Saturday, 11 July 2015

Chicago - you don't treat me bad

Some formalities require you to go here and there. I really got used to that and don't complain about it at all. What's more, I still have my stylish blue forder which was given to me in Denmark and keep all my important documents there. This time a Social Security Number (SSN) was to be received. There are two offices near the Hyde Park district, but first one is highly discouraged as a travel destination because it's situated in a rather dangerous or dodgy area which is to the south of UChicago. The other one is in the downtown so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Apart from running the errand, I resolved to show myself around and visit a couple of the most famous places in Chicago. I left my office after 2 pm and went back to my dormitory to grab some documents and then headed for the nearest bus stop. The first transportation came and there was almost a crowd trying to get on the bus. I wasn't lucky and didn't want to elbow my way through the large assembly. A driver indicated clearly and decidedly that he would not have provided the service if the vision on his left hand side had not been purified. Unfortunately, this was me and another guy standing there. I made puppy eyes but the driver was rock-steady. Although I knew that it was rather the last bus which could have delivered me to the Social Security Administration office on time, I did get off and decided to wait for the next one. The other guy also disembarked and joined me there in my waiting. He was the first one to comment on the whole situation noticing fairly that only he and I had been stranding there. The conversation commenced and it wasn't a chit-chat but the whole experience which made my day. His name was Nicholas. At the very beginning he wanted to borrow two bits (or a meter or a quarter of a dollar) for a ticket and I happily agreed to help my companion. His ventra (fare payment) card did not work in the ill-fated bus. Interestingly enough, the card worked fine in the next, this time almost empty, bus. We got on and off we went. There was a traffic jam on our way so I was running late ... at the end missed the deadline (4 pm) and didn't apply for my SSN. However, I found consolation in the conversation with my new friend. He was visiting his girlfriend in Chicago and was a graduate student from Caltech. It reminded me about the good old days and the Erasmus Program at DTU where I met a few people from the university in Pasadena. Nicholas is studying mechanical engineering but he writes code on a daily basis. Having established this common ground, we were talking about all of the things for hours and at the same time visiting many interesting places in the downtown. We started off from italian cappuccino, then went for gelato in Eataly which is a super fancy conglomerate of italian restaurants. Finally, we went to the signature room at the 95th. The view was stunning and my chocolate mousse cake was delicious. From John Hancock Center we went to Marciano's restaurant for dinner and Nicholas' girlfriend waited there for us. After that we attended concert in the Millennium Park (Grant Park music festival - a Sondheim celebration) . Finally, we turned the tune upside down and went for a sort of hanging out event in the wit hotel. I was shattered when we were going back to Hyde Park but enriched with the experience. All in all, Nicholas made my day and it was the unforgettable one.

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