Friday, 5 June 2015
My American Adventure: Friday in Jamaica, Queens Pt 1
Today I was in Jamaica Queens and I was really looking forward to it because I knew I would have interaction with clients seeking legal assistance and dealing with them one to one. I didn't have time to visit the sight in advance so I didn't know what to expect from the area. All I knew about Jamaica Queens was what 50 Cent used to rap about when I used to listen to his music a very long time ago. He is from Jamaica Queens.
I guessed there was a strong Jamaican presence in the area due to it's name and I wasn't wrong. As soon as I got off the train all I heard at first was people speaking in Jamaican Patois . There are a lot of Jamaican food stores and clothing stores that sell Jamaican style clothing.
I'm going to write my experience in two parts (maybe 3) because there is a lot I want to share.
Firstly this morning I had to change my outfit 3 times. What I originally planned to wear looked too corporate for where I was going and possibly would attract unwanted attention. Before coming to New York, I took part in webinar training and I remembered the advice given to wear business casual in certain community settings we will visit, so we don't make the clients feel intimated or uneasy with us all suited and booted. I changed into something more appropriate but the trousers (pants) was too loose. I had bought them a few months before I travelled and as I have lost weight since then. They now looked like maternity trousers (pants) LOL.
In the end, I went for this look which I've never worn before but I liked it and was comfortable with it.
Dressing appropriately for an particular occasion or setting is very important.
As I mentioned earlier, I had not researched the area in advance and when I got there I saw how remote the venue was to local cafes and shops that I had been used to in Harlem, Brooklyn and Long Island. There are a lot of deli stores but they are nothing like the ones I am used to in England. It's more like a convenience store which sells coffee to go and a few sandwiches. There were no seating areas.
I arrived an hour early so no one was there. Thankfully a seniors center was opened and the caretaker asked me if I wanted to drink my coffee inside when he saw me standing outside the venue. He was so friendly and so was everyone else at the center.
One of the ladies who worked there is originally from London and grew up near Wembley. After 38 years of living in the UK, she decided to move with her daughter to New York and has been living here for 18 years. She recognised that I had a midlands accent and I could hear her London accent when she said certain words, though she sounded more like a New Yorker.
To be continued....