Yesterday was more exhausting than we planned. It started with a drive to Houston’s China Consulate for a second attempt to apply for a Visa to China. This time we had our visa photos with us (courtesy of Walgreens,) our passports, AND our typed application forms. The process of getting a VISA feels anxiety-ridden whether it goes smoothly or not, as though there is the scent of “red tape” all over the place. I was relieved when we left the building with the applications successfully submitted and a receipt in hand.
But…the relief was soon overshadowed by one, simple observation, verbalized to make all of our stomachs sink at the sound.
“The truck is gone.”
Even spoken calmly and matter-of-factually, a statement such as the one Drew made upon our return to the parking lot has a way of heightening anxiety. Somewhere in small print on a sign in the parking lot was a notice that China Consulate visitors were not allowed to use this parking lot.
We were fortunate to have enough time to get to the airport after retrieving the towed vehicle. Once there, our flight was delayed, buying us even more time to kick back and “re-energize” for the long night ahead.
The plane landed around 9:30 at which time we began an entirely new adventure hopping from the Orange Line downtown to the Green Line west of town…. then off of the green line to sort out some confused map-reading…then back on the green line to correct our mistaken sorting…then off of the green line where the line ended…then on the Metra toward Wheaton College…then off the Metra one stop later on account of not having $4 cash…
By midnight we were still far from Wheaton College’s campus and too tired to hunt down an ATM and wait an hour for the next Metra train. We gave in and hailed a cab. If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have felt like a cab represented a lack of public transport stamina, and that it was something a traveler such as myself should feel ashamed of. I don’t feel that way anymore.
Our original itinerary marked today as a day to sight-see Chicago. Instead, we’ve decided to sight-see Wheaton College.
The campus is beautiful, the Billy Graham Museum is interesting and free, and word on the street says that there is a Mennonite Professor hosting a free meal tonight for anyone interested.
Today is a good day.