I think I left you at Fifth Ave and 34th Street. When I came out of the dark and noisy subway, I drew a deep breath and marveled that I had managed all that traveling. It was actually more difficult than traveling from Sweden to America. And scarier.
I headed west on 34th and lo and behold! I spotted a Woolworth's. I had heard about those stores also, and my sister and I used to sing a song about the Five and Ten Cent Store while washinng dishes at home. I had to check it out and wandered in and walked around expecting to buy nothing. And then I saw what must be a big mistake in their pricing. Palm Olive bars of soap that we in Sweden had to pay dollars for, were here for cents each. I think they were 13cents each. I had to take advantage of their mistake. So I picked up siix bars and headed for the cash register. Remembering my mother's admonishions, when the young woman handed me the coins and bills I picked up each one and tried to quickly do the addition in my head.
The checker looked at me with a quissical eye and said: Are you new here? I said, Yes, I arrived yesterday. From where did you come. I said Sweden. She raised her voice and said:Were you on the same ship with Greta Garbo. I told her of my meeting with her. It was a small, short interlude but it made me feel so happyy to be here and after this day, I never again used the little gloves with the zipper.
And then I walked into Macy's. I looked for the elevator and rode to the top floor. I made a circle and was awed by all the merchindize under one roof. Rode the escalator down and got off on each floor and continued to circle and then after what seemed hours I found myself in the basement. I had to buy something and found a table of slashed price items and there was an apron for sixtynine cents and at that moment I felt I needed it.
I knew I had to try to get back to my upper East side rooming house before rush hour and I walked back east on 34th and hoped I knew enough to reverse the mornings scary adventure on the subway. I managed to make it to 42nd Street and there my luck left me and I took an express train instead of a local and ended up way far away. Instead of staying underground I got up and out and it cost me another nickel to take a local back down Manhattan, Found Lexicon Ave and strolled the few blocks towrd my address. Walked by an Art Gallery and saw a small statue of Queen Nephertiti in the window. My sister loved this lovely long necked Queen and I went in and offered them the rest of the money in my glove. They accepted.
The next day I found a job.