Tourist season in Chicago is probably my worst nightmare. Anyone who is from there knows exactly what I am talking about. All you want to do is go downtown and stroll to the beach or go to Watertower, and you are constantly blocked every which why by massive amounts of tourists. These people take it upon themselves to walk as slow as humanly possible, in spread out lines so you can’t even cut around them, and decide to stop randomly without any type of notice so that everyone crashes into them. I realize I am stereotyping a whole collective group of people and that not everyone is like that. I also realize that I have been that person as well, so I am being slightly hypocritical. I get it, Chicago is a pretty sweet place. I would want to stop in and take in all the sites as well. But to walk with complete disregard for people around me? Really? There is just nothing more irritating than that. Maybe it’s just slow walkers that make me mad, I haven’t figured it out. I think I am just naturally used to walking quickly when getting from place to place, so walking at the slowest pace possible is mildly foreign to me.
This is why Hong Kong people occasionally make me angry. You have those people who will walk in front of you, and turn every which way so there is no way around them, BUT THEY WILL WALK AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE. Or the people who amble along taking their sweet time, and here I am running to catch a train because its 6:30 and I am EXHAUSTED and want to get home. Basically.. this is me everyday:
There is nothing I can do or say, because I am entirely too passive aggressive to actually tell people to get out of my way or move them out of my way. So instead I just evil eye everyone until they get the memo and move. But then you have those people who are also in a rush, and no one seems to be going fast enough. I’m talking like they are running at full speed towards the MTR or god knows what else, and have no qualms about shoving you out of the way, AND THEN THEY DO THIS: (I didn’t make these, they just keep popping up randomly and pertaining to my life)
…… are you joking? So the minute you get in front of me, AFTER YOU SEE ME SPEED WALKING, you slow down and go as slow as possible?! That’s like the people who cut you off when you are in the left lane of the interstate, and then proceed to drive the same speed at the person in the right line (two lane roads to Champaign-brutal). That kind of stuff drives me insane. If you know you are a slow walker/driver, STAY ON ONE SIDE. Please, don’t walk as sporadically as you possibly can and make it impossible to move around you. There’s millions of people walking around, this makes life extremely difficult.
And THEN there’s those people literally give zero shits. They will shove and move you and do whatever it takes to get to where they need to go. Maybe I should start throwing elbows? Because really, that seems to be the best course of action lately. Or maybe I am just very easily irritated, I’ll leave that up to you guys to decide 😛
Another thing I’ve picked up on also has to do with transportation. When it comes to the MTR, people will cram on there like sardines, which is normal for me. I need to get where I need to go as soon as possible, so you had better believe my butt is going to squeeze into that tiny spot and get onto the train to get to work/get home. No room? We make room. That’s how it was done back at home, and that’s how people do it here as well. Sometimes I am amazed by peoples’ abilities to cram into one train. I’ve seen some pretty crazy cramming abilities, but this takes it to a whole new level haha. Even I’m not brave enough to squeeze in sometimes.. mainly because the doors here don’t seem to give a shit whether you are on the train or not.. those suckers are closing. So if you get stuck in between them, you had better hope to god some kind soul is going to be there to help you out. I’m so used to the doors opening back up automatically if something/someone is caught in between them (which made for really annoying early morning train rides to school when people would just hold the doors open), so the idea that they won’t is kind of scary.
But then you get to busses, and its a completely different story. I’m so used to piling on busses, regardless of whether there is room for you. You are going to stand racks on backs with everyone around you, and become reaaaaallly close to the people who are around you. Personal bubble? Not a thing. But here? You can only get on the bus if there is an actual seat for you. No one here stands on the bus. At least not on the ones I have been on. It might be entirely different in the actual city, I have yet to experience that. But my bus driver will quite literally close the door in your face and drive away (not that that’s a new experience *Champaign bus drivers cough*) if there are no places for you to sit. It’s mildly disheartening. Most of the time I walk to and from the MTR station, but occasionally, I’m exhausted and would just love a bus ride home… sucks to suck I guess? Time to wait for the next one.
On a final note, I FINALLY had real chinese food, and boy was that a shit show. The amount of times I have tried to use chopsticks (those who have had sushi with me- you kn0w), is surreal. Each time, I am taught how to use them over and over again, and each time I forget (I also have this same problem with poker- I can never remember how to play, even though I’ve even taught at least 7 million times). So here we are, on a work outing to this decently nice Chinese restaurant with what seems like pretty authentic chinese food…. and I have no idea how to use my chopsticks. So I am
slyly very obviously spearing my food with my chopstick like some kind of savage, looking around like a typical Westerner for a heaven sent fork- no such luck. Eventually I got the relative hang of it, but I am pretty sure I spent most of that lunch laughing than I actually did eating. The food was pretty decent, and I had dim sum for the first time (pretty tasty- it had curry which generally I don’t find too tasty but I actually quite enjoyed). Of course my favorite item that I tried was the chicken wing- typical American. But seriously- they were Buffalo Wild Wings level (without the sauce, so I guess not THAT good- but still pretty good). I almost wish someone could have recorded my attempts at eating with chopsticks- that would have been a real life. I also just noticed I have been spelling “chopsticks” like the word “chopstix”- AKA THE CHINESE FOOD RESTAURANT WE LIVED ON DURING COLLEGE- wah. someone take me back?
But in all seriousness, it was a pretty good lunch, and hopefully by the end of the year here, I will have a much better hang on
Chopstix chopsticks…I make zero promises though.
The actual final note, I am beyond excited to go to an English bookstore, or to get my Hong Kong ID so I can get a library card (having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!! No? Anyone?..). I’m not even sure if they have English books there (probably not with my luck), but I was just informed of an English bookstore, and I can’t wait to go. I’m like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to books. Meep. This is basically my life.
Also, my family is cuter than yours… 😛 miss them to pieces.