Üle ookeani lennata on mõnus. Mõnus mitte selles mõttes, et osa reisist (aa, see oli alles lend Islandile, aga no las jääb) oli nii konarlik, et inimesed päriselt oksendasid lennukis. Ma ise lugesin samal ajal Lennart Merist kirjutatud raamatust Siberi osa ja ei olnud kindel, kas mul endalgi oli süda pahaks minemas Nõukogude võimust lugemisest või raputamisest. Mõnus selles mõttes, et võidad ööpäeva juurde mitmeid tunde. Kodus oleks juba magama läinud, aga Bostonis oli kell alles viis. Seitse võidetud lisatundi ööpäeva nagu naksti. Lähed edasi Chicagosse ja võidad veel ühe tunni. Kaheksa lisatundi ööpäeva! Nali. Tegelikult ajab see rütmi ikka päris sassi. Täna ei ole ma enam kindel, kas ma üldse esmaspäevast alates maganud olen. Kõige hullem oli eilne päev kui meil oli vaja kohaliku aja järgi ülivarajasele lennule minna ja ka kohalik päev venis pikaks. Aga see kõik on seda väärt olnud. Jah, 90% töö, kuid esimeseks korraks on ka see 10% lõbu piisav. Vaadake kasvõi allolevat pilti. Päris ehe Ugly Sweater Party. Ma sain teada, et satume ladu külastama just sellel päeval ja ei suutnud mina vastu panna. Nüüd on mul kotis ehe Ameerikast pärit kole jõulukampsun.

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Chicagosse sõitsime me autoga läbi maapiirkonna. Mulle kangastusid silme ette seriaalid, mida ma Foxi pealt vaadata armastan kui aega on. Criminal Minds, Bones ja teised sellised. Teate küll, sellised filmid, kus väikestest kiirteede ääres metsatukka peidetud natuke räämas majadest leitakse sarimõrvar. Väikesed ja räämas linnakesed. Mida need inimesed seal muud teevad kui annavad ainest sellistele seriaalidele. Aga toit selles veidras sinise karuga majas Racine linnakeses oli imehea. Menüü nagu Ameerika filmis.

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Chicagos läksime me laiali. Kes edasi Kanadasse, kes tagasi New Hampshire´i, kes Chicagosse. Mul oli siiralt hea meel, et minu reis mind edasi Kanadasse ei viinud. Päev oleks veelgi pikemaks läinud, ikkagi 12 tundi ajavahet, aga ma olin piisavalt läbi ka sellest kaheksast tunnist ja varajasest lennust. Vahemärkusena – Delta airline´siga sõit oli üks ütlemata mõnus kogemus. Suurepärane pardateenindus. Läbi kui Läti raha, kuid mul oli kindel plaan minna Chicagot avastama. Näiteks tahtsin ma kindlasti jõuda siia pilvelõhkuja tippu, kuigi ma ei tea miks, sest isegi Eiffeli torn oli minu jaoks piisavalt hirmutav ja kõrgused tekitavad mulle judinaid, aga no ma siiski mõtlesin vähemalt proovida. Tegelikkus kujunes aga mõnevõrra teistsuguseks. Esiteks kulub lennujaamast downtowni jõudmiseks tund aega. Teiseks on mul raskusi orienteerumisega ja kui telefon kokku jookseb, siis läheb metroojaamast 15 minuti asemel 45 minutit. Ja kolmandaks võib juhtuda, et sa ei saagi niisama lihtsalt hotelli sisse registreerida, sest su krediitkaart lihtsalt ei toimi. Ma olin korraks meeleheitel. Surmväsinud ja ei saa oma tuppa. Teist kaarti pole, kellelegi helistada ei saa (kamoon, keset ööd, et õu kuule ole hea ja maksa mu eest hotell Chicagos ära!). Õnneks oli lahendus, et sain sularaha välja võtta ja siiski toa eest tasutud.

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Esimese asjana kui ma tuppa jõudsin, aa ei teisena – esimese asjana tegin ma vaadet nähes “vau”- teise asjana jõin ma korraliku klaasi veini ühe sõõmuga ära. Ma olin niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii väsinud. Hotell on tõesti vau. Ma kirjutan sellest eraldi pikemalt, aga tasub ikka olla booking.com tihe kasutaja, tõelisi pärle leiab.

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Eesti aja järgi elav mina oleks muidugi hea meelega voodisse lesima jäänud ja vaadet nautinud, kuid seljakotiga seiklejahing mina ütles, et ma pean end toast välja ajama. Isegi kui ma ei jõua nende plaanitud vaatamisväärsuste juurde, pean ma ikkagi natuke linnaga tutvuma. Panin pooltühja telefoni taskusse ja astusin toast välja. Kiire kõrvalepõige soovituseks – lisaks mitmele kaardile, et ikka kindel olla, et mõni neist siin ka töötab, pistke kindlasti kohvrisse adapter. Mina muidugi viimase unustasin ja pidin siit selle ostma, mis tähendas lihtsalt seda, et kui kõik asjad korraga tühjaks saavad, tuleb prioritiseerida, mida laadida. Mina valisin kaamera laadimise. Kaugele ei plaaninud minna, mõtlesin et kaen lihtsalt siinsamas lähedal oleva Magnificent Mile ostutänava üle.  Kas teid paneb imestama, et 20 minuti asemel võttis mul Nordstrom racki jõudmiseks umbes 50 minutit? Shopahoolikud läheks siin hulluks. Mina ei läinud, kuigi kiusatusi oli küll ja veel. CK, DKNY, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss jne selliste hindadega nagu H&Mis.

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Ühel hetkel tundsin ma, et that´s it. Nüüd on jõud otsas ja ma tahan tagasi hotellituppa. Mäletate ma ütlesin, et mul oli kaasas pooltühi telefon, mis kohe tühjaks saigi kui teda vaja oli, ja ma ei ole suurem asi orienteeruja. Ma püüdsin Magnificent Mile´i poole kõndides meelde jätta mõned märgid, aga me kõik teame, et see on juba eos lootusetu üritus. Ma teadsin, et hotell on kusagil siin samas lähedal, aga korraga ei orienteerunud ma tänavates ja block´ides absoluutselt. Absoluutselt! Leidsin paar kohta, mille nimed tulid tuttavad ette, aga ma ei suutnud meenutada, kuna ma neist möödunud olin või kas ma äkki olin neid vaid kaardil silmanud. Wabasha, Grande, N State St tundusid nii tuttavad ja õiged, aga kuhu poole minna. Ma enam ei teadnud. Lihtsalt juhe jooksis kokku.

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Pimedaks hakkas ka ikka minema. Ega siis midagi, astusin ühte hotelli, kõndisin arvuti ja printeri juurde nagu tolle hotelli elanik ja pritisin endale google maps´ist teekonna välja. Kurat! ma alles olin Rock Bottoms baari juures.  Sealt oli hotellini vaid OTSE tee minu hotellini. N.State St ka. North State Street oligi tänav, kus minu hotell asus, millegi pärast arvasin ma, et mul on aga North Streeti vaja otsida. No pole hullu. Leiame uuesti. Võtsin kaardid kätte. Ja enam neid kohti ei leidnud. Ka kaardi abiga. Lootusetuna seisin suvalisel ristmikul. “Mida sa otsid?” küsis üks kodutu välimusega mees. “Mis tänavat, mis hotelli?” Vastasin. “No problem, see on siin samas,ma näitan sulle suuna kätte!” hüüatas ta ja me hakkasime hoogsal sammul õiges suunas kõndima. “Ma olen su giid Anthony, ma olen Chicagos 58 aastat elanud, ära käinud, aga ikka tagasi tulnud, selles linnas on midagi,” seletas ta mulle rõõmsal meelel. Ma hakkasin kohti ära tundma, kuid mees otsustas mind hotellini saata. “Now, don´t look down on me,” ütles ta kohale jõudes, “aga siin kõrvaltänavas on supiköök, kus minusugused kodutud saaks suppi osta, ega sul ei ole mulle natuke raha anda?” Ma tundsin end nii halvasti. Mul ei oleks midagi selle vastu olnud, et talle viiekas anda, aga ma olin ju just hotelli jaoks sularaha välja võtnud ja tänu vargusele olin ma kõik oma limiidid minimaalseks keeranud. Ma ei saanud rohkem raha välja võtta. Vabandasin ette ja taha, ma siiralt oleksin tahtnud teda aidata, sest tema aitas mind. Olgu omakasupüüdlikult ja turisti lollust ära kasutades või mitte, could not care less. Ma olin nii surmväsinud, et ma ei oleks jaksanud enam seigelda. Vabandasin veel ette ja taha. “That´s okay,” vastas ta ikka rõõmsameelselt. Ma tundsin end nii kehvasti. Eriti kui jõudsin hotellituppa, viskasin oma CK koti lauale, viskasin end pikali pehmesse voodisse, jõin veel ühe klaasi veini ja imetlesin vaadet. Jälle tundsin ma enda pärast häbi. Mina ja minu mured. Versus teiste mured. Brändipoodide ees istusid kodutud. Täiskasvanutest suudan ma mööda astuda, kuid kui täiskasvanul on kaisus tühja pilguga möödujaid vaatav laps, tahab mu süda murduda. Miks mõne lapse lapsepõlv nii ebaaus on? Mina ja mu probleemid.

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Hommikul olin ma jälle kell neli üleval. Kuigi magama läksin alles 23 paiku. Üleväsimus teeb oma. Mis seal ikka, on aeg kark alla ajada ja liikuma hakata. Ma lubasin Idale Miraculous Ladybug kostüümi viia. Leidsin koha, kus see soodsalt müügis on. Et mitte lennukist maha jääda, mis küll läheb alles kell viis õhtul, on targem tegutsema hakata. Tundes mind. Chicagos on küll tore, aga hetkel tahaks ma koju. Oma haige lapse ja ilmselt ka väsinud abikaasa juurde. Ajavahe tõttu jõuan ma nendeni alles homme hilisõhtul.

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I really enjoy flying across the Atlantic. I didn’t enjoy that rough part when people were actually throwing up in the plane. Oh right, that was my first flight to Iceland, so let’s leave that. Meanwhile I was reading an autobiography about Lennart Meri and his Siberian experience and wasn’t sure if I was going to be sick because of how cruel Soviet power was or because of the plane shaking. But I do enjoy the part that you gain quite a few extra hours in your day. If I had been at home, I would have already gone to bed, but it was only 5PM in Boston. I won an extra 7 hours just like that. I continued my journey to Chicago and won another hour. 8 extra hours in one day! Just kidding. Actually it really messes you up. At this point I am not really sure if I have actually had any sleep since Monday. The worst day was yesterday when we had a really early local flight to catch and the whole day ended up being very long. But it has all been worth it. 90% work, but for the first time even 10% of fun is enough. I mean, look at the picture here, a real Ugly Sweater Party. I found out that we will be visiting the warehouse on that exact day and I just couldn’t resist. Now I have a proper American ugly Christmas sweater.

We drove on a proper country road to get to Chicago. All I could see was scenes from my favorite Fox series flashing in front of my eyes – Criminal Minds, Bones and all other similar. You know, all these films, where they find a serial killer in an abounded house next to a small highway in the middle of nowhere. Small and dirty towns. What else are these people doing that giving ideas to series like those. On another note, the food in this strange building with blue bear in Racine was gorgeous. The menu was just like from an American movie.

In Chicago we all went our different ways. Some continued to Canada, some returned to New Hampshire, some stayed in Chicago. I was very glad to stay in Chicago as the trip to Canada would have made my day even longer. The time difference was already 12 hours, but early wake-up and 8 hours of driving had done their bit. As a side note – travelling with Delta Airline is a very pleasant experience as their on-board service is class. I was exhausted, but determined to go and explore Chicago. For example, I definitely wanted to go to the top of this skyscraper with no logical reason. Even visiting the Eiffel tower was frightening enough and I am not that good in dealing with heights, but at least I thought to give it a go. The reality however, was something else. First of all, it takes an hour to get from the airport to the downtown. Secondly, I am not the best when it comes to directions and if my phone fails as well, then it takes me 45 minutes to get from the metro station to the hotel instead of your usual 15 minutes. And thirdly, it might just happen that you can’t check-in as your credit card is not working. I felt desperation for a moment. I was dead exhausted and couldn’t get to my room. I didn’t have another card with me nor could I ring anyone (in the middle of the night to ask if they could pay the hotel for me). Luckily I could withdraw some cash and settle it this way.

First thing I did, when I stepped into my room, no second thing I did – firstly I was absolutely amazed by the view from my room – second thing I did, was drinking a full glass of wine in one go. I was sooooooo tired. The hotel itself was just amazing. I will write about it separately and in more detail, but it does pay off to use booking.com frequently as you can stumble on some really good deals.

If I had stick to Estonian time, I would have gladly just stayed lying in the bed and admire the view, but the adventurous me ordered me to go out. Even if I can’t visit all the sights, I still need to see little bit of the city. So I dropped a half empty mobile in my pocket and went. Here is a small suggestion – on top of different credit cards you take with you to be sure that at least one of them is working, take an adapter with you as well. Of course I forgot that and had to buy new which meant that everything run out of battery at the same time and I had to prioritize what to charge first. I chose to charge the camera. I wasn’t planning to go too far anyway, just to bob around the corner to see the Magnificent Mile shopping street. Does it even make you wonder that instead of 20 minutes it took me 50 minutes to arrive to Nordstrom Rack? If you were a shopaholic you would loose your mind here. I didn’t this time, but I was tempted more than once. CK, DKNY, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss with prices like in H&M.

At one point it was enough for me, I had no power left and wanted to get back to my hotel room, like NOW. Remember me telling you about the half empty phone I took with me, which pretty much died then and there, but I really needed it as I am not the best when it comes to directions. I was trying to remember all the signs as I was walking from my hotel to Magnificent Mile, but we all know it was not going to happen. I knew the hotel was somewhere nearby, but suddenly I couldn’t get my head around in the blocks and streets. Like not at all! I found couple of places that sounded familiar, but I couldn’t remember when did I pass them or had I seen them only on the map. Wabasha, Grande, N State St looked all so right, but which way would be the right to take? I didn’t know anymore. My brain just stopped working.

It started to get dark. I didn’t know what else to do, but to step into a hotel, walk up to their computer and printer like I was staying there and print out my route in google maps. Damn it! I just passed Rock Bottoms bar and it was only a direct way to my hotel. Same was with N. State St. My hotel was on North State Street, but for some reason I was looking for North Street. Well, what can you do, let’s just find it again. I looked at the maps again … and couldn’t find the places anymore, even if I had printed the route out. I was standing at a crossing, feeling totally hopeless. “What are you looking for?” a homeless guy approached me. “Which street, which hotel?” I replied. “No problem, it’s right here, I’ll show you the way,” and we started to walk to the right direction. He was chatting very vividly: “I am your guide, Anthony, I’ve lived in Chicago for 58 years, went away but still came back. There is something about this city.” I started to recognize places, but he decided to walk me all the way to my hotel. “Now don’t look down on me, but there is a shelter around the corner where I can buy some soup, you don’t happen to have some cash on you?” I felt so bad. I would have gladly given him a fiver, but I had used my daily limit to get cash to pay for the hotel and because of the theft in Denmark last month, I had decreased all my limits. I couldn’t withdraw any more money. I kept apologizing and I sincerely would have liked to help him out, because he helped me. I doesn’t matter if he had personal interest involved or not, I couldn’t care less. I was absolutely shattered and had no will or power to have more adventures that evening. I apologized one more time. “That’s okay” was his cheerful reply, but I still felt really bad. Especially when I arrived into my room, threw my CK bag on the table and fell into my soft bed. I had another glass of wine and just admired the view. I was ashamed of myself. Me and my problems vs. problems that other people have. Homeless people were sitting in front of high street shops. I can walk pass homeless adults, but if that adult is holding a child who has this empty look in her eyes, my heart just breaks. Why do some children have so unfair childhood? Me and my problems.

In the morning I was up again at 4AM though I went to bed around 11PM. Feeling fatigue works its own ways I guess. I had no other choice but to get up and move on. I promised to get Miraculous Ladybug costume for Ida and found a place that sold it cheap. I didn’t want to risk missing my flight (which departed 5PM), but I was better of starting my day now. Knowing me. Chicago is nice, but at the minute I would rather be home with my poorly child and (probably) tired husband. Because of the time difference I get to see them only late tomorrow.

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1 comment on “Life like in a movie

  1. Pingback: Märgid vol1 – estonianwithabackpack

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