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02 October 2008

1 month in Chicago... what have I learned?

Well, I have been in Chicago now for a month. And as I was reflecting on that I started thinking about what I have done since I have been here and what I have learned. So, I have decided to make a list of those things.

1. It was finally brought into perspective how much I travel and am NOT home. How did this happen? Well, I just finished my first roll of toilet paper since I have been here. The same roll that I put on the thing the first day I moved in.

2. It isn't that you shouldn't talk to strangers, you really just can't. I was on the train one day and talking to my friends. Some lady accidentally bumped into me with her bottle of wine. She politely said she was sorry and then I proceeded to start a conversation. Nothing huge, just asking about her plans for the night since she had the wine. That's when she and everyone else on the train looked at me like I was crazy. I then told her I was new to the area and it was my first time on the train. That's when I got the stink eye and everyone ignored me.

3. People are way too attached to their iPods/MP3 players. I swear, everywhere I look half the people have theirs on. That I understand. But what I don't understand is that I see half the people driving their cars with them on too. Now, call me retarded but doesn't your car have a stereo system in it. And most newer cars (which they are all usually driving) have an auxilary port that you can plug your iPod into. That way you don't look retarded, your music sounds better, and most importantly you can actually hear when there is a cop or ambulance coming down the road behind you. In fact, I think it is even illegal to have your iPod on when you are driving.

4. Unless I am driving for work when my miles are paid for, it is cheaper for me to ride the train everywhere I go instead of driving my car. I can get a metra pass for the weekend for $5 and ride it as much as I want to that weekend. My ticket is paid for in just one trip to downtown and back, plus then I don't have to pay $20-$30 for parking. That's a no-brainer.

5. Buying furniture is a beast. Not only is it stinking expensive, but it is hard to find something you like. I don't know how many counches I have looked at that either didn't come in a color I liked or weren't comfortable. I'm not 50 and looking for flower print or green leather.

6. Chicago has laws about when you can have your heat on... so GAY! I went to my landlord's just yesterday to pay rent and ask how to turn on my heat. They said, "If your heat isn't already on, it's not on. Chicago has laws against when you can have it on anyway." Ok, so it is getting down into the low 50s at night already here, so what law needs to be changed so I can not freeze at night?

All in all, this place is weird... but I love it! As I continue to learn here I will continue to let you know what it is I am learning.

3 people had something to say:

Meghan and Tyler said...

ha ha, your first roll of toilet paper hu? Man, you are gone a lot. The train thing reminded me of Vienna. No one talks to anyone. We would try to blend in by being as quiet as possible. You could always point out the American's (and Italians for that matter) as the ones who were really loud and obnoxious on the train.

As for furniture, you might not be able to find anything here either, but Ty and I found a really comfortable and reasonably priced sofa from Ashley furniture. I have no idea if they have one in the Chicago area, but you can check them out at

Good luck

A said...

Mark, I get the whole train thing. I just flew to Utah and on the way there I tried to start up conversation with the guy next to me. He said about two words. On the way home it was a bit better but people are way connected to their electronic devices! Glad I found your blog.

Missy said...

Hey man! I totally feel your furniture pain...we finally bit the bullit and bought something at Ashley but if you find that perfect couch let me know cuz we've had ours for a couple years and I'm already over it...that's me. Let us know if you're ever down here. =)