know whether it was because I was visiting it alone or it just want'y my thing but I passed through very quickly. It also left a bad taste in my mouth because I did a really stupid thing that was quite unlike me as a traveller.

The cartoon characters wander around ready for tourists to have their photo taken with. I spotted someone dressed as Elmo and decided that would be something cool - now it seems completely pointless. I suppose I was trying to grasp something of the real Times Square experience, since otherwise it seemed massively overhyped. Elmo (and his 3 friends) happily posed for a photo. They then asked for a tip - par for the course in the states. Instead of pulling out a $5 or lower - which would have been more than appropriate. I only have a $20. So I hand it over. Why? I have no idea. All of a sudden I've tipped 4 cartoon characters far to much.

It's been long enough now that the shame has left me. But I still have no idea what I was thinking. I could say it's because I hadn't realised the amount of the note properly - since American money is all the same colour - and I really didn't have anything smaller in my purse. Later, when I confessed to Samantha she quite reasonably asked, 'Why didn't you ask them for change?' Why did I not know you could ask for change from a tip?! This was a bi of a revelation. I suppose because tipping is such a part of American culture and it's not so much in the UK this had never, ever occurred to me before. I can now chalk this up to experience, and after all I did get a photo with Elmo. Although I could have done without all his mates photobombing. Especially for $20!

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