(Aka Betting on everything)
No, I didn’t go to Las Vegas this weekend, I just tried to find a song that could be the right blend of retro style and give the idea of today’s topic: sport. You may say that Viva Las Vegas is nothing about sport, but wait to see where this is going before judging. Today I want to talk to my friends that play sports other than soccer, but still outside and in company. Although I recognize darts as a noble sport and I admire the perseverance of chess players, I will focus on real sport, not bar stuff.
In my long quest for the sport I was talented into when I was I kid I practiced almost every kind of activity involved movement and some kind of athletic preparation. As I writing on a blog about this, you can recognize how this didn’t go in the predicted direction. I was talented in nothing. I could barely walk on a straight line and I was just too lazy. I hated my father for bringing me to soccer games, for throwing me in the water, for making me wear a ridiculous karate outfit. I share a wall of my house with a tennis field inItaly, and I basically grew up between red clay and bouncing yellow balls that every day invade my garden. Kids hit balls too hard and they fly into my garden, I think I would have something like one million balls if I didn’t bring them back every day by now.
Anyway I couldn’t play tennis either, and finally my father gave up, he allowed me to go down my way. I regretted so much this decision, sometimes I think how good I could have become if I had trained hard when I was a kid. Probably I would have been no better than how I am now, and I do suck, believe me. Maybe not very much at soccer, but still one of the lowest levels. During a discussion in a bar with a dear friend of mine, where I was showing all my misogyny and my unmotivated willingness to start an argument not really meaning it, I have been challenged by this girl to play tennis. I bragged about the fact that when I was eight I had thirteen classes of tennis and, since I am a man, I clearly had the victory in my hands.
Later that day I found out she was something like an NCAA champion and I had difficulties to even move my arms. Not a good sign for the challenge. The bet was not just about the glory that would have come after the victory, not about the infinite glory and respect that the winner would have earned by slapping the opponent, but something extremely tangible. If I lose the bet, I will have to dress up like Super Mario (stereotypes at go-go) and run acting like him (so jumping, breaking bricks, sliding into pipes where possible) from central park to 42nd street and Broadway,Times Square. That is actually full of weirdos, so I don’t care so much, but the stain of the lost bet will remain forever. If I win, which everyday seems a less likely scenario, she would have to prepare lunch, clean, dinner, clean again the whole house for twenty-four hours. My house is hyper clean but I will figure out something.
InNew Yorkto play outdoor sports you basically need a permit. You can obtain permits in three ways: by visiting the website of NYC Parks and Recreation, and submit you request through their forms (fifteen bucks for an hour); in this way you can sit on your ass as most of New Yorkers like to do and wait around twenty days to receive it. I totally don’t recommend you this solution, you will wait forever to get it and probably you won’t be in the right mood after waiting more than three weeks. The second way is to go to their offices in Upper West and take the permit right away and the last one is order them by mail which in 2012 is the equivalent of sending the request through smoke signals or leave your message attached to a pigeon.
I give you a tip they don’t give you in the site: inCentral Parkfield they have a stand that sells the permits, just go there with your stuff and ask for a permit, this will save you time and you will probably have the chance to play right away. And another tip, if you live next to Chelsea neighbourhood go next to Pier 40, the tennis fields next to that are free of charge and don’t require a permit to play, they work on a first come first served basis. There are just three fields and they are unbelievably crowdie during the weekends, but it’s worth a try, especially if you go after work.
The bet was on in April, and yesterday it was the day. The appointment was at noon at the fields, and she got there with a half an hour delay on the schedule, clearly trying to make me nervous, she got scared of me, I am sure. When she came there was a long line and doing our calculation we saw we would have needed to stay more than two hours there before the first field, and we decided, sadly as I was ready to smash some feminists, to move the bet another day, probably tomorrow after work.
Ah check out the article a friend of mine wrote about the (apparently) existing permits business. I have seen how this is happening, and i don’t appreciate it not even a bit. (click)
Anyway if you want to play tennis go here and you will find all the fields and the permits informations, same thing if you want to play soccer go here. I will keep you posted on my future and on the bet, which is disturbing my nights: what will I ask her to prepare me?
(Permits management it’s too complicated, I want to go back to the origins, the old fashioned and traditional grass field with no borders)
(Aka Cheap beer and free hot dogs)
Keep your notepads ready because you may need this information in a future. I am about to tell you one of those things that everybody knows here in New York but tourists may not know, and as I assume mostly tourists would be interested into this and are actually reading this blog, keep your ears open: Rudy’s Bar and Grill, Ninth Avenue and forty-four street. Yes, now you can close this article and move over if you are a New Yorker. And I wonder why you are here; this is a guide you may already know.
Anyway if you are still reading this let me tell you something; are you an unpaid intern seeking for luck abroad? Are you a twenty one to thirty years old thirsty of glory? Did you come to New York to study art or theatre or movies or other hippy craps? Well then what you need are two things: beer and hot dogs. Trust me there is no better medicine to face a tough day at work, a bad grade at University or just a rainy day. And that’s why we had to find a place that could be our shelter.
See until last Wednesday we were used to go to the Empire Rooftop to have fun after work, fun that in most of the times meant just cheap booze and tons of people. This Wednesday the Empire was reserved for a private party and we felt lost. We had nowhere to go, like ten souls looking for peace, a stool and some friends. So they asked me, as everybody knows I am the one inside of the group that proposes new places (everybody admitted my superiority in this field and I feel like the king of the lonely planet). I, with the collaboration of a dear friend of mine, theidealintern, chose Rudy’s place as it was listed into the darkest spots of the New York Magazine rankings as a cheap and iconic place. Damn New York Mag, it just can’t appreciate nice things.
Well everybody followed my choice, even if at first they were trying not to as I picked a place called Mars where the bar is built like a space station, and I swear I will visit it someday. Anyway we arrived into Rudy’s and it didn’t seem so full, a couple of guys with ebooks, one outside the little patio and the two grannies as bartenders. We took our sit outside and hesitating a bit we went to take our cheap beer and free hotdogs as reported on Yelp. The beer was three dollars a pint, seven dollars a pitcher and free hot dogs for real.
It was a highway to hell, we ate and drink like there was no tomorrow. Our number continued to grow until like fifteen or sixteen people, at the end of the evening (for me) we were like twenty. A success. Very nice place and very nice music, everyone appreciated and decided to elect this bar as our new place, our place, wher we could find relax any ay of the week eating a hot dog and drinking good beer. I recommend it. But now, let me tell you what happened after the cheap beer and hot dogs. I will just tell you that three friends of mine started to travel around the Tri State area because fell asleep in the subway.
One got to Coney Island, going out of the bar at twelve thirty and arriving home at the end at a quarter to four. A quarter an hour later the second one got home after visiting the cute station of Jamaica at the end of the E line. The third, the champion of the evening, got absolutely lost and no news of him have been found until lunchtime the day after, when we discovered he got home “late”, as he said, and he lost his phone after staying at the bar until it closed. Luckily for him New York is a city were even cab drivers are more kind than what you think and his cab driver called another friend of our in order to bring the phone back. A very nice person that really deserves to be mentioned here, even if it’s just a blog post.
In the end, we chose the place as our new super spot, our new house and our shelf for a devastating after work. I even came back there yesterday before going to another happy hour, in order not to leave my place alone for the evening. Who knows probably later we’ll go again. Anyway follow my advice and get lost. Get lost with cheap beer and free hot dogs and enjoy the life after work, don’t be oppressed by it and continue facing the challenge. Obviously, ask a friend to come with you, can give you the stimulus you need to relax, reset and restart. But I warn you, this is our spot now, find your own bar.
(Pic unrelated, just a beer a found in some friend’s house)
(Aka MTA Realm)
New York is without any doubt a big city, but there will be part of it that you will never see. No matter how much time you spend, no matter how deep you can go and reach in your journey, I just doubt you could see it all. And even if abroad New York is associated with Manhattan, everybody here knows that there is more than that. Much more, like four more boroughs much bigger than Manhattan. I personally think that Manhattan could fit into Rome inside of the traffic ring and if you have enough time you could walk it all in a day.
When I came here for the first time I used to walk a lot. A lot, I swear. I live next to the Lincoln Center and I an afternoon I walked down to South Ferry, acting like a tourist and taking pictures everywhere. When I came back home from very far places instead I just took the cab, and most of the time it was less than ten bucks if you travel from East Village to Upper West. Let’s say that to cross all Manhattan it’s difficult that you pay more than twenty dollars. I was taking the cab mainly for one reason: subway is damn expensive.
If you think that one Euro that you pay in Italy is too much think again. Here a single travel ticket could cost you even two and a half dollars, two twenty five if you buy two. The instrument is called the Metrocard, available everywhere and easy to refill at the booths and the automatic distributors. You can even buy a normal Metrocard and then refill it with the amount you prefer, they will take you two dollars twenty five everytime you swipe it in a subway station. That yes, it may be easy and comfortable but it really sucks your soul away.
It’s like ATM for me, with a debit card I go crazy and don’t realize how much money I spend before I go online to check it. Or phone with contracts. Basically I am not a guy that can behave properly with a credit or contract offer. So that’s why I always choose unlimited offers, in order to pay and not care anymore. There are also unlimited monthly and weekly Metrocards, but I only know that the price of the monthly is one hundred and four dollars. Not even if the card was made of gold it would be so pricy. But, but, but it still may be convenient for you.
See I take the subway or the bus if there is good weather twice a day for five days a week to go work. I also go out on the weekend, let’s say twice a day on Saturday and Sunday. And let’s add Friday unpredictable adventures (two trips). Usually we go out on Wednesday to Empire, so another trip. And I play soccer on Sunday, add two. This makes like twenty trips a week. Doing the math would be around fifty dollars a week; around two hundred a month. In this case, if you have a similar situation you should buy a Metrocard.
Let’s come back for a second to Manhattan subway map: I think that if you spend at least a week in Manhattan you could easily get used to the system, and learn what is enough for you to come back home from almost every zone. Manhattan is pretty damn easy, trust me I am not Columbus or Magellan. Almost all the lines in New York run in vertical on the peninsula, the one, two three (Red) and the four, five, six (Green). Then we have the diagonal ones, which are the A, C, E, on the west, the N, Q, R in the center and the M, F, B, D on the east side (Blue, Yellow and Orange). They run across Broadway or Seventh Avenue, exiting Manhattan on the right side to Brooklyn and Queens. Then in the end we have the horizontal lines, which are the L, the S and the Seven line. If you want to go to Brooklyn you can also use the J and the Z, and the legend says that these two lines were made to please king Jay-Z, but I don’t know much about this. And in the end the G to go around Brooklyn and Queens. Piece of cake.
Trust me, these are tons of words and letters, but you will learn them quickly, and use them even if you are drunk. Ah there is also a Trambus that flights in the sky above East River to Raccoon City and the ferries to the islands (I recommend to take the South Ferry to Staten Island just for the view, it’s beautiful and it last half an hour.
And I forgot to say that most of the trains run 24/7, a dream for who like me lives in Rome and has two lines, which most of the time are so awful you prefer to take a Roman chariot and use horses to go around the city. And safe, I got surprised that nobody killed me even coming back home drunk from Queens at four in the morning. Wonderful.
(Travelling like a boss)
(Aka I actually survived)
Sorry if I took so long to write you about my weekend but I just woke up now from the long, long and exciting two days adventure that me and my friends had during Saint Patrick’s Day holidays. It was greener than ever and I perfectly acted as an indigenous to uniform to the behaviour required in these situations: I got drunk.
I said two days of holiday for a reason: we didn’t just take a devastating Saturday but also a Friday, that we spent in a pub in Midtown called Mc Faddens. We chose the spot as it is close to DC1 building and to all the missions to the United Nations, so that all the intern could have the chance to relax and discuss about resolutions and point of order while getting wasted of cheap beer. Cheap beer indeed, almost free for someone but not for me. Let me explain; in New York it’s common for bars to held raffles, and who has been chosen can drink for free for a certain amount of time all what the bar has to offer (beer, mixed drinks, wine). It is practically an invite to die.
We went into Mc Faddens last week and we entered our names into the raffle and we won. Like four out of nine people. And, as all good unpaid interns, we shared our victory with our friends. See for the winners it was all free from nine to eleven and for their friends it would have been fifteen dollars for the same offer. Obviously as you can imagine nobody paid but we just shared our drinks with quickly and smart moves in order to hide from the bartenders.
So The night ended when we were drunk, Johntravolting around the pub screaming “Tangoooo!” to girls and flipping people around. A very interesting Friday, if you consider that we wanted just to chill in order to face Saturday with more power. We were drunk the night before; we were ready like Irish at midnight. The appointment was clear, noon at a girl’s place that was close to forty-second street, right next to the parade and to midtown alcoholics, all dressed in green and all ready to party hard.
I was wearing a green shirt with the body of a leprechaun on it, a wonderful green hat and a red long beard. At the end of the evening, I just looked like a drunk ZZ Top. It was an awesome day, before getting to the party I saw everybody dressing in green, kids and old people together running around the city, even green trash bins with green bags. And a beautiful twenty Celsius degrees Saturday. While coming I could barely walk down the streets because there were literally tons of people walking and drinking and making noise around, I don’t know where they were going but I can suppose they all were heading to bars in East Village and Greenwich. We left the house around three pm and we started running like idiots shouting on the streets, we even broke into the Cipriani restaurant to steal a flower that looked cool from outside.
We also went to East Village (I suppose) and we went into a big bar which I don’t remember to drink some green beer (which we couldn’t find apparently). Even that was cool, we even had pictures with a bunch of marines that were off duty and partying there. I actually wasn’t expecting to find all this people getting crazy for this holiday, which is not a holiday, and I am really positively impressed by the guys. I will probably tell you more next time as now I have to come back to a even harder work but trust me in the meantime, if you have the opportunity to come here for Saint Patrick just do it, it’s awesome. And don’t forget to dress up in green, I spent more to buy Saint Patrick stuff than all my clothes since I got here.
(Awesome view from the building on 42nd)
(Aka Things I love)
I never told you how I survived the impact with the paper cups where they pour the dirty water the US people call coffee. I didn’t. As most of the Italian I am pretty picky about the quality of my coffee, the mystical preparation you can see me doing in the morning is some kind of ritual, it helps me start in the right way the day. I brought my own moka machine with me in the US, with my own coffee and every morning I use it over and over again. I bought the moka machine when I started the college, in the far 2006, and because I was moving on my own in the big Rome to become somebody.
Every single day, every single exam I used the same coffee machine, one, two, five times a day, to prepare coffee for everyone came in my house. And that’s not all; I brought my moka with me during holiday, every summer from 2007. And if you think I am crazy enough I can tell you I brought my moka with me during my Erasmus, in the Netherlands. And now I am here, with my (not anymore) shiny moka and my jar of precious coffee trying to survive to the mocaccino and frappuccino and latte venti. Actually the moka has tons of burned parts, the handle is melted and the inside is full of mold and dark spots where some kind of extraterrestrial form of life lives. According to Italian legends this is what makes your coffee great, the personal taste you give your own moka. And never change any broken part, it will lose the magic.
Anyway I am currently running out of my coffee so I had to take a tough decision: I saved some of my coffee for me in order to keep it for special occasions. I imagine myself using the moka as the winners of Formula 1 use champagne bottle to exult after the grand prix. It is hidden in a closet, away from the dangerous eyes of everyone. My treasure…
I got used to the coffee, like the one you drink in the streets, and I am finding every day a new place to try it around the city. There is a place next to my office that has a good coffee, and even funny employees I like. It’s called Gregory’s Coffee, it’s pretty famous in New York and there are some of the around. Try the Macchiato, it’s very good and not as long as the American typical coffee. And if I am telling you this you should trust me.
The second thing I am discussing today (I just stuck in this by the name of the song I chose today) is TV. I don’t like very much Italian TV, and not because of all the girls we have that could never bore a man, but because of the average quality of the programs compared to what I like: Americans are most of all spectacular in whatever they do, from sports to talk shows, and comedy shows and sit-coms. I do love these four categories and I think that I am starting to appreciate the quality of the channels in American cable TV. It was inside of my apartment contract, so I am happy of this. Here they have also Netflix, a service that permits you to stream contents from the internet, and I mean movies, series and cartoons. My wifi sucks so I won’t subscribe to any service like this, but I will tell you more later on about this. Other than this, next time I will tell you about what you can find on the internet here, and believe me, this is the land of opportunities for delivery food and stuff like that.
(That’s a cappuccino, the most imitated roman coffee all around the world)
(Aka the Americans)
Aaah, tell me you were waiting for this post; the post where I would have described the wonderful people of the United States. I really don’t like the “American” term they use to describe themselves, I think it’s too much abused and refers to a much bigger population than just US; anyway as we all know American usually refer to themselves also as the best country of the world, the most proud population and etc etc… so the term I think reflects their ego.
You can immediately tell the different about people for New York and people from all over the world, but not from the habits or the colour of the skin, from the way they approach to the town. You see some of the people you meet let’s say they “ride” the town, living it in all its scope of moods and feelings, and appreciating it or not; New Yorkers are part of the rope, let’s say they are a string inside of the big common spirit that is the soul of the town. They behave differently, they don’t refer to the city as something mystical or a separate entity, they just don’t use the city as a comparison, they are the city.
You won’t hear them say that they hate or love the place because they are the place. Once I asked my landlord if he likes to live in New York and he told me that he was born and raised here, that sometimes this city is too big for him, that it’s loud, noisy and he didn’t like the rush that was everywhere in the town. I asked him why he didn’t leave and he told me, showing me a big happy smile with a dip of sadness: “I couldn’t leave; I will miss New York too much. I can’t imagine myself living somewhere else. This town is a patchwork of cultures and feeling, every cross is a town. Once you have been here for as long as I have been you don’t need to see anything else”.
He wasn’t under the effect of mushrooms, I can assure you. But maybe he is right. I have always been fascinated by the American culture, although most of the Italians have some kind of resentment to the US, hating the people and the capitalistic way of life, probably because of the anachronistic political parties that still influence our culture. I worked for the Americans too, now I moved here seeking a new life here. I don’t know what to expect, and I will always keep an eye on my emergency exit; even if I like the country, love the people and people (apparently) love me I just can’t take a look sometimes to my country, to my city and to my family, my friends, and my dog Valentino.
I mean all my life is there, and I will never lose the contact with my roots. I am not planning to stay here forever, I just want to take a shower into American life and come back, bringing some of their culture in Italy. I do believe in patriotism, and maybe this is one of the things I envy most of the US. I think everyone should be proud of what he is and of what he believes in. Any way this is getting to philosophical, let’s just come back to the stupid blog arguments, they are more suitable of this site and this writer.
Friday I got drunk and woke up in Queens sleeping with other 7 people, had a chicken with onions on rice for dinner and a double cheeseburger for breakfast. Interesting.
(Rockefeller Center guys)
(Aka every day is funday)
In my personal opinion New York City is the mecca of any kind of activity that can please the life of a student or of an intern from alla round the world. Every city has its own peculiarities, but I do think that New York most of all is some kind of melting pot of after work leisure times and offers a wide range of things you can do, see, drink or appreciate in almost all of its borough. I live in Manhattan and I do prefer in my opinion to stay in my borough as I do love not to need 40 stops of metro to come back home.
Not only in Manhattan you could find the fun you are looking for; Brooklyn is without any doubt one of the most vital places you could experience hipster life and post-midnight fun, and Queens is my favorite place if we talk about house parties (not parties with house music but party into the house). Anyway Manhattan still holds the top spot in my preferences as you could find literally anything you are looking for and you prefer. Anyone has different ways to have fun, but I will just describe my experiences in this sense, so I will not talk about sordid habits of the underground population as, as I have said before, I consider myself as an average guy with average passions. No drugs and hoes then.
I am not really fond of discos and clubbing, I mean I spent most of my life going to discos in Italy and going out on Saturday night just to close myself again into stinky and sticky dark rooms with repetitive music and strobe lights, which is pretty much like being into Pacman, but I never found a passion in it, and I sincerely admit that If I have to choose among going to discos and spend the evening getting drunk and telling awesome stories and funny facts (yesterday it was my funny facts day) in a pub with my friends I will prefer the latter one without thinking twice.
But I am just a guy my personal preference and I will tell you the other things I like. For example, I like parties held in houses, whatever there is or not alcohol. I’m joking, we always bring beer. Most of them are held in Queens as most of the intern I know live there, and I have to say that even if it’s hard to reach it still can give you some satisfactions because houses are bigger, you can make more noise and the more people the merrier. Here in Manhattan one thing I hate is that I have to remove my shoes every time I get into someone’s house (both because it’s a tradition in some places in Europe, not in Italy thou, and in order to make less noise for the people who lives downstairs).
This time I don’t have specific places to recommend, most of all because when I go there I am usually inebriated by the god’s nectar so I don’t remember the names. Most of the places in Greenwich are nice, and try the Mc Fadden next to UN headquarter for Tuesday and Friday happy hours, very convenient. Also if you go to Brooklyn, Union Pool is famous and full of people. Avoid the Fat Cat, it’s full of hipsters and strange people, booze is expensive (5 dollars and up for a PBR) and too crowdy on Saturday. And in the end trust me, organize a party on a rooftop, yesterday I was at some friends house with some friends and I also had the occasion to meet some nice girls, but I will tell more in another story. Stay tuned guys, there are some voices in the air that want me to be recording a video to describe the Microwave Accident. Gorgeous.
(what the hell is this beer?)
(Aka RSVP lovers)
As I told you in other occasions I am been before to New York and every time I came here I never had the chance to see a New York Knicks match at the Madison Square Garden, either because there were no events or the tickets were too expensive for the pockets of a poor unpaid intern. Well this year finally Knicks started to suck and I had the chance to buy tickets for 16 dollars, thing that I did and went to see the game against Pistons.
The first impression I had was that everything was so showtime: I guess this word describes, even if it’s not an adjective, the evening of an NBA match. At every stop or timeout there was music, people dancing, singing, running with little cars (funny) and shirts threw at the public. A funny evening, I also saw the first match of Lin, that decided after that game to remember how to play basketball and dragged the ticket prices to levels I can’t afford. There was even a guy in front of me that knew him before he became famous and told me to pay attention to Lin in a future because he was going to be a champion. A wise man.
The fact is that actually in New York there is a business around tickets, that involve also internet sites like Stubhub, the most recommended one, you can find good deals, Craiglist, not totally guaranteed but still reasonable price, and Ticketmaster, the official and biggest one, but too expensive (for me, not for you maybe).
I used Ticketmaster to buy Jovanotti (an Italian singer and poem and showman and everything) tickets and Stubhub to buy basketball tickets. I would love to go to Broadway, buy the reason why I didn’t buy tickets yet is that it’s cold. Not inside of the theatres I mean, but outside Times Square. You see, right in the middle of one of the most famous square in world (just after Piazza di Spagna) you can find a ticket stall called with the original and picturesque name “Tickets”, where you can find millions of people in queue for a simple reason: the stall sells the tickets for the Broadway shows that aren’t full yet, and has available tickets at half of the normal price. You will recognize the line just by walking next to the M&M shop, which by the way I don’t know how it can still be open selling only candies (public image I guess, like the shops in Via Condotti in Rome that spends 30 to 40 thousand Euros of rent of the place and earn less, they are just there for the public image of the company, they have to be there).
I love the way tickets are managed here in the US, except for the average price of the events: I just can’t stand to se The Lion King for 80 bucks, my family will come to New York in April and I will surely have to take them somewhere, probably at some Broadway show, and they are seven, they will have to spend lots of money. I mean, I would spend money for Spiderman; it seems funny, but 80 bucks? Nope. I will try the assault to the Times Square ticket box will all my family, it would be funny!
The problem I have now is: pushed by the enthusiasm of the low price of Jovanotti’s ticket I bought two tickets, because obviously I can’t go to the concert alone, but I still am alone right now. I’ll see what I’ll do by the half of March, and if I couldn’t find anybody I would give the tickets to Miss. F. and her boyfriend, they told they wanted to go, I don’t know if they bought tickets. If you are a girl and you have listened to Jovanotti’s music before or you just want to experience the deep emotion of coming to a concert with me tell me, I will be happy to be an idiot with you.
(The first victory that got Knicks out of the dump, Lin first match and I even had a chili hot dog. What else?)
(Aka When cash was the best way)
I really love some aspects of my every day life here in New York and at the same time I realize that some things I used to believe in are totally inconsistent here. Among these is the legend that cash is the best form of payment. In the middle of the streets, when you buy a burrito from a random guy in that little kiosks you are not supposed to pay in any other way than cash, but it’s not always like this. And I can extend this concept to whole US.
In my place my landlord provided me a series of assets to be used in my home such as appliances, stoves, dishes, cleaning every two weeks and cable tv. I didn’t know what cable tv was before coming to the US as the best we have in Italy is satellite TV and we call “cable” the normal tv we have been forced to install to replace the old broadcasting system. I hate Italian tv, I will never sit there and watch Italian shows. I just love satellite tv sit-coms.
While I was looking for the latest episode of my favourite sit-com on the Internet I found out Netflix represented a good alternative to cable TV. Basically with eight bucks a month you can watch a series of sit-coms and movies through your internet connections, paying easily with your credit card. I decided to subscribe to Netflix but I realized that my credit card (that ironically claims to be fast and American) charged me two or three Euros (not dollars) every transactions, even if it was just a cent. I have the power to be involved in every kind of scams but the one I recognize.
I’d rather pay with my blood than gift the company extra money they don’t deserve, so I chose to open a checking account to a local American bank. I was “chasing” the opportunity to save some money in all the transaction I normally do. I had this plan in mind: if I have to buy something small, a coffee or pay a cab I just use my cash as usual. When I have to buy much more stuff I just use Italian my credit card to make my father pay for me. I realized that the fee of the transaction is standard for all the operations, so I decided to ask my father to transfer the money to my checking account (paying once the fee) and let me pay everything here with my American card. Smart as a fix and three times taller.
Among all the offers I found out that the bank I told you before is the best one if you plan to deposit at least five hundreds dollars a month on the account, and they will waive the fees. Repeat this operation every month to save every month. I also noticed that much more places accept credit cards, even for smaller amounts: have you ever tried to buy a coffee in Italy with the credit card? Did you survive the bartender fury?
Here I pay tv, Sunday soccer, groceries I buy online (and I will tell you about this later) and I withdraw money with credit card. A revolution, if you think that Amazon opened last year in Italy and Paypal has never been used in my city, as far as I know. We are basically afraid of credit cards, we see them as evil monsters that eat our money to give us statements and debit and scams in exchange. Even I the first time that I came here had a suitcase full of 10 dollars bills instead of a simple credit cards, I looked like a narcotrafficant.
By the way, subscribe a debit, not credit card if you move here, it would definitely change your life. Even make it worse if you have my same sensation of having infinite money in it (and every time I open my internet account page I realized they are not infinite at all).
(They love my (few) money)