Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Writing early in the morning...

I arrived here Friday, today's Wednesday and yesterday I saw my first police car. Well, not JUST seen it, I saw it around lunchtime, but nevertheless it was the first squad car of the trip. Unusual, as I might have said already, being that I'm in the murder capital of the USA – none other than the Windy City, otherwise known as Chicago.
At last! A rare sighting of a Chicago police car...

Last night I had dinner in an Italian restaurant called Rosebud. It was alright. A bit dark in terms of the lighting – perhaps they're trying to hide something, but I doubt it. Chicken Milanese with pasta and salad and a couple glasses of Cabernet. It did me fine and so I returned to my room after a brief mess-around on the computers in the Apple Store. I love Apple computers.

I saw a huge rat yesterday evening. I mean huge. The size of a fucking squirrel, but without the bushy tail. It was running through the flower beds that line some of the streets here in Chicago. I saw it twice and by that I mean twice in the space of about 15 minutes. When I started to retrace my steps back towards North Michigan Avenue, en route to Rosebud, there it was again, running for cover.

I hate dining alone (perhaps I should have invited the rat) especially in a restaurant where it's too dark to read a newspaper, although, to be honest, it wasn't that dark and I had a copy of USA Today and read bits of it while waiting for my order. But sometimes I'm too preoccupied to enjoy reading. I mean, during the day, sitting in a Starbucks in a foreign country with a book and a cup of tea, that's something else, that can be cool and relaxing. But at night when I'm tired and my sole purpose is to go out and eat, well, reading takes a back seat unless I'm feeling particularly chilled and happy.

On the Interstate yesterday, coming back into Chicago
I've just woken up and it's 0310hrs – ten past eight in the morning back in the UK. Last night, after dinner, I read Mark Beaumont's The Man Who Cycled the World before hitting the sack early. That's probably why I'm awake now and writing this, although I started writing last night and now I'm going through deleting bits and changing all the tenses.

News just in...
In Rock Springs, Wyoming, the city council has approved a ban on clothing and tattoos with profane or vulgar language at local recreation facilities. Meanwhile, in Juneau, Alaska – I've been there – around 20 people took a short tour to the Mendenhall Glacier in an electric tour bus, the first ever electric bus to drive on Juneau roads. In Providence, Rhode Island, we hear that the state's criminal  justice system remains largely white, even as 'children of colour' – as the paper puts it – comprise nearly 40% of Rhode Island's youth, claims the Providence Journal. In St. Paul, Minnesota, a group of state lawmakers and historians is looking at how art portraying Native Americans should be used inside the renovated Minnesota Capital building when it re-opens in 2017, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. Residents in Lawrence, Kansas, are being encouraged to either get rid of their ash trees or treat them against the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has devastated tree populations elsewhere. And lastly, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills was fined more than $7,000 for violating its water pollution permit, according to a report in the Statesman Journal.

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