Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Travelog IV - Windy City

I have much to say about my first experiences in Cleveland.

Jet-lagged & exhausted, I nevertheless found the energy to initiate a profound discussion with my resident friends about life, relationships and the dichotomy between bachelor life in Lebanon and the US. What was I thinking?! I should've laid down my luggage and lunged toward the bed like a nursing puppy to the teat. I'm blaming it on the thin air and airline food.

In the days following, I had ample time to let my new surrounding sink in and adjust, adapt and explore. But I'm going to break the chronological order of this travelog for now and fast-forward a few days.

Saturday Morning, 2 am.

I'm standing on a train platform in downtown Cleveland. It's been snowing for the past 3 days. It's very odd how scientific the metreological reports are in the US. It's not just snowing, it's lake-effect snow I've been told. Riiiiight. Now I know why my jacket is peppered with the white stuff. Much better.

My friend has just dropped me off and I have collected my train ticket from the window. The train will be a half hour late, the announcer said. Back inside the station, most of the passengers are Amish folk, my previous knowledge of which did little to attenuate the feeling of "What the...?!" when I actually laid eyes on them. They seemed unreal, almost like animated portraits from the turn of the century. One of them was actually called Jebediah, which instantly brought to mind Weird Al Yankovic's spin on "Gangsta's Paradise", "Amish Paradise". I'm really not bigoted, but I was completely caught off guard. Of course, what were the Amish doing riding a modern technological marvel like a 'train' I couldn't understand.

But maybe they weren't really off the mark by much. After 9 hours on the Amtrak railway I started to get the impression modern technology was nowhere in sight. The train endlessly stopped for no reason and sometimes moved for hours at a snail's pace.

Never mind.
As dawn broke on Saturday I was 500 Km away from Cleveland, and looking at this awesome sight from my window.

A few minutes later, I would walk out of Union Station onto the streets of Chicago.

To be continued...


Blogger Fouad said...

Akh ya ramzi. I can just see you falling in love with the windy city, even with its freezing wind.

2:34 AM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Ramzi said...

I was blessed with beaming sunshine on the first day there Fouad.

And I did fall in love. Head over heels...

If the match doesn't work out, I'm applying for a window cleaner position at Sears!

8:38 AM, December 01, 2005  

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