Wednesday, March 16, 2016

So, About Life In Chicago

So I know I usually give you guyses a glimpse of my ice kacang weather days,
but lemme just give you an update about my life in Chicago so far.

1. What the hell am I doing here?

I landed in O'hare after a 20-something hour flight and a transit in Hong Kong and Singapore
and was greeted with snow and black ice.

So there I was...
wait, forgot to mention I also fell sick on the plane - I also fell sick on the plane.

So there I was,
 jet-lagged, sick, covered in snow, miserable.

Wondering why I left my comfort of home to come to this place covered in snow, freezing, kinda dirty, had really bad weather, where I didn't know anyone.
(Okay, I knew Cheryl - 1 person. Who lives 40 minutes away from me)

"I could've gone to California, 
 the little trixha in my head yelled at me, while pointing at the city covered in snow.

2. Grandmas
Before I left I went to see my ama (grandma on dad's side);

"If it gets too difficult, just tell your mum you want to come home.
It's okay, you no need to stay there"

And she started tearing.

"I'm not going to see you off, cos I don't want to say bye to you. So you take care okay?
Don't forget to tell your mum you want to come back if you don't want to study anymore"

And it made me crai. Crai an ocean.

Other grandma on the other hand (mum's side);

"If I knew you were planning to go to Chicago I would have
called visa immigration and told them not to let you in. I will tell them -
This is my grand daughter! She is not allowed to go to the U.S!"

3. LDR sucks

In addition to the aforementioned, 
being on the other end of the world also meant being half a world away from Bob a 14 hour time difference.

4. Sorry, did I already mention the snow?
People I meet here keep telling me that this was one of the mildest winters.
But at -16 celcius, no one is going to have a good time ok?

4.1. Shit people who don't live in snow say:

"So fun, it's snowing!"
 Snow is pretty for about 2 minutes. Then you realize you have to leave your nicely heated apartment to walk in the said snow, that's casually melting into your shoes and making it's sloshy mark on your was-warm socks.

"It's so fun that you can see your breath when it's cold"
But. no.

"Oh you can go outside play in the snow and build a snowman"
To which my friend (who lives in this weather) said:
"Uhm, yea. that's when it's snowing and it's like "warm" winter, not in this craziness"

But I also can't deny that while I don't like it while it's snowing, 
after it snows the curbs are covered in nice white fluffy snow that you want to poke - can't explain this but you just want to touch it and destroy it's otherwise very fluffy perfect layer.
A bit like bubble wrap - you just can't leave it alone.

5. But it got better, like a lot better!
Chicago is great! It's really hard to hate Chicago.

Getting used to the weather
When I first got here and Cheryl told me it was a nice day of 1 Celcius. I thought she was crazy.
But after awhile you kinda get used to it;

1 degree - pretty decent weather.
4 degrees - people are wearing shorts.
8 degrees - it's good weather.
15 degrees - can almost leave your coats at home.

The diversity is properly diversed.
It's a very good mix of people, that it's not as easy to pick out a predominant race.
Okay la, subject to the neighborhood you're walking in. Obviously in Chinatown there will be alot of Chinese. But for the most part, it's still a very good mix of people. Perks of being in a city.

It's easy to make long as you're willing to.
People are pretty friendly here and it's been pretty easy to make friends.
A nice properly diverse trail mix of friends.

There's always something to do.

Like the above..but other than that,
I listen to alot of indie music and  whenever I google the artist,
there's a 80 percent chance that he/she will be coming to Chicago at some point.

There's also all kinds of runs like bubble run, disco run, neon run, paint run, etc.
And I see so many ads for things like "glow in the dark techno yoga" whatever that is.
So really, whatever you want. Sure can find oneee.

6. The weather is warming up
Means winter is ending and Spring is almost here. This made me like Chicago x5.
I saw a bud in the ground the other day and I got properly excited for 10 minutes #truestory.
I also saw Costco selling a giant vase of tulip plants that I told myself I'd go back to buy it.

How I feel about non-negative weather:


7. Rice
I have rice or noodles everyday! Even more than I did back in KL.
My pantry is stocked with more Chinese ingredients than I used to have in my house.
I make soup twice a week (lotus root, water cress, ABC) and some form of stir fry.
If I feel in a dessert-y mood, I'll make Barley/Lo Hon Ko at night.
So more Chinese food than I used to eat.  Maybe I'm subconsciously homesick.
Which brings us to number 8.

8. Being homesick
It hasn't been so bad. I haven't been like "I want to go home noww"
Most of the time it's when I miss banana leaf or horfun, but it's pretty manageable.
Actually, it's super manageable la. Most of the time I think of home when I think of Bob and why the time difference is so annoying. But other than that, I just go about my day, doing my thing.
Which bring us to number 9.

9. A disassociation
Okay, this ones a little hard to explain. But I feel disassociated to my life in KL.
Like whatever I used to do, eat, watch, see, doesn't really matter because that's not what my life is now. Presently, life in Chicago is what life is and everything in KL seems like a memory.
Which sounds kinda sad I know, it's a really hard feeling to explain. Anyone else who moved feel this way too?

I explain it in this way -
You went on holiday/to Disneyland and you had a lot of fun. When you think of what you did, you're really happy and know you had a really good time there. You can say you miss eating churros and watching the parade. But the fact is, you aren't in Disneyland anymore. You're sitting on your desk/couch/bed reading this. And that's your life now.

If I move back to KL, I'll probably feel the same way about Chicago.
But yeh, that's pretty much how I feel right now.
Which isn't really bad or sad (I don't feel sad about it anyway). It's just different.

That's pretty much life in Chicago for me so far.
More time.


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