Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Initiation in to the Ranks

I can cross three rites of passage off my "becoming a Chicago Local" list

1. People keep asking me which el to get on! I think I just look so darn friendly shivering on the platform OR they see me and think "wow! she looks stylish, confidant, and determined, I bet she lives here!" Clearly it's all of these things...and the fact that they're almost positive I won't mug them. Joke's on them. I'm gonna punch the next person that asks me which el to get on and take their wallet. I need to start living up to this.

2. I got a 30-day CTA pass! I was not aware this was a rite of passage until my roommate came home with one, and what I believe to be a chicagoan is 10% what I witness and 90% what my friends tell me. I think I'm in good hands. In any case I figured with job interviews and theatre-ing around town I probably needed it.

I color coordinated with it on purpose...no really

3. Lastly, I had my first run in with Chicago crime last night! (mom, don't read this...)

Coming home home last night I got on the red line and got to the next stop when CTA came over the PA and told us to get off the train and on to a shuttle bus that would take us to the next open train station. I whipped out my handy dandy phone to check and apparently there was police activity and the el couldn't just run right through it.

I got on to the shuttle where I settled in next to a woman who kept exclaiming "this is no place to raise your kids!" A gentleman who kept trying to make nervous conversation, and an older man hovering above me and making gagging noises. Hurray!

Let me say that the bus' speculation as to what was going on was heightening by the minute. "I hear he's got hostages! He's holed up in an army surplus store and he's got AK-47s!" Now, it being too dangerous for the el to drive through it made me assume that we wouldn't see anything, but no, the bus drove right by the police line, 5 news trucks and 6 police vans but not much else that we could see.

An hour after getting off the train the shuttle finally dropped us off at the station and let us ride for free. The whole crowning jewel on the evening happened when a man started an impromptu comedy routine on the train. Memorable paraphrases included: "I saw the Target and the McDonald's next to the crime scene were still open. Did anyone want to go back and shop or get a burger?" and "Who let an ex-convict in to an army surplus store? He shows up with the orange jumpsuit and chains and they let him in. This isn't Chicago, this is Chi-raq!" However inappropriate, I was reduced to tearful laughter and felt a little less distressed.

Here's what actually happened. Not near as ridiculous as bus speculation, and there were no hostages, and no one was hurt

More of the initiation ceremony to come!


  1. OK I keep trying to post. Let's see if this works.

  2. Yea It worked! OK, now I can tell you that I did read the post and it still scares me. Your Dad is the one that better not read it! Please stay safe. We all love you. :)