After over a month in Chicago, what have I learnt? Firstly, that I'm not writing nearly enough - and I haven't done for about a year. It used to be an escape for me - an outlet for everything, whether I was publishing publicly, or simply spending hours creating an eloquent, self important rant about whatever had pissed me off that day, only to delete it once I had it perfected. My own variety of Mandala, laboured over and then swept away, ready to start again. I felt I should have picked up my blog again as soon as I got here, detailing my foray into the unknown – but my foray into the unknown was mainly me getting lost, getting drunk with strangers, and feeling very alone, so I guess you didn’t miss out on much. Oh, and I accidentally found the Bean one day…
My accent is popular here - mainly with folk who want to talk to me about the queen, or Diana, or all the words I 'don't say right'. Otherwise it's mainly great for ensuring I never get the fucking coffee order I want. It also helps with dating, at least for the first date, which is also strange out here. It’s intense and casual at the same time, and usually involves an actual date of some kind, instead of just yelling at each other in a club before being invited over to “Netflix and Chill”. Or, my preferred method of vaguely fancying someone, becoming friends with them and then never doing anything about it, ideally moving to a different town/country after two years or so and never talking to them again.
The city is pretty cool, and so far I’ve lived in really nice areas. Logan Square was, as all Hipster villages are, filled with great bars and cafes and quirky shops. I spent a day in a tattoo shop. I didn’t fit in. Ukrainian Village is also nice, in that it’s close to the city and the cool bar streets, and slightly closer to the train station for work. The actual place seems quieter, although there is a ‘Western Clothing’ store opposite my amazing flat, so at least I’ve got Christmas presents for everyone back home sorted…
Thanksgiving was great, and also weird. I was invited to a colleague’s house, to spend it with her family which was the sweetest thing. It’s pretty much a rehearsal for Christmas (i.e. getting drunk with your family), but instead of celebrating the birth of Santa and opening presents, people celebrate sports and yell a lot. And say what they’re thankful for, which as a British girl was a little uncomfortable. Sincere emotions = intense discomfort.
I think the main thing I've learnt is that maybe I'm not as independent as I thought I was. Maybe in a good way. I need people more than I thought, and I miss having people I love around me. If I’m slightly busy at the weekend, it’s difficult to talk to anyone back home because of the time difference, which is hard. This also is weird for me (see above emotions/discomfort etc except now this is something I’m feeling about myself. I give myself the creeps…). I haven’t taken many photos either, because no one else is a tourist and I’m usually just hanging out with people. It’d be weird to take my fancy camera to the bars.Long story short though, feelings, drinking, and I guess I’m blogging again.