When touching down in the Windy City last week, I was hit by a draft of drinks, a downstream of drones, and drizzle of diners. I was not sure if I was a Chicago Bull or a Chicago Bear at that point in time, but it only took me 3 days to find out.
So the trip began with the drinks, at the Mo Liquor store, for our limo ride to Chi-town. Firstly, prosecco was suspiciously cheap in this “Mo Liquor,” and Rachael and I breezed through the $9 bottle during our journey from St. Charles to Chicago. The speed at which we consumed it was not related to the quality of the alcohol but more from the sheer excitement to be riding in a stretch hummer limousine into the city skyline, and the occasional head out the window to scream “Welcome to ‘Merica”. The drinks then continued later that evening in the form of “shooters” and “firebombs.” To Google translate that, I am referring to shots and questionably bright blue mixers, which again we breezed through. I can confirm that Chicago poured its heart out, and we finished the trip in true British form with Bloody Marys on the Chicago Boat Tour. The tour encompassed a large boat, an enthusiastic old American man, a mic, and 50 other foreign tourists. We tail winded through the city to get to grips with its magnificent architecture, the Michigan Lake and its history, and from what I remember from looking up and squinting at the sun, Chicago is home to 4 of Americas 10 tallest buildings.
However in the midst of the drinks and the buildings, I looked up to the windy blue skies, and I saw my very first drone. It was like a weird apocalyptic moment, where small black robots were flying 100 metres above my head, and I think at first I thought it was a supersized bird. One too many Big Mac meals, it happens to the best of us. But after conferring with my colleagues, I did identify that it was in fact a drone, delivering goods, to humans. Upon returning to the Marriot, our HQ for the weekend, I began to investigate these obese postal birds, and I stumbled onto the Amazon Prime Air Youtube channel. This was the future of the postman. Goodbye Postman Pat, hello robo-bird. I felt one step closer to Will Smith in iRobot. Apart from situations where you forget your dad’s birthday, or a friend buys you a Christmas present and you turn up empty handed, I was unsure when I would like 1 hour delivery service. In this moment of George Orwell Big Brother fear, I reverted back to the safety of Chicago’s Firebombs and all was at peace in my mind.
To wrap up after the drinks and the drones, I ventured to the diners. Being a virgin to the American brunch, I went in full guns blazing. I was open to anything. The “skillet” was in bold on the menu with an American flag stamp of approval next to it, so I felt it was only appropriate to order it. 4 free cups of coffee later, a juice and some much needed water (post-shooter experience), in came my skillet. It was a wok of egg, chicken, cheese, mushroom, spinach, muffin, toast, and ketchup. The Chinese stir-fry from hell, but an American bowl of glory. Like the Windy City had done so far, it blew my mind. I left feeling uncomfortably full, and perhaps if I was to move to Chicago it would only be pencilled in as a monthly affair, but it certainly got my Scottish blue stamp of approval.
Reflecting back on the drinks, drones and diners, I have come to my conclusion about the Bears and Bulls show down. Like the Chicago Bears Football team, I felt as though I had only touched down in the Windy City, and on each passing day I had sailed into a new zone of shops on the Magnificent Mile. Like a bear I was carnivorous to the skillets, bacon and waffles, and as it was so cold I even contemplated wearing fur. As I had not been up the Sears Tower, I didn’t reach the final bull hoop that the city had to offer so I could not be a Chicago bull basketballer. I was yet to fully slam dunk Chicago, and I feel like I am going to have to make a re-match in this city.