July 2022


In Chicago…

Chicago Bicycle

Chicago Bicycle

A few months ago my awesome friends said to me, “Adam—now that we’re living in Chicago, we need storage space! Could you please do something about all the stuff that we’re storing for you?”

I said I would do something promptly.

“You have seven boxes of stuff!”

I was a bit taken aback by this news – try as I might, I could only think of what was in two boxes. The rest were going to be a surprise. But this is what happens when you leave the country thinking that you’re going to be gone for a few years, but a few years suddenly turns into a lot of years.

My favorite incident was when a friend asked me if it was OK that he was using my microwave. I was stunned to learn that I had a microwave – it turns out I’d asked him to hold on to it while I was (briefly) out of the country.

The boxes are emptied – most stuff on its way to charity, a bit of stuff headed toward family, and a few things are ready to go back to Germany with me.

Meanwhile the trip to Chicago included a side trip to visit friends in Indiana and to meet their (soon to be legally) adopted daughter, a sprightly 16-year-old girl. There’s also been a lot of American food—stuff you don’t get in Germany, like an Italian Beef Sandwich from Al’s – an impressively disgusting pile of beef, hot peppers, on a soggy bun – yet it tastes great. But one is enough. Same can be said for Chicken-Fried-Steak and Chicken Chimichangas.

Al's Beef

Regular Al's, extra beef

The only disappointment on this trip was the Field Museum, which I popped by to visit because they had an exhibit on the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair. I felt the special exhibition was a bit shallow – asking really only one decent question (how do we treat people from other cultures?) while displaying a variety of crap that had been on display at the World’s Fair back then.

I’m here until Sunday – then back home for a couple of weeks.

5 comments to In Chicago…

  • Reko

    Senor Adamo-san: I am glad that you are enjoying Chicago’s unique cuisine. You can always get a quadruple heart by-pass on your next visit to the US. (I’ve never fully grasped the concept ‘chicken fried steak’, I must confess. I still imagine a huge chicken standing over a grill in the kitchen frying the steak.) Keep on truckin’, Bro.

  • “I was stunned to learn that I had a microwave – it turns out I’d asked him to hold on to it while I was (briefly) out of the country.”

    So with you on this one. When I left the states, I left my television with my ex-gf, my TiVo is at my brother’s house, and my Roomba is with a friend. I probably won’t bother asking for them back, honestly.

    • Your time abroad was limited from the start and you have definite plans to go back, right? My trip was always open ended — but I thought would max out at 3 or 4 years.

      Now it’s rapidly closing in on a decade.

      • My time here was set initially to a three year contract, but I could have extended it if I wanted to stay. But you’re right, I always felt that this was finite and temporary.