Saturday, April 08, 2006

My Kind of Town

Chicago is. OK, that’s hokey. And I’m not sure it’s exactly truthful. Can I know after 2 days in a city that I want or could live there? I felt that in Edinburgh. I knew immediately that I could move there at moment’s notice.

Chicago had some of that feeling. It’s a little disconcerting because I had pretty much decided that since the chances were slim that I would be able to move to Edinburgh, or Scotland in general, I wanted to be in the country. I chucked it up to being older and more mature and less patient when it came to being around people. A nice little farmhouse on 5 or so acres with some alpacas so I could spin the wool and sell it for outrageous amounts of money on the Internet as “artisan.” Pastoral, bucolic, idyllic, romantic, and more attainable than Scotland. And I like the idea of being out alone in the open air, with no buildings, no noise, no screaming kids in the aisles at Wal-Mart. Oh, who am I kidding? There will always be a Wal-Mart and there will always be a screaming kid in one of the aisles.

But being in Chicago relit a flame I thought I had blown out. The dream of living in a city, in an apartment where I can jump on the train or a bus to get where I need to go. Stopping at a market on the way home from work with the ingredients for that night’s dinner, rather than shopping for weeks at a time because I have a trunk and a garage that leads right into my house (then throwing away all that produce because I never actually cook it). Going to some of the best museums any time I want, seeing plays from the best playwrights of our time, attending lectures, eating food prepared by top chefs, and of course, watching a baseball or football fame with some of the most fanatical and loyal fans ever. Idyllic, romantic, exciting.

There are some realistic drawbacks. Noise being the main one for me—horns and traffic noise are like nails down a blackboard. But city dwellers seem to have this covered. They just walk everywhere with earbuds in their ears, listening to their iPods. I wouldn’t need to move to the country to distance myself from people, I’ll just turn on my iPod like everyone else. And crime. I didn’t feel unsafe at all, but then again, I’m pretty naive about that. And cost. We saw ads for apartments starting at $200,000! I don’t think I can spin enough alpaca to afford that, especially since I don’t know how to spin yet. Then there is the very real problem of Hubby not wanting to live in a city. He liked Chicago, but he doesn’t want to live there, and living with him does take precedence.

Then there is the other reality that I’m a country girl at heart. I’ve fought it all of my life because I thought you were supposed to want the sophisticated city life. I thought everyone believed the stereotypes of the barefoot and stupid country bumpkin. And in reality, many do. It took moving away to realize that people are going think what they want, you have to be true to yourself. God, would it shock people if I really did end up on a farm.

So, what to do what to do. Luckily I don’t have to decide anytime soon. And honestly, I’m not ruling Scotland out. Options. I got options.

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