confidence is key

Last week my Aunt and I went to visit the MCA. We were shocked at the number of people that came up to us asking for assistance. We apparently look like people “in-the-know.” Now if any one knows us, we are not unknowing individuals; but we would probably not be the friend you phone when on that millionaire show. We are the people who you can count on for a laugh and to go with the flow in all situations. So it baffled us that people visiting the city for the day, made the assumption that we were the authority on travel and navigation throughout the Chicagoland area.

The first occasion was a chap with a bike awaiting the train from Palatine to the city. He rode up to us on the train platform and dismounted his bike. His sweaty black socks, hung on each of the handles. He wore a cut-off Harley Davidson t-shirt that showed off his dueling tattoos of big-breasted naked women; one on each arm. He paced up and down the platform flexing and swinging his arms in front of himself before actually approaching my aunt and I.
“Do you know what the letters mean on these tickets?” he asked showing us his train passes for Palatine and Arlington Park.
“Yeah, each letter stands for the stop you purchase the ticket from or to,” I said showing him my F pass.
“Brilliant,” he said walking back to his bike and drying black socks.
My aunt just looked at me and we laughed.

When we arrived in the city and got on the bus to Water Tower Place, we exited and found a young Chinese man walking slowly beside us.
“Do you know where the MCA is?” he asked looking around.
“Follow us, we’re on our way there right now,” my aunt replied.
We came to learn that he had moved to Chicago 3 weeks ago to attend law school and used to live and work in Beijing as a patent lawyer. Nice guy, laughed and cracked jokes about Chicago drivers. Asked me when I’d be graduating high school, and walked between my Aunt and I the entire way to the museum. He was our long-lost Asian cousin.

We just couldn’t seem to get over why people found us to be points of reference. We pretty much wandered the city the whole day and every couple of hours we were asked a question or directions. By the end of the day we felt like local travel hosts. Footsteps a little surer, stride a little more relaxed, and confidence beaming. Maybe next week we’ll make plans to create our tour guide business.

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Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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