This morning I decided to join Dido and a Chinese girl at the beach. The navy pier beach. Dido thought it would be a good idea to walk. It wasn’t.
The chinese girl had to be back for 11 and so she gave up half way and sat in the shade. I put my CVS suncream on and instantly turned bright white. The tube claims, ‘goes on clear.’ My arse.
We left the girl and carried on to the pier. We walked a total of 40 minutes and the temperature was already 38C.
The sand was so hot I was worried I’d burn my toes. But the water was perfect and surprisingly full of fish!
We hung around for an hour and then decided to move on to Garfield park, a place that I’d picked from the guidebook. The description made it sound idyllic and enchanting.
We walked for ages so that Dido could buy a transit pass and ended up in a Starbucks. This is apparently a medium from the attached supermarket deli:
We rode the ‘L’ (eLevated subway – it’s one L of a ride! Hahahahha) for quite some time, plunging deeper into ghetto and dilapidated housing. After leaving the subway and getting down to street level, we crossed the road to Garfield Park. There were several small encampments of black delinquents drinking and setting off fireworks (at 1pm.) The place was scary as hell. A mosque loomed ominously in across the road. The other two looked at me and kept asking why the hell I’d brought them here and started talking about how crazy the English are for thinking this would be fun.
I wanted to find the fabled conservatory, but the other two wanted to get the hell out of there. We asked a passerby and found that the conservatory was just on the other side of the road.
They humoured me and followed me inside. It was a lot more pleasant in here and the other two actually really enjoyed themselves.
I got to go down the slide. It was just as shit as the one at the Corus TV place.
Once we’d seen all the flowers we could put up with, we risked the outside world again and got back on the platform for the ‘L.’ the fireworks sounded like gunfire and it seemed like the wail of police sirens had never stopped from the moment we arrived there.
We went back to the loop and transferred to the red line. We’d planned to go to a different beach. Dido wanted to get off near the pier but I convinced him to go further North to Sheldon station.
Once again I’d led us to the ghetto. Also, the road we were one appeared to go to the sea, but instead went to a fenced off golf course. I then relived myself of all decision making duties and they chose the beach.
By now it was 40 degrees and we’d be walking a good couple of miles.
About 3 miles later we finally arrived at the beach. I wasn’t feeling too great and I wa worried about burning. I stayed in the shade applying suncream whilst the other two walked down the beach. A woman sobbed nearby as coastguards searched for her two kids. The beach was massive and absolutely rammed with people.
After an hour or so we went to the bus stop. We got talking to some locals and a girl showed me pics of her holiday to Seattle. Surprisingly it wasn’t raining in any of them. We decided the bus wasn’t coming and to walk a mile to Wilson station. We just missed the train and had to wait about 25 minutes for the next one.
We sat down on the train and then they announced a mechanical failure. 5 mins later they kicked everyone off.
Another train came and we forced our way on, but half way along it switched to express mode. We got back much quicker, but we were dropped off too far south. Everywhere here was shut, so we had to go to a crappy pizza take away. I ate half of a 14″ pizza. I was starving from all the walking, plus no one else liked Hawaiian pizza; or ‘hula’ as they called it here.
We walked back to the hostel, but they’d left for the fireworks without us. We still have an hour to get there so we should be OK.
We never made it to the fireworks. We were waiting for Salim in the room, but he never showed up. Then Dido spoke to some Chinese girl (different one to the one in the morning) and asked if the three of them wanted to come to the fireworks with us.
They started buggering about so I sacked them off and decided I was leaving. We missed the bus anyway.
The first one drove right past as it was full to the brim and the second one stopped but only had room for about 8 people. The Chinese girl and friends showed up.
I took charge and we went to the Buckingham fountain to watch them. So had about 3000 other people. Everywhere you looked there were people sat on the steps or crosslegged on the floor.
The Chinese girl started getting excited by the fountain, lit up in all it’s glory.
We dumped her again and proceeded to the lake shore.
The display was very good. Excellent quality fireworks. They are put on by the pier company itself as the council washed its hands of the whole thing a couple of years back.
I then came back to the hostel finally to sleep and found 3 foreigners in my room. One sat on the floor with a laptop and another walking round in just his tight underpants.
Not something I wanted to see.