Saturday, February 17, 2007

From the 'Burbs

Dateline: Melrose Park, Illinois

It has been over 3 months now since I moved to this western suburb of Chicago. The move itself and the adjustment has been very satisfactory -- much less difficult, in many instances, than I had anticipated. I'm still "in transition," though. A lot of normally mundane, everyday life things are still new and exotic. I still get stung by culture shock occasionally. But I must be making progress, since I feel I can blog about it now. :-P

Just off the top of my head...

Some things I like about living here:

1.) There's a small but fabulous public library, and I have a card! I can check out books and even movies free of charge. If my library doesn't have an item, I can usually get it through interlibrary loan. All this abundance still blows my mind.

2.) Although we don't have a car, there are several supermarkets within walking distance of us, and most of them have authentic Mexican food ingredients as well as lots of cool items for kosher, Polish, Indian, Italian, and other cuisines.

3.) Postal service is relatively inexpensive, reliable, and quick. Yeah, I know a lot of people complain about the U.S.P.S., but until you have lived in the developing world, you don't know good we have it here.

4.) This is the Midwest. We are not sophisticated like Out East nor cutting-edge trendy like on the West Coast. There's no ocean here, or mountains, or deserts, no canyons or glaciers or sleeping volcanoes ... just prairie (and a big lake, of course.) I love living in what truly is (despite its being a cliche) the country's heartland.

A couple of things I don't particularly like about living here:

1.) Folks always have the heating turned way up, and I feel like I am going to suffocate. Our apartment is so overheated that we regularly need to open the window -- when it's snowing outside! Even the public buses and subway have the heat way too high. I'm all for avoiding frostbite, but this is just too much. I wonder why the stores even bother to sell sweaters in the wintertime; inside, it's too hot for them, and when you go outside, you are all bundled up in a big coat anyway.

2.) That nasal Chicago accent. I suppose I will get used to it in time, however. I may even acquire one myself! lol

I'm sure more lists will follow.