We checked out and walked to the Mag Mile to catch a bus. We seemed to have missed the bus I originally wanted to catch, so we wander a bit aimlessly until another bus came and we went on it. The bus driver told us that his last stop was State or something, but since it wasn't that far from the train station we said ok. So we got to the last stop, and as we were getting off the driver asked if we were taking the train to go to O'Hare. We nodded yes and he replied that since his shift was over he would take us directly to the train station.
My wife and I were stunned, speechless. Never in our wildest dreams did we expected kindness like that, just because we're as cold and heartless as they come. And as he drove I could tell he was actually taking us directly to a blue line station which meant we didn't have to change lines, saving another 15 minutes off the trip. So we thanked him profusely throughout the journey. He asked us if we were Koreans, to which we replied Taiwanese. He then started to mention how it used to be called Formosa and how the Commies kicked the Nationalists to the island in '48, a history buff he is. Just then we arrived at the station, I gave him a measly $3 tip (cheapskate until the day I die) though I don't think he actually expected one, another revelation. Chicago has now become our second favourite city in the whole damn world.
After we got to the airport my wife mentioned we should give our passes, which haven't expired yet, to other people. I was too anti-social to do it but she volunteered so I went along. She walked up to a woman who was in the process of buying from the pass machine and offered a pass to her. She misunderstood our intention and thought we were selling her the pass, so she shrugged and tried to give us some money. We re-explained the situation and she finally took the pass. There was another woman nearbly, who upon hearing the exchange had no such misgivings and immediately took our offered pass.
Check-in was uneventful, we only had to wait a few minutes, and the security line was short too. Since we arrived so early I decided to try my luck at the RCC to see if they would let us in. I was surprised when the RCC matron took one look at our BP and waved us in, she didn't even look up my number in the computer. This RCC sucks like the rest of the domestic RCC, but at least there was free O.J. and a wall socket for me to charge the laptop.
Two very cute babies on our flight. People used to see Katrina crawl and mention how she could easily win infant-crawling races. Hah, what a joke, the baby we saw in the airport was Jackie Joyner-Kersee reincarnate. We watched her stormed her way through the waiting area while her mother tried in vain to stop her. So kawaii.
I was the only one up front on the flight back. I offered my seat to the wife but she said she was fine in the back, ok. Got the same breakfast as before, but at least this time I found a magazine with a sudoku puzzle which I tried in vain to finish. Finishing higher difficulty sudoku is definitely easier on a computer as opposed to paper/pen. Maybe that's just me. Uneventful flight, customs was again a breeze, the guy asked like 2 questions.
Things I learned on this trip:
- Chicagoans are much friendlier than we thought. At almost every store we were greeted by cheerful employees, even at the supposedly haughty luxury goods stores.
- Park Hyatt is a fucking steal at $250. Service so-so. Never got to use the afternoon tea. Maybe next time. Still have to give away the two free tickets to the modern art museum.
- Don't stay at the Four Seasons until they have finished their renovation. But service is phenomenal, definitely 5-star worthy.
- Still have to try the Pen and the chocolate buffet.
- Chicago bus/train passes are valid for 24 hours, not just end-of-day. Very cool.
- AC IT sucks.. I should seriously think about exploiting that bug I found.