Sunday, November 18, 2007

count down to winter

November 17, 550pm Chicago; November 18, 750am Manila

It's 4 degrees Celsius outside and it's drizzling. It is freezing and i never felt so cold in my entire life, and it's not even winter yet. Weather in Chicago has been steadily dropping the past couple of weeks. While tress are shedding off their leaves in preparation for winter, I on the other hand, have steadily adding on items of clothing to wear. Hay, ang hirap ha. Mahirap pag malamig, ang daming layers na gagamitin. Nakakainis.

Pag sa Manila ka, you try to wear things that keep you cool... shorts, skirts, tshirts. tapos flipflops na lang ok na diba? naku, dito ang daming layers na kailangang gamitin to keep you warm. :-P. Actually, i kinda like this weather now... bearable pa naman kung may coat ka, what i dont want is the cold wind. grabe, when it blows sobrang lamig parang may bumugbog sa yo or something.

Anyways, going back to clothing. I never wore so much in 1 day ha. Like now, i need to wear thermal pants and jeans, tapos socks, tapos may thermal shirt pa under my regular shirt. Aside from that my hoodie pa akong gamit at thick coat pag lumalabas... now dont forget to wear scarf, bonnet and gloves... so all in all, these days, i usually wear at least 5 items of clothing just to keep me warm on the train. tsk tsk. eh sa pinas tama na ang jeans at t-shirt. minsan nga short at t-shirt lang. bwahahaha.

Well kahit marami akong reklamo regarding keeping warm, as i said, i kinda love fall (at least early fall) kc its not too cold and wet and its not too warm and dry. Sana nga may fall sa pinas, its getting to be my fave season. :) Aside from the weather, i also like the holidays associated with fall like thanksgiving and halloween. I will be having my first thanksgiving and sana maging ok ito. I am really looking forward to it. Kc its one holiday na para sa lahat ng religion. Not like Chirstmas or Eid na specific, thanksgiving is for all. Kaya i really am looking forward to experiencing my first thanksgiving... bring on the turkey, and pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I have tickets!

November 11, 450pm Chicago; November 12, 650am Manila

After weeks of procrastinating, I finally got the nerve to order tickets to Wicked, the musical. :) I called ticketmaster and ordered 2 tickets for an afternoon performance on November 21. Luckily, there were still availble tickets on the price range we wanted. hehehe It might not be the best seat around (we might have limited view and all), but who cares, I am going to watch the show!

Now if i can only find someone to go with me to watch shear madness. :) Anyone interested?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

what no simpack?!?

November 9, 1020pm Chicago; November 10, 1220am Manila

What no simpack??? yan ang unang pumasok sa isip ko nung naghanap ako ng prepaid sim dito sa tate. I mean, sa atin di ba kahit saan mall pwede kang makabili ng simpack? Well, dito when you buy a prepaid sim, you have to buy the phone that goes with it!

Yup, package deal ang phone and sim dito. They call it "phone-to-go" and not all providers offer this service. Hey, they even only sell the phonepack and prepaid callcards on selected places (like walgreens, target and walmart). hehehe. Di gaya sa atin, kahit saang kanto, makakabili k ng load. Kahit sa ating sari-sari store may nagbebenta ng load. :)

Hmmm ano pa ba? Well unlike sa atin, where you can immediately use the sim, dito you have to call the provider to have it activated. You have to give a bunch of information (the simcard number, the phone SME, etc) to have the sim activated. You only get your phone number once the sim gets activated. O diba, ibang iba sa atin? :) sa atin, may phone number na sa simpack at ready to use. You only have to load a minimum of 50php (minsan nga 20 or less lang) para magamit mo ang sya. Dito? Minimum load is 10usd. Hay, kung di ko lang kailangan ng phone dito... hehehe.

Ay oo nga pala, all incoming and outgoing calls (cp man or landline) dito ay bayad. So parang mas ok pa rin sa atin kahit pangit ang service ng PLDT at bayantel. :)

one month na

November 9, 10pm Chicago; November 10, 12nn Manila

Grabe, more than one month na pala ako dito and it feels like i arrived just a week ago. Ang bilis ng araw! Eh feeling ko wala pa akong masyadong nagagawa. Ni di pa nga ako nakakabili ng ticket for a play nor try the famous dog nor even shop.Di di pa nga ako nakakapunta sa taas ng sears tower. Pathetic ano? How is wish i could stay longer here, parang there are so many things to do and explore and i am running out of time to do it.

Anyways, I am planning to go to the shedd aquarium tomorrow. Sana nga di n nman ako mawala at malito sa mga bus routes. hehehe. Tapos bahala na kung ano ang gagawain ko sa Sunday. Di pa ako nakakapunta sa Navy Pier at di pa rin ako nakakabili ng ticket for wicked (sana makakuha ako ng ticket this month or next month). Hay, tapos pathetic pa going to places alone. How i wish may kasama ako dito or may pera ako to go to California for thanksgiving weekend. :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

alone and other kwento part 3

November 4, 627pm Chicago; November 5, 827am Manila

Start ng fallback ng Daylight savings time nila ngayon. So medyo 14 hours advance ang Manila. Being someone who never experienced daylight saving, medyo nakakalito diba? :) Well, i get the general concept of DST (try to maximize daylight as much as possible during summer months, pero medyo nalito ako kaninang umaga. hehehe. I woke up at 7am, switched on the TV and checked the time. Turns out, it was only 6am. bwhahaha. (All) Clocks were turned back an hour at 2am so i had an extra hour of sleep today. :).

Downside, dapat pala i maximized my morning kc maagang dumilim na dito so sobrang dilim na dito at 5pm. Dapat pala i should have left at 9am instead of 1030am para mas maaga ako sa downtown and have more time at the Art Institute. Hay kulang ang 3 hours dun. di ko nalibot lahat ng exhibits. I hope may time akong bumalik dun. :)

Hay naku, napagkamalan na naman akong student. :) I guess i should begin to take it as a compliment. Nung bumili kc ako ng ticket tinanong kung student ako, hehehe, the wonders of being pandak. Dapat pala dinala ko yung old ID ko, baka makadiscount. Come to think of it, may discount din pala ko - may discount coupon kc dun sa mga nakuha kong pamplets sa Cultural Center.

Maganda ang mga Exhibits, may asian art, may contemporay, european at american art at kung iba iba pa. I enjoyed the going to the paperweight exhibits at dun sa mga sculptures at mga painting ng mga greats. Pero i still can't really appreaciate all contemporary paintings. hehehe. Just goes to show di ako masyadong artistic or creative - although i Jasper Johns: Gray exhibits especially yung numbers series nya. I am sure my family would really enjoy visiting this museum.

A pat on the back for me. This time, i did not get lost! hehehe syempre direcho lang ng jackson or adams at tumbok na ang Art Institute. Pabalik? Derecho din lang until matumbok ko ang Sears tower or ang union station. hehehe. Yun nga lang i had to leave at 345pm to catch the 430 train home kc walk lang ako to the station. I kinda enjoy walking in Chicago, kc parang in every turn may makikita kang interesting. :) plus marami ding nag lalakad kaya feeling safe ka.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ano daw?

These are Miro and Piccaso's Unnamed sculptures. What do you see?

Miro's Chicago

Miro's Chicago view2

Piccaso's sculpture

alone and other kwento, part 2

November 3, 721pm Chicago; November 4, 821am Manila

How to take a tour of Chicago for free: Go to the Cultural Center and take all the free tours you can get. :)

Diba I was really planning to go to the cultural center and the art museum today? So before going downtown i already made my schedule and syempre i mapped out the route i was going to take for the day.

Fist stop was to an AT&T or cingular store to inquire about prepaid plans since it is expensive to be on roaming for the remaining 2 months that i am here. I searched on line and found 2 stores not far from the Cultural Center and Millenium Park. So being myself, I took out a map and drew in Red Ink the path that i should take for the day. Alam mo naman chi na ligawin ako at as much as i try, i really can't read a map. hehehe

Anyways, so naka set na ang route ko and since maaga nman ang lakad ko (11am - maaga na yun ha!) i have confidence in myself na mahahanap ko rin ang mga lugar na pupuntahan ko. After lunch at the union station, I made my merry way to my first stop - yung prepaid CP.

I have to give myself a pat on the back for finding the AT&T and Cingular stores (although sad kc Mondays to Fridays lang pala sila open - huhuhu di na yata ako makakabili ng prepaid), and the Cultural Center. Yung Art Museum ok na rin kc medyo alam ko ang Millenium park.

The Cultural Center Building

As usual budget mode ako, so tamang tama lang talaga ang aking first stop which was the Chicago Cultural Center. I arrived at the Center around 1pm just in time for the start of the free tour of the building which was scheduled at 115pm. While waiting for the tour to start, i checked out the visitor's information center and helped myself to another map, and a few brochures of what the city has to offer. It was then that i found out that there is another Free tour of the city (highlighting the architecture of Chicago)scheduled between 230pm and 3pm. Naturally, being me, i signed on for that tour too. hehehe (Since ang mode ko is to save para maka panood ako ng wicked or some other play - hala mahal ang ticket noh!)

Anyways, both of the tours were informative and really gave me an appreciation for the city. I mean, they really have a sense of history, pride and love for the city. Sana noh, ganon din tayo sa atin. I especially love the sculptures they have scattered around downtown. I guess, you will really appreciate Chicago when you take a walking tour kc ang daming little and big surprises - like Picasso and miro's sculpture, yung mga old theaters, and old buildings. Sayang wala ang family ko dito, I am sure that my siblings and my parent will appreciate the sights of Chicago. Insha Allah, we can all visit Chicago soon. :)

Anyways, the "walking tour" ended around 430pm, giving me just enough time to walk back to the union station to catch my train. I have to go back down town tomorrow for the art museum thing - O chi, cultured chenes ako na. bwhahha. Eto ang nakakatawa (i am so sure my siblings are laughing their heads off), Medyo di ko na alam kung pano bumalik sa Union station and to make matters worse, nadaanan ko ang route nung umaga ha! May map na nga ako, nawala pa ako! bwhahaha. I mean alam ko ang streets and how to get there, di ko lang alam kung saan ba ang south or ang north. heheheh And i can't retrace my steps kc di na ako bumalik sa cultural center kc nga hinahabol ko ang oras.

Anywas, i remember some of the landmarks i passed nung papunta ako sa Randolf st at washington st., yun nga lang di ko matandaan how to go back to adam's or jackson st kung san ang union station. Dito kc ang haba ng kanilang streets di gaya sa atin na after one corner ay iba na ang pangalan ng street. Dito streets can strech for miles at ang difference lang ay yun S or N or E or W na prefix sa mga street signs.

Tonk talaga ako... buti na lang di ako nag panic (hala dumidilim na noh - maaga dumilim ngayon dito) at pumasok n lang ako sa isang parmacy to ask for directions. :) It turned out that i was actually going the right way, yun nga lang sa kabilang street lang. hehehe. Anyways, I actually made it to the train station with a few minutes to spare (before boarding). Hay, ganito ba uli ako bukas? hehehe. Kaya, i really need someone with me - someone who knows how to read maps and NOT GET LOST! Chi, are you reading this? Brings back memories doesn't it?

It is getting a lot chilly starting this weekend. Buti na lang medyo tolerable pa naman kanina. Sana ok din bukas. I just need to wear my thick coat, my thermal garments, long sleeved shirt, a scarf and a pair of gloves. Not much no? hehehe. Naku, kung nilalamig na ako today, what more kaya on Tuesday or Wednesday when it is said to be sobrang malamig na baka daw mag snow. huhuhu. I am sure my dad, atchie and my cousin will enjoy this weather.

Sana I have enough dough to be able to watch at least 1 play. I will try to get a ticket to wicked or another play before the end of november. Yun nga lang, i do need to get a ticket for the afternoon show since i dont have a place to stay in the city. Eto yung time na sana meron akong kasama dito kc at least we can share a cab going home. :) Sana, sana i can watch a play. Insha Allah, 1 or 2 plays before i go home.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

alone and other kwento

November 2, 2007, 1030pm chicago; November 3, 11am Manila

After spending the past two weekends with a friend and cousins, I will be spending this weekend alone.

Sayang at hindi ako sa downtown area nakatira, kungdi I'm sure that i will have the weekend all planned out - like going to the park or a museum or watching a play without having to worry about catching the train home. hehehe.

Now being in the suburbs, i have to take into consideration the metra schedule in planning my weekend. That and syempre, i have to take into consideration my budget for the weekend. Hay ang hirap talaga kung working within the budget ka. bwahhaha. How I wish i could earn what the peeps here are earning. hehehe Insha Allah, baka may chance to come back here soon and who knows maybe stay for a longer period? :)

Anyways, I am planning to start my day tomorrow a bit late. I was thinking of taking the 11am train to the city (ETA to the city will be 1145am). I just hope that it will be warm enough (sabi kc high of 57 to low of 37bukas) to take a walk from the Union station to the Cultural Center and the Art Museum. O diba, feeling cultured ako bukas? hehehe. I was thinking of making this Saturday my Art and Culture day since I was not able to do it last week (bonding time with cousin and aunt kc ako last week).

Since i have the option of getting the 430 or the 530pm train (home), it would give me around 4 to 5 hours in the city. I hope it gives me enough time to visit the two places i mentioned or i could always stay at millenium park after the cultural center visit. Hay, sana di masyadong malamig bukas.

Since Chicago is known as the Windy City and it looks like the weather will be colder as winter approaches, I will be prepared for the sudden drop of temperature tomorrow. :) The first time I went downtown (at sa gabi pa ito ha), I was not prepared for the cold, chilly air. Nakajacket nga ako, pero yung manipis lang. bwhahha, i was freezing when i got off the train.

Since lumalamig na, I have to be ready - I already bought some winter stuff from manila, pero di ako nakadala nor nakabili ng gloves at thermal pants (mahal yung nakita kong gloves sa mango at di ako nakapunta sa greenhills for the thermal undergarments). Syempre nagkukuripot ako so sa Target ang punta ko and instead of buying women's leather gloves and thermal garments, i bought what i needed in the children's section. So what kung di stylish? Eh mas mura naman at medyo nasa size ko. hehehe.

Nakakatawa nga eh, yung nabili kong thermal medyo malaki sa akin ng konti. XL ang binili ko kc ang nakalagay dapat for peeps na 95-115Ibs, so binili ko, yun pala dapat yung L lang binili ko at di ako tumingin sa weight kungdi sa waistline. hehehe. Pero oks lang, more room to grow naman. With the food i am eating everyday, naku, I am sure tataba ako. Di n nga magkasaya yung isang jeans ko. hay, no wonder tumataba ang mga peeps dito, ang lalaki ng servings, tapos daming soda at fast food. Eh diba wla akong kitchen or microwave sa hotel room ko? so puro akong fast food and junk food. tsk tsk. I'm sure pagagalitan ako ng sister ko.

Kanina, dapat maliit na bag lang ang dadalhin ko kc i won't be spending the night in the city, but upon hearing the news, i had to repack everything to a bigger bag kc i will be bringing a heavier coat just in case. Plus medyo maglalayer na ako ng damit bukas, i will just take off the jacket if mainit. bwahaha... so ang laman ng bag ko ngayon: bonnet, scarf, mittens/gloves, and a thick down jacket. Nakakatawa nga eh, kc nilalamig na ako pero yung mga locals di pa nilalamig. May nakita pa nga akong nakashorts habang nagjogging. heheheh. Sabagay the sun was shining then at medyo parang tagaytay or Baguio lang ang lamig pero what i can't take is the wind. Grabe, sobrang lamig kung mahangin. (teka, parang mali na itong sentence ko, pero you get what i mean di ba? Kahit sinasabi nilang 45 degrees outside tapos mahangin pa, it would feel like 35).

Kung ang Chicago ay Windy City, pwede rin kayang tawaing Windy City ang Manila? Yun nga lang Mainit na hangin lang ang meron tayo -- hindi dahil sa climate kung di dahil sa ating mga politicians! They sure are full of hot air!

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