A Travellerspoint blog

USA

chi-town *w00t*

overcast 28 °F

my journey has started...we left the house at 430, and i was on the plane by 630...this is, of course, after going through security and my person and carry-on luggage being searched for explosives...apparently when i got my tickets printed downstairs, the computer randomly generates a letter and, depending on that letter, you may or may not get searched. they had what looked like a pre-packaged cloth that you would clean your glasses with clamped on some black stick and they rubbed it around inside your bag, then after each pocket (good thing my bag has so many effing pockets) they'd put it in this machine and the machine would do something for five seconds and tell you whether or not it detected any explosives...yes...i did ask the airport security people why i was being searched and how their whole operation worked because i'm curious like that.

flight to chicago (lots of flooding...) shuttle to hotel, shuttle back to airport, hour train ride to east side, 15 minute bus ride, lost for 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get in the nbc tower...i figured out my problem after someone pointed me in the right direction...i failed to notice that there are multiple levels to city streets...i was on the bottom level and very confused why there was no easy way to get into the building...but then some guy told me to take the elevator in the parking ramp, walk outside, go across the street and BAM, the nbc tower...once i got inside, i found out i had to take the elevator up to the 27th floor. ugh. i got out of the elevator and had to hold on to the wall to make sure i didnt fall down...me no likey elevators...especially ones that go up so fast your ears get plugged up four times each way...they had different hallways for the elevators and depending on which floor you needed, you'd go to that hallway and get in one...and the elevators only had buttons for those designated 20 floors and the main floor.

finally got my visa...it was unbelievable how much work i had to go thru just to get that stupid page in my passport...regardless, i'm happy as larry to have it! after i left the korean consulate, i walked back the same way to find the westbound bus...which of course, i assumed the stop would be across from where i got off the bus going eastbound. wrong. so i walked a block..and then another...until i'd been walking for an hour trying to find the stupid bus stop, or grand street, or the blue line, or westbound 65, or SOMETHING. you're probably thinking, kelsi why didn't you ask someone for help..i did, trust me...and every person had a different story about where this damn street was...i even planned ahead and brought my compass in case i lost my sense of cardinal direction...it's not much of a compass really...it's on a keychain from the navy...maybe it was cold, because it wouldn't work...worked just fine yesterday...it's entirely possible 20 degree weather and wind had something to do with it...i saw lots of big buildings, smelled lots of gross trash and sewers, ran after the fed ex guy walking 50 feet in front of me because he dropped a letter, listened to lots of music, and finally stumbled upon grand street going west. back on the bus to the train, and back to the airport, shuttle to hotel...fell asleep at 6. it was glorious sleep considering i've slept about six hours in the past four days...

now, about this train experience...when there are two trains, it seems only logical to me that you get on the train that has just let people off. but i think this is only appropriate to do when the line is not at an end...because i got on, sat down, and the doors closed. however, no one else was on the train...they were all on the other one and the doors weren't going to open anytime soon. so, there i sat, on the train, by myself...feeling pretty darn stupid...and thank goodness for the people who go thru the trains and sweep trash! i asked this guy when the train would be leaving again, he said it'd be a while, and then manually opened the door for me so i could get on the other train...i didn't get in the car right across from the one i'd just been in, because i'm pretty sure someone saw it and was laughing at that out-of-towner. duhhhh.

there was this tweaked out dude on the train going back to the airport...he had long hair on top, shaved on the sides, markered on chops that almost met in the middle, small and thick hooped earrings, big gold chain around his neck, ratty red sweatshirt, and jnco jeans that are huge at the bottom. the car kinda stunk like booze when he got on...but he sat in the seat, closed his eyes and shook his head back and forth and would randomly yell out 'HEY!!!!' and then continue his trip...very very strange...

this is an accurate guess as to how my time traveling in korea wil go...i will be lost, and i will be lost often...if i can't find my way around chicago where i can ask almost anybody for directions, how the hell am i supposed to do it in korea?! CRAP! maybe i could rent-a-korean every time i want to travel....

anyhoo...to everyone who called me or texted me today: sorry i didn't answer...i'll try and call you later on today before my flight leaves..i have to go to san fran, ca for a few hours...gross, hippietown USA. i'm leaving there at 140 (340 CST) and arrivin in korea in the evening sometime...i think 730...

love you and miss you all

k

Posted by flaminko 07:58 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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