Friday, August 08, 2008

my lucky day

it's lucky 8-8-08! here's a story. Happy Friday!
Originally uploaded by katherine of chicago

I wanted to post here on 8-08-08 since it’s supposed to be a lucky day. And, you know, aside from that man who presumably wanted to rape me,* (okay, actually not, cleared up in the comments, but I still like the post I wrote, so continue) and that crowd of people watching to see if that other man was going to commit suicide, it’s been a SUPERFUN DAY!!!!!

Um, my vitriol levels are a tad high today, so rather than rehash those stories (and other frustrations) I will ask you to click on the Flickr photo if you haven’t read its caption yet. People may have missed the point, it’s not that it was an annoying day—it’s that it was a deeply upsetting day filling me with loathing of humanity. I guess.

Anyway, it’s also the start of the Olympics! And there’s plenty of places you could read about all the unfortunate things the Chinese government does re: Tibet, the environment, censorship, prison…I haven’t paid enough attention to the dirty details of what got demolished and who got displaced so the Olympics could happen there, but I should. Chicago’s schemes actually don’t seem that bad in comparison.

But they’re still troubling, and the reason I got out of the house so early was to take photos at a certain historic hospital that’s inconveniently in the way of the would-be Olympic Village. I didn’t get in (this was one of the day’s many frustrations) but still had an instructive walk around the site. Then, after the indignities mentioned in the first paragraph, I went to Chinatown for a bubble tea (actually, I got a cappuccino coffee agar), and it took me a few moments to realize why camera crews were around…oh, right, Chinatown, Olympics in China. I did little else except enjoy the Chinese zodiac plaques in the plaza. I don’t really believe in astrology, but I’ve always got to stop and read the one for my year, and perhaps for whatever friend or crush object I’m wondering about. The day picked up from then. A little.

*So, imagining the responses that telling that story might elicit on widely read feminist/political blogs that seem to attract lots of antagonistic/crazy/hateful comments, (thankfully this blog does not)—gee, is it unfair of me to consider the guy a would-be rapist because he wanted me to get in his car, and said horrible things to me when I did not? Perhaps it was just a misguided attempt at being “friendly”? (Um, sarcasm.)

For all the nutty stuff I do like go into abandoned buildings by myself, I have to say no one I’ve ever run into on my own there has been a fraction as scary as men I’ve encountered when I’m just trying to get around the city. But I continue going all over the city (Chicago, and many others) by myself, without a car, and continue going to abandoned places by myself when that’s my only choice. And then there’s my new summertime hobby of meeting explorer/photographer guys off the Internet and letting them drive me around, and drinking before going to/while hanging out with them at abandoned buildings, and nothing’s happened, and their intentions seem honorable (Katherine debates the inclusion of the following word… debates… debates… debates…), unfortunately.


Eric Allix Rogers said...

OMG, the last word cracked me up so much, I forgot the rest of the post!

Well, almost. Again, I'm sorry that you didn't get to meet up with us today, and that the rest of your day was crummy.

As for the dude who came up to you, I'd be pretty certain he was a gypsy cab driver. Which is not to say he wasn't shady as hell, but he probably just wanted you to pay him to drive you somewhere. Gypsy cab drivers on the South Side tend to target white people, because they assume we're scared and lost. I took one such cab once, in the middle of the night from the red line home, but I was with friends. One of the friends I was with (crazy guy) spent the whole ride planning a coke deal (not the soft drink). So, that would be my guess, if it makes you feel any better.

Katherine said...

Yes, I think you're right about the guy (I still wanted to write all that stuff, though, I'm in a ranty mood). I've been on the south side a LOT but not encountered that. It did sound like he said something about a "cab." I don't think I looked scared or lost... (I have an ongoing irritation with legitimate cab drivers honking at me when I'm clearly waiting for a bus, but that's another issue.)

His response was so bizarrely hostile, though--I'm not used to name-calling like that.

Jennifer said...

So that's where all the men are these days. (Oh my, did I just write that? Yes, yes I did. Don't mind me, just thoroughly enjoying this lager.)

Anyway, I've been called worse through the years, but I've always just assumed it was mostly the bike. Hmm. You seemed to have handled it well, i.e., by just ignoring him, if I understand correctly. I always have to say something back and get myself almost into a heap of trouble.

Eric Allix Rogers said...

Wait, where are the men? This is important information!