Going to Chicago

The arrival gave us the first great experience of the country – meeting of a man who is living *the american dream*. The taxy guy named Roman. He’s from Ukraine. He told us about his life here, that his expectations were a bit higher, and that he’s already full of it, and want’s to go somewhere else. The taxi itself was pretty small.
Imagine that – america with no SUV taxis. A big disappointment. Of course this time we are in the north and surprisingly, the north is quite *different*. Smaller cars, cold weather, bigger taxes. And only a few trucks. And no SUV taxis.

Well ok. *Different* is a bit of exaggeration. I would not be able to tell the difference between Texas, Florida and Illinois only by pictures that I took. The image that the world gets from movies about America is quite misleading. The cities, famous places and national parks are pretty nice of course, but the most of the america is covered by suburbs that fit between the highways, and *those* are exactly the same in every corner of the states. Same flat landscape consisting of department stores, TGI friday’s, Wendy’s and the occasional tree, decorating the lawn of a higher class restaurant.

It rained the whole night.

In the morning we went on our first and most important mission here – shopping frenzy. Tom the shuttledriver took us to the Foxwalley mall which is exactly the same as any other mall in america – JC pennies, Sears and Macies in the corners, a Foodcourt in the centre, and small brandstores in between. We poor and cheap Latvians logically targeted the department stores, specifically Sears. It’s a crap place by American standards, but for us it’s a paradise for discounted brand name clothing. Looks something like our Stokmann, but without the premium price tag. Actually you can get a pair of LEVI’s for 60 bucks total. I dare you to show me Levi’s anywhere in Europe for 14 Lats or below.

The other definite place is across the street. Bestbuy’s. **The** paradise.

So there we got a HD camcorder, photo camera, two laptops, two iPhones … and none of it for me. All orders from friends at home.

Then (the order’s all messed up here, but what the hell …) we went to the music instrument store a few blocks from BB. The place is quite huge, and I bet it would be a wet dream of one of the readers here – there is a section the size my apartment x2 devoted only to drums …

In the guitar section Sergejs got an Ibanez acoustic-electric guitar which sounds and looks fantastic, and we already had some unplugged concerts here in the room, where the iPhone showdown was taking place all evening.

Anyways, now I’m back from TGI’s where, contrary to the religion here, I didn’t eat steak, but the best fish I have ever tasted.

Yeap, *the* paradise. iPhone in my pocket, Macbook Air under my fingertips, taste of Dr Peppers still in my mouth and the *land of unlimited opportunities* all around me.

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