[nearly two months late, but written in (sometimes) present tense]And relax. Many hours, miles, sinus pain from hell, and twelve hours kip later, we touch down near Lakeview. The area looks like student digs but on a much grander scale. And minus the students. It’s ramshackle, on the low-income side of things, and there are dogs everywhere. Everyone has a dog! But this is not a part of the city I know or remember.
Firstly, can I just say sleeping off time differences is still the best sleep there is? It’s the following day and I wander to the bay for an hour, through the underpass and its residents, partly to basque in the turmoil of the waters. Sure, it’s grey, windy, and colder than the Scotland I’d left mere hours ago, but it allowed my brain some space to think. I have been begging to return to Chicago ever since we left in 1996, all to no avail. The need died down for several years, only to resurface during university round one. So, here I am, thinking. And watching the dogs try to catch the wind surfer.
Ok, so what’s so special about Chicago, I hear you cry? “It’s a city like every other city”, or “you must not get out much”. The answer is very simple: it’s a former home. The upside to being a real-life Dora the Explorer meant Little Laidig saw lots of places and engaged with all sorts of people and their cultures over a short time frame. The side-effect meant that the concept of “home” became very important to the Little Laidig a bit earlier than it probably needed to be. I have always said that I’ve travelled to more places before the age of ten than most will ever achieve in their entire lives. And of all of them? Chicago was the only one that felt like a home from home.
Another, and more recent, reason has work written all over it. I can’t adequately explain why America, but for what feels like an eternity I have wanted to work in theatre stateside, even if it is for a summer. I came here with “theatre” on the brain, to scope out prospective companies, and get into as many of them as I could to see how they worked. However, it’s now bone chillingly cold, in an area I barely know, and the few people on the beach have since long left. Our two days in Chicago are up, and tomorrow we drive to East Lansing, MI. Back in a week! (Both literally and in the recap).
P.S. After looking through a lot of my pictures, part of me is now tempted to come up with some sort of noir thriller that has absolutely nothing to do with the contents. Think a lone bench on the sand, grainy skies, weird graffitti, and sky scrapers… Never mind, I’ve now talked myself into it.