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Friday morning Chicago

I've been doing some good breakfasts here. Food here folks! Now it is Friday morning. Beautiful blue skies and the sun shines on. So I was sitting here in my room considering another morning. Another Friday morning. Chicago. I think breakfast today will be McDonalds because I have not gone in awhile. I don't think I have had breakfast at McDonalds since I got back from Vietnam.

On Friday mornings they serve breakfast until 1130am. So given my current level of things, I will probably go when I go. I had the morning coffee in the room plus a banana. Now some music on my station on Apple Music. I only use Apple Music because it seems to just offer the basics of my need and it works across all of my two devices flawlessly. I like the curated playlists they do and give back to me and I don't really need some other music. The music I like is right here.

Friday and then some

Today it will get a little warmer the weather report says. I like the sun and the warmth for walking. It feels like the earth and sky all rise to greet me and then the sun striking down is this primitive joy of being outdoors. Sweat and beauty and things to see on a walk. Today I will ride to The Loop area and walk there and find a place for a late lunch or early dinner when I go. I have one more day to really go here in Chicago. Amazing!

It all lets me look back at the flight back from Hanoi after almost two years of living there. It was the first place in years of wandering that felt like home to me. Every day in Hanoi was this basic thing for me. The spirit of living there. The sounds of the morning when I made my morning coffee. The kettle cooking the water. Sometimes V messaging me on Zalo wishing me good morning and if I ate well and had good sleep. Or perhaps L asking after me. One of my honorary moms Boss would call me even to just tell me they loved me and wanted me to come over for dinner. Boss is a chef. She can do the cooking that woman. So often I would go over and her American husband and I would sit and drink beer and Boss would just smile and I think feel happy that P had someone to just be with. Life seemed to be on permanent idle there. I could speed it up or slow it down but it always moved at the speed of my daily walks.

Now Vietnam suffers with covid and my friends are enduring a long lockdown across the country and it brings me to leaving when I did. When I left in July, I remember that last Grab ride to the Hanoi Noi Ba airport. Seemed so unreal at times to leave home.

Now I'm glad I did because I was able right when I got back to California to get the Pfizer jabs with no problems. California really brought no joy and while I was glad to spend a week in a hotel downtown, I was equally as glad to leave on the train rides east on the zephyr. All the cities and especially Salt Lake City, Omaha and Denver and the finale working my east Chicago. Some I had been to before like Reno and Denver but others like SLC and Omaha I had never visited.

Now it is Chicago which does have a memory circuit from my mom's days since she was born and lived here. Lake Michigan instills something of that memory or stories perhaps my mom told me of the wonders of Chicago. And the city is immense and I've found this certain joy wandering it whether uptown or downtown.

I think the highlight had to be the museum but also just the friendliness of the people here. There is a certain no rush to the rush here which seems on the surface contradictory but it reminds me of living back in Hanoi where there seemed no rush even with motorbikes zooming the city. Both cities had lakes that I love. I could walk in Hanoi to West Lake and have cold beers along the lake or dinner at the Mystic Cafe and find my moment. Here it is Lake Michigan. How immense and sometimes perfect and imperfect at the same time.

Then Saturday

Tomorrow I have one little chore to get done. Must do my laundry at the airbnb and hang up to dry and then head out for a day. I don't know where. I feel whether Saturday or any day, the food often seems so important in Chicago. Last night Chicago style deep dish pizza. Burgers and wonderful Mexican food. Just eating and going here. What a joy.

And finally Sunday

It will just be the continuation I feel when Sunday comes in. I'll do the breakfast somewhere and head to the Union Station and sit in the Amtrak lounge there and await my sleeper car and the Amtrak wheels gently rolling and strumming their musical pattern heading to New Mexico. Another state I have not really stopped in for a long while.

Now though it is breakfast time so soon and McDonalds down the street was heard uttering my name so I'll go because it is different and the same and it is so like whether I walked to Tom Coffee in Hanoi and ordered pancakes and bacon and a latte. Tom Coffee closed there and I never was able to say goodbye to the owners. I don't know why. I hope when I go back home, they are there with their little boy and business thrives and chaos reigns on the streets in Hanoi. Lockdown or no. Covid or no. Vietnam kinda silently slumbers and there will come a time when it opens again. Perhaps never like it was. Nothing ever is like it was and that separates from just the being and the looking backward or forward to want a thing not there yet or that was.

Let's do breakfast! Welcome to my Friday.

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