Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chicago with the Daniel

7:17 AM I woke up to a bloody nose.
8:00 AM I got up
8:30 AM Breakfast at the hostel was provided for free.

We got to sit with and get to know two beautiful Koreans – Yoon Seung and Yunjung.

9:15 AM Good Morning Chicago

Our destination was Michingan Street. Daniel had been in Chicago before and was going to be staying a day beyond me. He would also return a week or so later after taking the train to California and back to Chicago.

I made sure he genuinely wanted to spend the day with me.

We went to the Money Museum in the lower level of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for around 15 minutes. It was free.

Saw the bean!

Saw buildings!

We wandered to the Navy Pier, following the signs spray-painted on the sidewalk, taking us a unorthodox route.

For lunch, we got to meet up with Anne B whom I had class with in 6th grade, my last year of elementary school. At this point she was working at Northwestern Hospital. I think she'll get her own post or a blend post with other folks from my past I got to meet up with. She took us both (dude!) out for lunch at a delectable Indian buffet (oh man.. goat meat...)

We made our way back to the hostel and picked up my scooter because my knee and ankle were starting to ache.

Found a Good Will where Daniel got a scarf.

Back to the hostel.
To the station.
And now I'm on a train.

I think Daniel summed our time together up well on his Facebook when he said, “Thirty hours spent with this stranger from the train. She made a necessary layover into a bona fide adventure.”

I know I've said this, but golly am I grateful to have had Daniel in my life for those 30 hours. When I said, “I'm going to go read a book,” I don't think I would've suspected that the person who said, “What book?” would, spend the rest of my time with me until I got on the next train.

Not only did Daniel walk me to the train station, he waited the hour with me till I got to board. I made sure he knew he could go and he stayed. He then stood in line with me till the front of the line where I got my farewell hug. Then, he stood at the door and waited till I couldn't be seen any more – something his family does.

You never know who you're going to connect with. You never know who's going to walk into your life at what moment and stick around for a while. What this post doesn't really capture are the conersations, which was what the 30 hours was really made of (not constant conversation). It also doesn't capture the fact that we were comfortable to sit or walk in silence together.

This is one of the reasons why I travel. This was my intent when I'm out here. I travel to connect with people. Traveling enables things to happen like 30 hour friendships that start on a train and end in Chicago. With life ever changing without routine from day to day, people are thrown in right and left and sometimes you find someone you can learn from. Without agendas, you can choose to connect and make plans on the spot. I'm not sure how people are ok without opening life every once in a while. How do we ever settle?

(Don't worry, I know the answer. I'm just not there yet.)

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