One of the most fundamental differences I have experienced so far is the condition of the roads in New York. There are holes literally everywhere in the road, its uneven and terribly bumpy no matter where you are in Manhattan. Reason being that there is no possible way that the authorities can block off an entire street for resurfacing because New York would just be even more congested that it already is. So sitting in a cab from the airport and arriving in Manhattan is a jostling ride. In contrast when arriving back in Singapore for the Winter Break, riding on smooth tarmac seemed like such a luxury compared to what it was in the US and that was one of the signs telling me that I used to take what we have for granted.
Yes the MRT may have broken down, caused many many delays and made people go mad. But, I think this is the first time I've ever heard of such a break down while other people in other countries have to deal with strikes, breakdowns and just plain inefficiency almost all the time. Not to mention how clean Singapore is, the subway system in New York is filled with what looked like decades worth of dust and grime all over the place and the pungent smell of urine is evident at almost every station. And if you're one of the people here who complain that the MRT is loud and noisy or even bumpy, you'd have the shock of your life if you take the subway in New York. The train cars bump into each other each time the train starts or stops, the squeal of the wheels on the steel tracks are deafening and trying to balance yourself in the train without holding on to any handrails is quite an impossible task. I also really came to appreciate the screen doors that we have at every station, keeping out the dust from smothering you the moment the train arrives and making it safer for everyone at the same time.
Knowing that I'm leaving in about 10 days time back to New York, I'm just going to enjoy what we have here for the time being and I will be writing on anything that is related to the motoring world on the other side of the globe!