Fuckin’ Tourists.

Featured in the New York Times this afternoon is an article describing the challenges that non-native New Yorkers face when they make the big move to the big city. Although I wouldn’t normally recommend that you read a story about a few people who wanted a prize for not getting verbally or physically killed in one of the safest, politest cities in the world, today I’m deviating from the “friends don’t let friends blog about shitty obvious information” rule to bring you this unsurprising manuscript.

Aside from relishing in the familiar glories of our city being juxtaposed with the naivete of outsiders wanting to be as fly as we are, there’s a reason I gave enough of a shit about this article to post it.

These dreamers, b-rate actors, and errouneously self-proclaimed badasses are all in the same position I was in while living in Moscow. Examples such as the strength of the city, feeling insignificantly small, mastering a metro system, and compromising with an overpowering place that doesn’t give a shit about you or your past are all but a comprehensive list of the trials I endured while studying and living in a city of 12 million (smelly) people.

Try and apply the tried and true customs of any major city to any wide-eyed newbie claiming a stake on the place, and you’ll end up with an overexhausted “displaced [insert homeland here]” who just doesn’t care enough anymore to explain to you why he moved, why he wished he hadn’t, and why he stayed anyway. He underwent an oddly pathetic-yet-commendable trial in his mission to plant his roots in this new place, and you can bet anything that he won’t let you know how hard it actually was for him and his ego to brave the storm that the city initially was. It’s difficult to move around when you can barely fit your head between the skyscrapers, let alone the crowds; luckily, all of that eventually settles down, which allows you to settle down, too.

In the end, you learn to call those places your home not simply because you’ve got sweet digs in a sweet place. Those sweet digs in Moscow weren’t comforting to come home to until I learned that, in order to conquer Moscow, I had to let her conquer me first. Once we established that understanding, the working relationship was great (and smelly). 

I mean, who wouldn’t want to relish in being both a displaced New Yorker and a displaced fake Russian jew?

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