Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicago - And They Wonder Why We Call Them FIBs?

Ok, maybe that is not totally fair as I have met some nice people here in the Chicago area but definitely NOT the majority. Many people seem suspicious, paranoid and not friendly at all. One big issue I have is that we can't take Dozey to a dog park as you have to have a certificate from a Chicago area vet and a permit for $30. They obviously are not wanting visitors with pets!

Friday I went to work and decided as it was really difficult to try and filter locations throughout the city as I really don't know the area at all. So I found myself in some very interesting neighborhoods in the southern inner city. For about 4 hours I don't believe I saw anyone with my same color skin. The stereotypical guy drinking out of a paper bag in a doorway on the street was seen more than once. All in all I did not feel comfortable at all driving around these areas and getting out and going into the stores.

The first night we were at the Target a security guard pulled up and said the mall manager wanted to know if we were "shopping". I said, "No, we are staying here over night." He said you can't, I said we have permission from Target management. Obviously that held some sway because when he left he said he would be back after the manager decided "what to do about us". I guess they realized they could do nothing. Then Friday evening another pickup pulls up by the rig honking it's horn. I go out and this time it is an older white guy who asks if we are "setting up camp". I again explain that Bill is a contractor and we stay in the store lots. He turned out to be ok except for the fact that he got me all paranoid about the area the store was in saying to make sure we take care and lock the doors. So Friday night while Bill is in the store it was raining pretty heavily and then a very thick fog developed. I was on edge thanks to the security guard and every time a car went by I was tense. Bill got done about 2am and just as he got in ANOTHER security guard pulls up, knocks on the door and asks if this was our rig. just saw it along side the road and thought we'd take it home...anyway, he proceeds to tell us that there is no overnight parking and we would have to leave. Bill is being polite but I get POd and get up and go to the door, as it was I, in reality, that he woke up in the middle of the night. I tell him that we are cleared by Target management to stay in the lot and if he had a problem I would call the "real" police. So Einstein security guard gets on the radio and asks about us. I am not sure what was said but all of a sudden he goes, "Have a nice night" and leaves. NOT "I'm sorry for waking you up at 2am to be a PITA. Have a nice night". Of course not.

So we leave Saturday morning and come to the next store in Oak Lawn just to get out of that area and the manager at this store can't believe we, or rather I, stayed alone all night in an RV in that area. I didn't feel that uncomfortable considering there was security all night but I guess it goes to show that even though you have a Target, Starbucks and other higher end stores in an area, looks can be deceiving.

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