Brand New World

Nov. 4: Which fall shows should totally be canceled already?

Ok, BlogHer, what the hell is this? With Netflix, hulu, on demand, and my DVR, how does anyone know which shows are fall shows anymore? I just record stuff and then watch it months later and go on with my life. So, I have no clue which fall shows there are and which ones should be cancelled. If I don’t like them… I don’t watch them… end of story.

Okay, good talk. Anyway, now I am going to talk about what I actually want to write about.

My dad’s co-worker is from Germany and she immigrated from Germany to the United States 30 ish years ago. Her niece is in town from Germany, and Heike (my dad’s coworker) asked me if I would take Neele, her niece, and show her Chicago and all of its glory. We went yesterday and it was really fun and while I was able to teach Neele about Chicago and American culture, I learned just as much about Germany and its culture. .

I drove with my dad to work (tbt to those working days at the factory) and Neele drove with Heike. We then took the train downtown from the station by their work. Neele was telling me that where she lives in Germany, and most of Europe, the tallest buildings are nowhere near as high as the skyscrapers littering the Chicago lakeshore. In her town, the tallest building is student living at the nearby university and it is only 8 stories tall. The Sears Tower… has 110 stories.

When you are on the train, for the most part you just drive through suburbs and see graffiti marking the path of the metra. However, on the final turn as we approach Union Station, the skyline is in perfect view. Every beautiful building that makes Chicago such a remarkable city is in sight and the Sears Tower sits above all the others, basking in all of its glory. Neele’s jaw drops and the only words she can get past her lips are “Oh my god.” A long list of oh my gods to be specific.

Growing up here, it’s just Chicago. The Sears Tower, the Hancock, the Lake, etc. It’s normal for me to have it at my fingertips. But for Neele to never having seen buildings like this, she was in awe.

Upon dodging commuters and their pre-coffee attitudes, we made our way out onto Wacker drive, the same Wacker Drive that the Sears Tower is placed. As Neele takes in her surroundings, I tell her to look up and once again she is speechless. Yes, the buildings look unimaginably tall when you’re far away but being right next to the tallest building on the Western Hemisphere is surreal.

After admiring all of the buildings I took her to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. They are right next to each other and complete tourist hubs. Unless of course you go on a weekend, then it’s field trip city (yes I know from experience).

The Shedd is very cool in that, the fish, amphibians, reptiles, etc. are sorted by their natural location on the world. As we walked through all of the exhibits to the Great Lakes region (Chicago and the midwest area) she was amazed that these creatures lived in the depths of lakes and so close to where she was staying. Upon seeing the alligator snapping turtle that could easily rip off a person’s hand with its bird of prey like beak, she once again was at a loss for words.

The Field museum was decent, we were pretty tired because she was jet lagged still and I got no sleep after the world Series win last night, so we sort of just glanced around and then visited a really cool exhibit about tattoos which we both enjoyed.

All in all, Neele is super sweet and I think we’ll take another trip downtown, explore a bit more and such. I also learned that people outside of America think that Americans are Trump-loving, Twinkie-eating, rednecks. Seriously. Neele’s friends instructed her that she had to bring twinkies back so everyone could try them. I think I have eaten a single twinkie in my entire life.

Until tomorrow,

Alicia

P.S. Normally I would have taken loads of pictures but we were so captivated by each other and all we had to say the only time I pulled my phone out was to get an uber and to have my dad pick us up from the train station.

 

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