So, I recently went to the States for the holidays and was told to document my experience in the form of a memoir. So, sit back and enjoy a teenager spiral out about things that barely matter.
The weather seemed lovely as I waved good-bye to the city, I called home for the past two months. I couldn’t help but recall the time I spent here. This was my third time here in the United States of America and like each time, this time too was different and far more exhilarating. I was travelling alone, the best way to travel, in my opinion at least. Yes, I did have far more responsibilities, but on the contrary, I could do whatever I wanted, most importantly however I wanted.
See, I was used to being rushed at the airport and doing all the boarding procedure in a haste. I consider myself fortunate that I get to travel to such remarkable countries and do the things I do, I realized that I’m missing out on so much by hurrying about the airport. This time though, I decided to change my ways and trust me, it was worth it.
As the plane took off, I realized why it took me twelve years to travel with a certain airline that should remain nameless (Hint: rhymes with Blair Lindia).
Now the reason might seem petty but try to think about it from my point of view. It was going to take me about twenty hours to reach my destination, that is a lot of time. All airlines undertaking significant distances offer personal entertainment system to each passenger on board. The only difference about this particular flight was, that the entertainment systems, did not work! You can smack them, tap them or bang them, they refused to co-operate.
Naturally, I thought that maybe it’s just my system that seemed to be holding a grudge against me and that maybe I could request the flight attendant for a different seat or a different system, but the little girl and her mother sitting beside me had the same problem as well, when I went to the back of the aircraft to use the restroom, most of the passengers seemed to have a similar problem. I found that zoning out did put me out of my misery, which is what I did after I exhausted the battery of all the electronic devices, I was caring with me and I was carrying three!
After what seemed like a month or two on board, I landed. Oh! The relief, the air appeared to be more breathable, which makes sense for undeniable reasons. I was in Chicago baby! The land of Lincoln. I stepped out of the airport and the sun graced me with its presence, while the wind knocked the air out of my lungs.
I was warned that the temperature in Chicago was low, I just didn’t anticipate that it would be that cold. Something such as weather, has always been irrelevant to me, but it somehow seemed to govern how my day went, intriguing. I looked at the “Stuart Little” look-a-like building. Yes, all the houses here look like they are owned by middle class British families.
As I entered the house, I looked at the massive pile of boxes that presented themselves to me. There were three boxes towering over me and I’m about 5’1ft tall, and these boxes were intimidating my height. My sister looked at me and said,
“Welcome to your first US experience, building Ikea furniture!”
And then New York happened. Granted, this was the third time I was visiting the city, but the city is just so glamourous. The railway system was messed up, the pizza wasn’t. We went to the Chelsea market where I had an oyster and a lobster for the very first time, weird sensation I must say.
I found the brownies at Fat Witch bakery too good that couldn’t save my slice for the next day, let alone the very next minute. I got the perfect picture on a place which I believe is called the Highline. Amongst the other places I visited in New York include Washington Square park, Times Square, Central Park and of course the Statue of Liberty, still as majestic as it was back in the time, maybe a little rusty though.
During my time in Chicago, I took the liberty to see the things I hadn’t seen, the previous time I was in the city. I visited the art museum. The exhibit I enjoyed the most was the Greek and Roman one. Since the Greek and Roman mythology flabbergasts me, I played my own little game where I guessed the mythological creature that was on the display and checked the information box to see if I was right. I also went to the Science Museum, it was okay.
It may seem like I’m undermining it’s potential but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to. It had a Mars rover but it was under maintenance, apparent you could control it with a remote, it would have sealed the deal but it well it wasn’t available at the time. To be honest, no Science museum can live up to my expectation as Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando blew me away. I also visited the beach after a really long time, which felt rejuvenating, even sculpting a weird duck that creepily starred at the people who passed by, provided the same therapeutic effect.
June, my birthday month, a month that will forever continue to scandalize me. I never really enjoyed celebrating me birthday. Primarily, because of things and people beyond my control, my birthday marks the most chaotic day of the year for me. Until this year, I remember mentioning this one particular restaurant to my sister, say two years ago. This restaurant only has one branch, which is at downtown Chicago. When the restaurant opened, the owner mentioned that it’s a pop up, probably to attract tons and tons of attention towards his venture.
I immediately informed it to my sister and requested, nay, begged her to go there and tell me how it was. Later, the owner decided to make his establishment year-round. So, on the day of my birthday, my sister kept on insisting me to guess where we were going to go eat. My mind immediately asked itself, what could be the one thing or that one place my sister was especially reserve just for my birthday. Bingo! The Nutella Café. We later continued our journey on the magnificent mile and bombarded any store we liked. The day was amusing.
I also went for an architectural boat ride around the city. I will always remember this particular day, but not for the right reason. My day started out as I planned, I woke up right on time, made some breakfast and my way towards Navy Pier. The navigation told me that it would take about an hour for me to reach, and my tour was at 1:15. So I left the house at 11:45. So that I could not only reach on time but also get a good spot to sit, preferably at the front of the boat.
My route was simple. A bus towards the train station, get on the train, about five to six stops later get another bus and ride it out till the last station. It was very simple that even I couldn’t mess it up, but then, universe intervened. The last bus I took broke down, somebody pulled the emergency lever which triggered an alarm. The bus refused to co-operate so did time. My thirty-minute lead turned into a twenty-minute lead. By this time most of the passengers got down and were waiting for the other bus to arrive. The bus came and everybody squished into it. my twenty-minute lead was a mere ten-minute lead, I checked my navigation to see my estimated time of arrival. It was about seven minutes! I can still make it.
And then somebody pulled the emergency lever on the very next stop. Just great! But this time the driver knew exactly what to do, and we were off. I kept on checking the time hoping I could make it. the bus reached Navy Pier at 1:15. I ran towards the boat. From a distance I could see a boat docked by the tour booth and people getting into the boat. I had made it right on time. I proceeded to show the guide my ticket. He told me that I was in the wrong line and guided me to the right one, but before I could do what I was told. He requested me to show him my ticket again, my boat had already left.
No worries, I got another ticket for the same exact tour, free of cost. I had enough time to get some lunch and roam about the pier. I decided on getting the Chicago dog. It wasn’t to my taste. I usually prefer biting into my sandwich and not have pickled chilies explode and make their way into my eye ball. Hey! I already had a water body beside me, all I had to do was to go “ARGHH” while polishing my hook.
I didn’t quite realize how fast the days were going by until the last week of my stay. I had taken a liking to the Vanilla Chai at Dunkin Donuts, how was I going to live without that? All jokes aside, I really enjoyed everything I did. I enjoyed the independence, I enjoyed the culture and most importantly the Sushi. By the last few days it hit me hard, I will never know if Zussman in Call of Duty WWII made it to the end of the mission. Spoiler alert! He does! I had a blast and I cannot imagine a better way to spend my time.