Free rides- after 12 midnight you can hop on the Damen blue line shuttle bus, go up to Western and get on the blue line train for free!
Once I went to the Damen blue line stop and the attendant was asleep and the handicapped turnstile/door was open. Savings: $2.25.
The maddening: Watching no fewer than four busses going the opposite direction during a half an hour wait for your bus.
Waiting 10-15 minutes for a red line train and watching two red line trains go in the opposite direction.
These small but maddening inconveniences make me feel like I’m in a foreign country. Not because America is Where Everything Works, but because being in a different culture makes everyday living activities more difficult. I love traveling partially because I like being inconvenienced and learning how to adapt. The specific out-of-mind-and-body feeling that jet lag brings cannot be produced just by staying up too late or driving all night. The brain flood/eyeball kick that is La Plaza Mayor of Mexico City or Times Square in NYC cannot be produced by anything that I know of.
Was reading The Care and Feeding of Gringos and missed the specific type of awkwardness that culture shock brings.
Speaking of which, so many flights out of O’Hare! God. Barcelona, the city I’ve wanted to visit for what seems like my whole life, for $700. Jesus.