So I arrived back in my hovel late last night after a nice long delay at the airport. There was no problem on my end, but we had to wait for the cabin crew to come in. I arrived back to find things mostly in order, except for a few dead bugs in my sink, which was weird, a toilet that only flushes every two times, again, and a shower head clogged up so no water came out. Other than that, things were fine. Oh, did I also mention that it was almost 70 degrees outside? No??? Did I also mention that it was not cold the whole time I was in Chicago? Did I also mention that it snowed today, the day after I left so the only snow I saw the whole time I was in Chicago--nearly a month, remember--was a little flurry yesterday morning just as a little kick in the nuts from Mother Nature? Argh!
When I went to the grocery store this afternoon to stock up on victuals, it was pleasant enough, considering that I didn't wear a coat, but the check out line was an interesting experience. An old man with a thick southern accent started talking to me. No, not talking, grilling me. I had on my U Chicago sweatshirt so he asked me if I was studying there. I told him I had studied there. What did I study? His niece got a PhD there. Was I studying here in DC? Where? What? Full-time? What was my specialty? Did I speak German? Did I learn it in college? When was the last time I was there? Did I read the latest Robert Fisk article? Did I know about the Mufti of Jerusalem? So on and so forth. Strangely the guy seemed to have a little story to put into the interview before he moved on to the next question. And each stage I tried to one up him with my knowledge and each time he ignored it and went to the next question. It was also conducted partially in German. Don't get me wrong, this could have been an interesting conversation had I not been trying to pay attention to the register to make sure I wasn't being charged for something twice and then to pay and do the whole little debit card thing at the same time.
At least it will get "cold" tomorrow, although 48 isn't going to cut it. Of course I also found out that I am going to get hit with an $80 fee by the university and probably have to yell and scream to get my full tuition coverage. Ah, life.