But did I make it? Noooooo. Mainly because the Greyhound check-in lines are all but express lines. Tish tish, never mind. I am on holiday. I AM enjoying myself. I DO have to tell myself that every now and then. #:D) The Chicago station is somewhat spooky, with a lot of people walking around with very, very glaced eyes. Their doctors probable gave them the wrong medicine, poor people.
Still, I manage to keep control of my possessions, I can even write a few postcards. I have a strong feeling of paying about twice as much postage than I am supposed to, but it isn't very easy to find a post office where I could have asked about the correct postage in this country. My theory is that someone has figured out that the only way to avoid robberies at post offices is to not have any post offices available for robberies at all , and acted on that idea. Oh well, I should be able to find a way to post the cards in Minneapolis tomorrow. I have a few hours to complete that task, at least.
My last memory from Chicago will be the Chicago Style Hot Dog. I am hungry. I will not remain so for long if the hot dogs are anywhere close to being Chicago Style Pizza styled... *Dreamy look*
The funny thing was that the girl looking very Norwegian in the waiting line for the bus to Minneapolis really WAS Norwegian. So, I had the chance to practice my Norwegian for a few hours on the bus here, and so I did.
The Most Typical American Thing of the Night Award, this time goes to the cemetary where they had this HUUUUUUGE neon sign over the entrance: "Mausoleum Space Available !!! Dial XXX-XXXX NOW!!". Coolness. Something tells me they don't have discounts for elderly people there.
Downtown Minneapolis is architecturally very interesting. A lot of strange buildings, and in addition to crossing the streets at street-level, you can walk pretty much anywhere through glass tunnels between the buildings, over the streets. HOW convenient. Anyways, it's a pretty impressive city, considered the number of citizens.
In spite of what they're called, convenience stores are something you have to walk far and away to find in this city as well as all the others I've been in. Still, I found one, and found that the number of fruits and vegetables to choose from isn't THAT good as it was further south.
I also visited the city library. It isn't very large in area, but its variety of books is very good. They even had a lot of obscure Norwegian books which I'd never consider reading. And there is a nudie bar next to St. Olaf Catholic Church. Nice mix.
Getting my ticket for Seattle, I had a lengthy conversation with the woman at the ticket counter, as she was convinced that some of my friends had just checked in on the same bus. I am not sure why she wanted to spend a lot time convincing me that someone I knew would be on the bus, but she couldn't believe it was a coincidence, two people with an accent coming from Chicago on an Ameripass on the same day, travelling to Seattle. Oh well, I seriously doubt it, but I'll find out for sure in about 44 minutes. The trip is estimated to take 39 hours.
In the meantime I enjoy the blonde density, it is VERY high, about 2-3 times Icelandic standard, I believe. I knew that there were a lot of Scandinavian descendants here, but I didn't think it would show so much. Checking the phonebook I almost felt at home, as most of the names would be normal in Norway. I even found myself and called. Not surprisingly, I wasn't home. #:D)
It seems I am the only backpacker on the bus, no matter what the Greyhound lady in Minneapolis says. So, I ended up sitting between a bunch of women who speak nothing but Spanish. From what I gather, they are on their way home after having visited their poor, sick, old mother in Texas. Then again, we DO have some communication problems here. I offered them some peaches, but they just gave me a look that told me that they just might not kill me while I sleep tonight, if I behave.
So, writing this, it seems I did behave. The night was somewhat exciting, as we were stopped by the police twice. Once because we were driving without lights on the back of the bus, and the second time so that the police could arrest the two rather overweight men who after 10 hours of sharing a double seat, suddenly got up and started hitting each other. Oh, and it was a little bit funny when the the bus driver stopped after having given us about an hour of sightseeing in downtown Fargo. "Does anybody know how to get onto the freeway?", he asked. Noone did, so we kept driving until we found a Greyhound bus we could follow. *shrug*
I am not sure how much behind the schedule we are now, but at least we're out of Fargo. I think perhaps the previous, lost driver was dragged out of the bus and hung in the closest tree. There is a new person driving the bus, at least. She seems to be a bit more familiar with the surroundings, giving us some background information about the places we can see from the bus going west. So... There is still more than 24 hours left until I can discover the Pacific for myself. I am hungry, and it smells bacon everywhere. Lucky for me, the Spanish-speaking women still refuse to accept any fruit, so I can live on my peaches and apples for quite a while more, if necessary.
(C) 1995 BC Tørrissen