It has been more than 6 months now and here are the things that every new person to the DC metro area (including Arlington, Virginia) should know about and abide by. Disobey at your own peril.
Never stand on the right, always walk on the left!
There is nothing you can enjoy or see except dry grey walls and busy people. I understand you want to rest after a few meters of walking from the metro wagon, but always stand on the right. Also, why stand while the whole city is waiting for you? The sooner you are out of the metro, the sooner you can enjoy the city and it’s landscapes.
Oh Glorious Grey Metro!
That glorious moment when the metro arrives! ahhhh it’s always a relief.
I will keep this very simple:
Metro stops => people get out (and you get of their way) => you enter the metro
easy cheezy !
The homeless are humans too
Even though poor people and homeless people have access to food and shelter and free things provided by the government. But they sometimes wander around the city and ask for money for different reasons. One thing for sure is that we don’t know what they have been through, what they are going through and how are they surviving everyday and that’s why we must be kind to all of them.
(If you got attacked or harassed by any person in the street call 911.)
Traffic, can be as bad as in your home country
So plan accordingly and always keep a 15minutes saftey time, doesn’t hurt to be 15minutes earlier to your date (or meeting). Using uber, lyft or via you will break your bank if you use the direct thing that’s why they did the ”uber pool” and ”lyft line” so you can share the ride with other people on the same way/destination but be prepared to spend a little extra time in the car enjoying the scenery from the window.
Blah Blah Bleh…
DC is an American international city. More american than international. and it’s all about work. So before you go to bars and places with people that you need to talk to, prepare a killer 30seconds pitch about yourself in response to the following questions:
Question1: What’s your name? (mostly you get introduced to people and you do that cold and firm handshake while saying your name and forgetting people’s names).
Question2: What do you do in life? (no need to state all your 5 facts, most people are not funny enough or they just don’t care about your fun fact)
Question3: I hear an accent, where are you from? (”I hear an accent” is the acceptable version of ”where the heck is this person from, his/her English is so un-understandble” … and you proudly respond with your home country)
Question4: tehre is actually no question4 because that’s the awkward moment when both of you will look away or look at your glasses or the floor and wait for one another to ask another question and here, this exact moment my friends, is where your emotional creativity (or awkwardness) will be tested! Your mission is to keep the conversation going for as long as possible or find a very diplomatic way to run away (the ”I need to go to the bathroom” trick is OUTDATED and a cheap way of saying ”I don’t really enjoy talking to you fellow human”).
The dress code
Nobody talks about it, but everybody abides by it. It’s very simple actually, dress as the most boring person you would love to meet.
Plan B, always ready!
Not the medicine you idiots! (for those who don’t know it yet, PlanB is an anti-pregnancy medicine that women take after an unsafe night). But I am talking about having a plan B for every situation, people will sometimes have unexpected engagements and I hate to be left high and dry so that’s why have a good plan B handy. Example situation is when you agreed to go out with 2 of your new friends and then they cancel because of whatever reason, a good plan B would be calling other friends and come up with a last minute plan together, or go home and treat yourself a good bath or maybe treat yourself a great dinner…. if you made it all the way from your home country to live one year in DC, you deserve a good dinner from time to time.
That’s all folks!
Don’t tell Nino didn’t tell you!
(be safe, be good)