Shoppin' around

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
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250
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Trip End Nov 04, 2008


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Where I stayed
Howard Jones - $52 weekdays double

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Monday, September 15, 2008

Given it is still raining and a work day we avoided going into Chicago again (we will tomorrow Tuesday). Traffic on TV is terrible and a few roads are still cut. Instead we took it easy and visited a few malls and shops in the town nearby (a long highway with malls on each side more than a town).

A few thoughts came to our mind:
- No "take away": every time we use the expression "take away" at a restaurant they fail to understand us. We have now worked out that in US you say "to go" or "carry out".
- There are hardly any walk in ATM (cash boxes) except in large cities. In small towns its always a drive in ATM which means that when we want cash and are walking around we have to queue behind a car and then do the operation with another car behind...they must think we are nuts! Walking?!
- We saw a great cemetry today...it was closed all around with fences, but had a family of deer walking around happily. What a nice idea..nature and animals.
- Baby changing facilities: most restaurants here have baby changing facilities in the mens toilets (apart from the womens)...not that Marcos has seen them used once...but light years away from Europe on this issue!

Anyway, due to the rain  it took us about 1 hour to get to a mall which is only 20 mins away, and we were nearly crushed by a lorry in a traffic light which failed to stop and was rolling backwards. Luckily Veronika noticed in time and Marcos was able to drive backwards while honking and using some rude words (we will not repeat them here).

That leads us to the point that driving skills in US are little to be desired. We are not sure if its the easiness of driving automatic cars or something different but we have seen racoons driving better than some of the truck drivers (and others) during our travels. Also there is a high amout of very elderly drivers out there going at a very slow speed and making erroneous movements. This is not allowed back in Europe...

With regards to the rain...it has been the highest volume of rain the Chicago area since 1871, and we had to be here to check it out! The area of Cook County (where Chicago is) has been declared a disaster zone.

Bad news also at Wall Street with Lehman Brothers going bankrupt and more shocking even, Marcos' old company AIG nearly collapsed with its shares plummeting 50% and doubts about its continuity. Quite shocking.

Cheerio for the time being
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