My second day in Chicago was also my last.
Since I packed light, I had to look for a laundromat.
The walk there was fine, but once I turned the corner, I saw the real Wicker Park.
No hipsters, just run-down shops, drunk overweight men, single Mexican mums.
Perhaps closer to the Ukrainian village it used to be.
I walked around during the wash cycle and waited in the cafe as the clothes were in the dryer.
Lunch was Mexican again. It was so huge, I had to pack the other half away.
My Uber ride to Navy Pier was a Hummer with a Mexican voice navigation.
It was the first day of Chicago Expo – a large-scale exhibition of modern art from all over America.
When artists and galleries were presented in such context, it almost felt like a parody.
Towards the end, I was observing the people more than the work being exhibited.
The plan was to go back to Wicker Park and chill, but the weather was so amazing compared to the day before I decided to join the architecture boat tour.
Towards the end I was pretty done with skyscrapers.
Although I have to say the tour shone a brighter light at the Trump Tower. The architects factored in a lot of the city’s history into the design.
I walked back into the city to buy some Victoria Secret Pink pajamas for Chika like I did the last time I visited America.
Had a hot dog at Portillo’s and regretted it instantly.
On my way back, my Uber driver was a black grandma.
Her first reaction was ” Victoria Secret, for me?? ”
She proceeded to tell me about her daughter, her sons, her sons’ daughter, and how proud she was to finally buy a new car.
As I walked into the house I met a girl.
She booked the other room but decided to crash with another friend instead.
She came from Philadelphia to finish her tattoo.
She’s also a PA in medicine. She recommended I take some melatonin for my jet lag.
We had a long chat, and then suddenly she received a phone call, passed me the keys and left.
That was the last person I spoke to in Chicago.
I don’t know, life seemed harder in America.
But everyone was positive, optimistic and warm.
It’s like instead of whining they’d rather be confident.
That’s why they’re so cool.