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Chicago Experiences

A Character in Chi-town

USA | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [265] | Scholarship Entry

Barely glancing at the incredible blend of historical and new architecture that made up the beautiful city that was Chicago and was being coated in the first snow of the season, my brother and I were rushing to catch the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Company trolley to take us to our intended destination of the Museum of Science and Technology, which was due to leave any moment.

We turned the corner, just to see a trolley bus disappearing around the corner. With a feeling of dread, we approached the stand where there were still other trolleys waiting, hoping to see our trolley still sitting there, but no luck.

As we turned to each other trying to decide our next course of action, the door on the next trolley opened, and a voice exclaimed “What the hell do you think you are doing just standing around in this weather? Climb aboard and keep warm!”

Gratefully we scrambled aboard and introduced ourselves to John, and explained our predicament. He invited us to join the rest of the motley band of tourists and drivers that were huddled in the trolley waiting for their tour to commence.

John is a larger than life character, and fiercely proud of his city. He proceeded to entertain us all by interspersing snippets of history about areas of interest, tips, and answers which were sometimes brutally honest, but still interesting. I learned more from him then from the research I did prior to our trip.

There didn't seem to be anything he didn't know and had an opinion on, and was the most amazing person I met during our time there.

He embodied all that I admire in a Chicagoite in a city full of incredible sights, sounds and tastes.

As more tourists arrived and departed, he would cheerfully greet and farewell each of us, and made each of us feel special.

We ran out of time to go on his route that day, which is something I definitely am doing as soon as I get back there!

I highly recommend tracking John down, and enjoying this superb character. Earlier in the year (late September – early October) would make the tours more enjoyableand make sure you give yourself a full day to explore all the neighbourhoods have to offer.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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