Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Obligatory Sight-seeing Blogging

UPDATE 01/12/07 : Just realised that 'Chicago' is not mentioned once over the course of this blog entry! Sorry about that!

Right - now that I'm done with the vent-fest that was Belgium Week, it's time to resume your scheduled programming!

The purpose of the trip was to meet up with my buddy Mike, who was visiting his girlfriend Holly, but it afforded me a chance to meet plenty of interesting characters, sample the different culture, and do the obligatory sightseeing nonsense that these study-abroad experiences are expected to be riddled with!

I arrived on Thursday evening, and went out to a Disco Bar type setting, which was a fairly typical night - had no problems getting in with my poorly faked ID, and I spent the evening conversing with random friends of Holly. Amazingly, for the first time since I got here, I met two Irish lads, one of whom was studying abroad in the States for a year, much like myself. The similarities didn't end there though, his tongue was loosened from a fairly successful night of drinking, and we found out we had a lot in common, most of which was the eerily similar tales of our respective American girlfriends... As if there's only one formula that all these yanks use in order to secure themselves some hot-piece-of-poor-'th'-sound-pronouncing-man-ass! My similarities with my new friend ended when later on in the night I witnessed him urinating behind a mailbox while his friend screamed drunken obscenities at some large looking men... Those fightin' Irish!

On the freezing cold walk back, I learned that Dunkin' Donuts was still open, so of course we had to stop in on the way - and in the process stumbled upon a freestyle rap battle! Basically there were two black kids against four or so white boys, and the white guys got schooled. My initial speculation that the black guys had a list of insulting rhymes pre-learnt so they could rattle off was disproved after they took what the white kids said and turned it against them. I was a little disappointed that the black kid kept everything at 'ghetto' mentality - talking about selling crack and smoking dope, when he seemed to be not be doing so poorly, judging from his 'fly' clothing. After knocking the uppity white kids speechless, they embraced as a show that the entire affair was in good humour, which was a relief that nobody was in fact, going to get capped in their pasty white ass. Sadly, I had no camera on me to document this fascinating ritual, but it's definitely something that you have to see for yourself.

Friday was the main day of sightseeing - Mike and I walked the 'Miracle Mile' - which is basically a lot of nice shops, as we made our way towards the Sears Tower, stopping into the Library along the way to avail of the bathroom facilities (not that you needed to know that, but it's technically another thing I saw). The closer we got to the Sears Tower, the more 'Caution - Falling Ice' signs we saw. When we were within a four block radius of the tower, we began to see this ice we were cautioned about, as the brick-sized lumps hurtled towards the ground at a startling pace. Amazingly, despite a couple of near misses, I didn't see anybody get hit.

The observation deck on the 103rd floor was closed for annual renovations, so we went to the 99th floor... (just doesn't seem as impressive, does it?) Here we were mesmerised by the falling ice as we waited for Holly, her brother and his friend to meet up with us. Despite the mist, the view was still pretty impressive, and from sitting around for a half hour or so, it at least felt like better value for money than my time atop the Empire State building! (and watching ice fall to earth and speculating how many people it killed made for a fun game)

That blur to the top, just left of centre is a chunk of ice hurtling towards someone's skull

Here's Scott and Kevin demonstrating how tall this tower is. Cheers lads.

This post is getting long, so I think I'll finish the rest later, but here's some more pics and info!

Mike and I went to a mall where they were recording a Christmas Movie with Vince Vaughn!

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