Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Have Arrived!

I am officially reporting to you from Chicago, IL. Those who have been here or live here would say to themselves "And?". For me, however, that sentence suffices me just fine. I could leave it at that and write nothing else and be happy.

Why? Because 1) I don't travel much and 2) this is my first visit to Chicago. Before now, it was a fictional place in movies and a point on a map. I happily report that it is exactly as all the movies I've seen depict it to be.

I will report that within the very first hour of being in Chicago I already had a mental list of observations growing with differences between southerners and northerners. For giggles, here's the beginning of my list: (I'm sure it will grow.)
  1. Out of habit, I unconsciously held a door open for a guy walking behind me. Now in the south, this is expected and therefore you don't always get thanked for it. Here in the north, I got an unusual look and a "Thank you chick-a-dee!!". haha I honestly didn't even realize I was even holding it open for him until he said that. Then I was the one giving the unusual look. :)
  2. In the south we are taught that it is not polite to stare at others. Here on the subway...this rule apparently doesn't apply. :) On both of the trains my sister and I rode today, we had a stranger sit directly across from us and stare at us, practically listening to our entire conversation the whole time. My southern mannered ways couldn't even muster up the audacity to look back at them to ask if I could help them with something, let alone just glance back and let them know that I was aware of their starring. haha
  3. Also while on the train my sister informed me that our stop was next and that we needed to stand up. Being that two older women just got on and were standing right in front of us, I glanced up and said politely "We're getting up, so you can have our seats". The women didn't even acknowledge me. My sister smiled and I said "Maybe they didn't hear me.", and she replied "Oh they heard you! They just don't care." :) (She later enlightened me that most people here have the attitude of "Don't talk to me! I don't know you!". hahaha
So yes, there are already evident differences being mentally noted. I can't wait to add more to my list.

Now that I have sounded completely untraveled and unexperienced, I will say in my defense that I have been north before. I took a trip to Seattle last summer, but honestly, the differences weren't so evident. I felt very at home there. I have also been to Manhattan, but it was almost 10 years ago and I don't remember being so aware of the differences then as I am now.

I wish my camera had night vision or took wonderful pictures during the night time. You should see the night time view from my sister's apartment. High rise apartment buildings all around. I can see right into other people's homes that have their lights on. It's quite odd. Even more odd is that someone could vary well be looking at me as I sit here at a desk, typing away and glancing over too often at the tv.

And before I go, I must say that flying at night is beautiful. The city lights are much more appealing to me at 15k feet in the air than the day time view. I attempted to take a picture of it, but my camera apparently doesn't think it's that appealing at all. :)


Adina said...

So jealous of your travels! D.J. and I really want to go visit Chicago. We really enjoy big city travel. My mind has now gone blank. Have a great time!!

Daniel's Mum said...

Fantastic! Ahh the north - you will find many differences. I can't wait to read more on your blog. I will be living through you and Lee for the spring vacations. Have fun riding the subways and walking everywhere. Have fun!!

Adina said...

How did your trip go?

Call Me Naive said...

You need to update. You are no longer here!!!! Miss you though.