Guys look! I finally made it into Chicago!
I can’t believe I’ve been at Notre Dame all year, basically an hour and a half away from the third largest city in the US, and it’s taken me eight months to finally go.
There’s a train station about fifteen minutes away from campus that could get me into the city easily, but getting off of campus is a huge hassle without a car. Heck, it would probably even be a hassle with a car. The Notre Dame bubble has not diminished at all since I’ve been here.
I actually had an opportunity to go to Chicago way back in December with a friend of mine who was going to see the Nutcracker with her Russian literature class. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I could take the time out of my day to go at the time (which I know now is a dumb excuse — there’s always time to go do fun things and ignore your responsibilities), so I missed out.
This time, though, when I heard that the Taiwanese Student Association was planning a Chinatown trip, I made sure I had room in my schedule to go. I lost a little extra sleep that weekend doing homework at late hours, but it was totally worth it.
What surprised me most about the Chicago Chinatown was how different it was from the New York version — while New York’s Chinatown is pretty much a gimmicky tourist destination, Chicago’s is a real diaspora neighborhood. The stores sold real Chinese food and products and not just the knockoff Rolexes you see in New York. It felt so much more welcoming and so much less sinister.
It was also fun because I got to interact with some people I never had before. None of my friends were able to go, so I ended up hanging out with some juniors and seniors, who were pretty cool and didn’t at all seem to mind that I was just a freshman. They were some of the first upperclassmen I’ve been able to interact with beyond surface level all year, so that was neat.
My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to purchase this money plant tree. As you probably know by now, I love plants, so getting new ones is fun. She actually sadly toppled over just today after a strong gust of wind from an open window pushed her off the window sill, causing several of her branches to break. I used a chopstick as a makeshift splint, so hopefully the branches will scar over and heal.
Oh well. For now, enjoy these photos of me and my pre-topple plant.
Since we all had work to do back home, we decided to make the hour and a half long drive back in time for dinner. I’d actually stayed up pretty late the night before, so I ended up napping almost all of the way back, which was great. By six when we arrived on campus, I was refreshed and ready to pull an all-nighter making up for all the work I had neglected due to being gone all day.
All night I worked though, I didn’t regret my decision to go. It was some of the best fun I’ve had all year, definitely worth the lost sleep and sanity.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at email@example.com!
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