At the mid-point of my week’s travel, I wrote that I had planned on doing this and that and making sure to visit here and there, and also just have some quality time with Jesus.  Well, some of that happened and some of it didn’t.  Let’s just go over the 5 main themes of this journey.

Theme 1: trains are for college students and poor people.  When you combine low price and rails, it NEVER equals a good time.  Think of who rides the subway most of the time… that’s right.  Homeless.  And the train is very similar, both in price and in patrons.  Oh, and it smells like prison.

Theme 2: Union Station in Chicago is built on a lie.  There is no unity in that whole place.  McDonalds charges twice normal prices, all escalators go down, and the signs are all facing the wrong way.  Oh, and I didn’t see a single smile.  Plus, the whole place smelled like Bob H’s Armpits.*

Theme 3:  Even at a discount, sometimes a “budget” hotel is not a good deal.  Both smell and amenities hold higher stake than price to me.  I LOVE a top sheet when I stay at a hotel.  I love using a top sheet at home, too.  Why on earth do I not have a top sheet on my bed?  And why does it smell like old cabbage soup?

Theme 4:  The mainline demographic for Chicago Cab drivers is this… 63 yrs old, polish background, half blind, hald drunk, and self-loathing.  He lives with either his sister or his mother, has no car of his own, has a history of legal problems, and has a very hard time with maps, both using and folding.

Theme 5: Malls are the same no matter where you are.  In a rich area, The Gap sells the same clothes for the same price that  they do in a poor area.  This tells me that not only is my perspective a bit ‘off’ on the price of clothing, but also that the area I live in is fairly low-income.

Here’s a picture of a couple of old men that hang out EVERY DAY in the train station.  I talked to them for almost an hour, and never understood more than about a third of the words they used.


*Bob H is a man I knew as a boy.  He has a theory that the government is trying to make America poor by forcing us to use Deodorant, which he refuses to do, and has refused for more than ten years.