woensdag 15 november 2017

Day 47: Chicago

📍 Location: Chicago, Illionois, USA

So the ride goes on - the journey continuous. Next destination: Chicago. Also known as Chi-Town, Windy City (due to the strong winds which that blow through the city) and in some eyes one of the more dangerous places in the States. That’s because there are a few neighborhoods in Chicago where there’s a lot of crime and where outsiders better not want to go to. It’s a city with a raw edge. Being a little bit more careful here is a must.

To be honest, I’ve never really felt unsafe during this trip. Not once in New York, not once in Canada. You just don’t have to be stupid and don’t have to find yourself at some point in some deserted and sketchy area of a city. The only time so far that I got reminded that it can be dangerous for a young girl to travel by herself was when I didn’t really got the most warmest welcome in Chicago. Because as soon as I left the bus station and set my first steps in this city, two men in their car started following me. They were very insistent in offering me a ride because they were sure I could not handle the five-minute walk to a coffee shop. Well, I’m not gekke henkie so of course I knew that if I would've stepped into that car, it probably was going to be a very long time before I would ever see a cup of coffee again. Eventually, after ignoring them for a while, they gave up and drove off. I guess walking through a sketchy neighborhood with my big ass suitcase wasn’t the smartest thing to do. It was a good wake up call.

In Chicago I stayed the first night with a guy from Couchsurfing. The cat guy. I should have known that if someone already mentions in his profile that if you don’t like cats it isn’t the place for you, that maybe he’s right. I just thought that if pretending to be a cat person for a few days meant that I got a free place to stay, I just needed to suck it up. But that’s harder than you think. I don’t like cats and I will never do. So if you are with someone in a house who is constantly talking to their cats as if they’re humans, talking to you about the cats and the new tricks he has learned them, walking around with his cats clinging to his back and even having a ‘cat sitter’ (babysitter for cats) when he’s not home - I will feel a little bit uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, he was a very nice person but I just don’t share his passion for cats.

So for the rest of my days I’d booked a cheap Airbnb close to the city center. A good decision because there I got to meet a really nice German girl of my age who was also traveling on her own. So we were both looking for some company and ended up spending the days together. We walked around the city, all bundled up with ten layers, hats and gloves due to the freaking cold weather. We went to the famous Bean, sat on the L-train (a subway that is riding literally over the city), ate the famous Chicago ‘deep dish pizza’. And because we were both underaged, we had to be creative with what we could do in the evening. So one night we ended up at a comedy show in some kind of basement somewhere in Chicago and the next night we went to a free hot yoga class (after being lost for about 2 hours). We had a great time.

While I’m writing this I’m in the night bus on my way to Nashville. Saying goodbye to yet another city went better this time. I guess I’m getting used to it.

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