ChicagoI’ve come to the conclusion that most everyone in Chicago seems to smoke.  You can’t walk around downtown more than a minute without seeing someone smoking a cigarette!  It’s no big deal when they are off to the side smoking, but when you all of the sudden end up walking behind someone and a huge puff of smoke hits you in the face it’s most unsettling!

The other thing that you see a lot of is people talking on cell phones.  It’s most disturbing when they are walking along and using either a Bluetooth headset or one that looks like headphones.  I don’t think some of these realize just how loud they tend to talk using those.  Although I’m sure I’ve done the same thing annoying someone else just talking on my cell phone.

Another interesting thing is the number of times you get asked for money.  I sat and watched a girl walk around and tell her story of how she was in Chicago visiting her son who was in the hospital (she of course only looked 16 at best) and how she had her purse stolen and needed money.  “Sorry, no cash on me”, I told her.  I saw at least 10 people give her various amounts of money over a 30 minute period. Many of the people who asked me for money were extremely polite.  “Sorry, no cash on me” I told a young man.  “Thank you sir, for your time.  You have a beautiful day.”  He replied.

The sheer number of people just blows me away about this place and the variety of ethnic backgrounds is astonishing  I come from Springfield, MO and there’s just not the melting pot of people you see here, which is kinda sad in a way.

One last observation…taxis…wow, there are a lot of taxis and they are crazy!  They’ll just about run you over in a crosswalk even when you have the right a way.  Boy do they like their horns too.  It’s plain to see that at least 5 vehicles in front of the taxi are at a complete stop with no way to move forward and yet they will lay on their horns like there’s no tomorrow followed by leaning out their windows and yelling at the 5 immovable cars in front of them to move!  I watched at least 6 taxis pull up behind an empty, parked SUV and honk their horns and yell at the SUV to move.  Then taxis behind the taxis behind the SUV would begin to yell and honk.  Amazing.

Chicago is a fascinating and interesting place to visit, but there’s no way I could live here!  :)