Friday, July 10, 2009

Chicago

Arrived in the Windy City last night after a very pleasant flight: I was upgraded to Business Class because the plane was overbooked. The food was much better, the service almost embarrassingly attentive, the seats comfortable (mechanized things that folded out almost flat). Would I pay the extra for this? No. Because the problem with travel is not the food or the discomfort, as much as having to do it at all. I would pay extra for a flight that was two hours long instead of nine, but not even First Class can offer that.

There was some last-minute (almost literally) change of plans: My father was ordered to remain within car-driving distance of the hospital that is treating his circulatory difficulties, so they will not be at the wedding in Vancouver and therefore will not be in Regina with my sister next week. In the circumstances, my father's comment that "it would be nice if I could visit them in Toronto" felt pretty much like a command, so I dropped the Regina leg of the trip. Sorry Sis, but we'll catch up at Christmas.

Travel confounds expectations. One hears that Chicago is a big and dirty and dangerous city, as all American cities are; yet the first thing that Jubi said was "if you want to go out for coffee, just leave the front door open." We are right on a main street, close enough to downtown by American standards of space and distance, and yet it is no more noisy than my own apartment. I do miss hills though, Chicago is as flat as a tabletop.

I watched a tribute to Michael Jackson on the flight (without sound, my headphones didn't work and I couldn't be bothered to ask the crew to deal with them), and found myself feeling really sorry for that cute little kid Mikey. How and why did he end up as that ghostly, ghastly figure? Poor guy. Too much fame, too much pressure, far too much money. I wonder whether he had a life as a kid at all? Did he ride a bicycle and play baseball and hang about the mall exchanging half-truths and boasts? "Rosebud!"

Weather is grey, very warm and humid. Planning to take a boat tour of the river(s) and wander about downtown for a while, then to Milwaukee this afternoon/evening. But first, I shall go to the coffee shop across the street (whose wireless bandwidth I am currently scrounging) to charge up my inner batteries and clear my conscience.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Dale said...

(o) Nice to have you on the continent! :-)

July 10, 2009 at 8:08:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Bruce Oksol said...

Welcome back. I had a momentary flash of that great Canadian, Leonard Cohen.

Your comments about Micky or was it Mickey ... whatever ... can you imagine yourself at age 50 looking like that -- in all the make-up, the clothes? Okay, maybe the clothes.

All those years of being covered to protect himself from the sun, and then he dies of a drug overdose. Somewhere there's a moral in that story. I guess that's why I don't eat as much fiber as I should.

July 10, 2009 at 10:37:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

Sorry about your dad, and your change of plans as well.

We did the water architecture tour of Chicago in our 24 hours there, really amazing.

I do feel sorry for MJ's children, no addict makes a good parent. And I feel sorry for the kid MJ was, who knows how much actual choice he had when older.

July 11, 2009 at 3:34:00 AM GMT+2  
Anonymous Seraphine said...

lol udge!
you're the only person i know who goes to chicago so you can take a tour of milwaukee.

July 14, 2009 at 5:59:00 AM GMT+2  

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