Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm ready to go!

Fromage du jour: Giordano's Chicago-style cheese pizza (that counts, right?)

Yesterday my father and I went to Chicago so that today I could pick up my student visa. We met a friend for lunch and in the evening went to see violin virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird concert at Millennium Park for free. Aside from some ridiculous animations, it was a good concert. He's friggin' talented! I think he did a little too much of the recording & layering at times-- it just got a little repetitive. I would love to see him again, though. Especially in Chicago, where security guards do not escort drunk girls who climb on the stage off of it-- no, they just push them. Today, we got my visa, we went to the Chicago Art Institute, and somehow made it home despite the flight delays on account of the incessant rain.

Finally getting my visa felt like climbing a set of stairs and thinking that there was one more step than there actually was. Painless, but mildly unnerving. That's it? That's all it took? I hand you these papers and $74, and I get to go to France? I've had such anxiety and so many nightmares about it-- I just knew that I would be rejected, I just knew there would be a problem with my paperwork like there was with a few of the other people I saw in the consulate! Last night I had dreams that I was rejected for the following reasons: my ethnicity, lack of exact change, lack of proof that I have a ride from the airport to the train station in Paris, and many other ridiculous things that I hope no embassy would reject you for!

At the airport I met Cobra Starship in the security line-- they're known for their Snakes on a Plane song. I knew it was them because "Cobra S" was written on everything they carried with them-- and because of my pure intuition, of course.

And then I went to a bookstore where I got into a discussion about books with a few people in the store. After that, I went to another bookstore to look for a book the previous store didn't have, and one of the guys from the previous bookstore was there. His name was Dwight. He recommended Jitterbug Perfume so highly that he said he would buy it for me if I wouldn't buy it for myself. He asked for a recommendation from me, and I told him to look at Welcome to the Monkey House by Vonnegut. While I was looking for the book I wanted, he went to checkout and on his way out of the store, pushed a book in my hand. Inside was the receipt, which showed that he had purchased the Vonnegut, and on it he had scrawled, "Hope you enjoy this! If not, return it! Stay golden, Dwight." No last name, number, or e-mail, and he didn't ask for any of my information. He must have been a benevolent librarian of some sort!

I like Chicago O'Hare! Obscure, indie bands and free books? Sounds good to me! I'll be passing through again on Sunday on my way to France. I'm nervous, and excited, and happy, and sad.

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