To be an Atlas Corps Fellow no matter where you are from it’s an everyday discovery experience. You do some self-discovery, some city discovery, some people discovery… anyways a little bit of everything! This blog is dedicated to all the Atlas Corps Fellows who are in the process of discovering not only how wonderful and unique this experience is, but also how wonderful and unique you can make it, if you just notice those little things…
Dedicated to those Atlas Corps Fellows who 1) just started the discovery. 2) who are in the middle of the way and 3) who are almost about to leave but are still aware that they will never stop discovering…
It is also for all the people who are not Fellows but enjoy discovering the treasures of living a broad and exploring a new city! #SaldelSofa #CouchSurfers #WorldTrotters.
And last but not least, this blog is dedicated to all the Atlas Corps Latin American Fellows who hopefully will feel identified with the items on the list! I hope some how this list makes you laugh or smile, regardless of where you are, and that you get to experience the wonderful feeling of being close to home when you read it.
*I think and hope some of the items on this list are probably also applicable for my Indian /Pakistani/ African /Arab friends.
“12 things you discover when you are a Latin American Atlas Corps Fellow living in New York”
1. The Cultural shock spiel they gave you at Immersion is not applicable to you! Especially if you end up finding a place in Washington Heights a.k.a. Dominican Republic Part 2.
2. You can easily spend the first two weeks without speaking English and have more than ten conversations longer than five minutes.
3. Bachata music on the street, women with their colorful tights and hair rolls, signs in Spanish, and old people playing dominoes on an improvise table over the sidewalk. These all are examples of normal scenarios in your neighborhood that are not going to let you feel homesick EVER. It’s like a little piece of home is here with you!
4. Ketchup, softener, taxis and high heels are unnecessary luxuries.
5. What is a bingo fundraiser for a nonprofit for us (handmade cartons and beans to be used as chips included) here it can easily be a gala auction with fancy dresses where a prize could be a $50K house rental for the weekend in Aspen or a $10K entrance to the Grammy Awards -instead of what for us would probably be a coffee maker or a plasma T.V. (if you get lucky) #imagineitsallMonopolymoney #FundraisingGalaEvent
6. If you forgot to pack lunch, no worries, you are not going to starve! There’s always a $0.99-$2.50 pizza somewhere around the corner or $3.50 if you want to get fancy with the pepperoni (says someone who has already filled in her pizza quota for the year on the first two weeks of her Fellowship!)
7. Your days of “I am bored. There’s nothing to do here. I can’t do anything because I have no money” are OVER –especially if you arrived to NYC in Summer! #WohooforFreeEvents24/7 #OneofthemillionreasonsIloveNewYork #AgendaPACKED
8. It is possible to be QUIET in a public place with other 30,000 other people paying full attention to the stage without having a Reggaeton singer and his half naked dancers shaking every inch of their body to make you turn around. #PhilarmonicConcert #SummerStage @Central Park #thumbsupforculturalevents
9. The first thing that comes to your mind when someone says “Subway” is no longer the sandwich but actually your newest and dearest BFF: the train. Ironically, it also has some relation to the sandwich as it becomes your “daily bread” because you just can’t live without it. #ThankGODforMonthlypassesaswithoutthemI’llbebroke!
10. You start loving the commutes to the office, especially on those hectic mornings where the voice that greets you once you hop off the train at Columbus Circle, is Ray Charles with “It’s a Wonderful World”.
11. Times Square and Central Park become your favorite happy places. Whenever you have a bad day, you go there, sit down, breath deep and instead of closing your eyes you leave them wide open. You”people watch” and stare at every detail. You don’t notice it but you get hypnotised by the charm of your surroundings and start drooling a little bit. It’s then when you realise you are where you are meant to be, and you couldn’t feel any luckier.
12. Home is no longer a place with four walls a roof and a floor as you barely spend time in it. Home for you now, is in the vibrant streets of New York City, who wait for you every night, arms wide open, welcoming you to your next adventure! And most importantly home is whoever you are with that makes you feel at home =) #AtlasCorpsRepresent #AtlasCorpsFamily #LivinglifeinNYCatitsfullest!