Things to Do on Doomsday

November 2, 2007

Given that a good many of our correspondents 362033461_4a2b699dee.jpgare patriots of and partisans for Chicago, that Somber city, and given our penchant for providing transport tips in all corners of the developed and developing world (when in Shonan try the awesome Safege style monorail, but it might be best to delay your trip to India for a few years, until that country finally takes part in the monorail revolution), it really is quite surprising that we’ve spoken so little about the horrible state of the CTA (excepting their vigilant pursuit of Dr. …butwithawhimper). As I mentioned the other day, new CTA chief Ron Huberman has shifted priorities, and significant progress has been made on the slow-zone problems (things are certainly better than they were back in March). Whilst track conditions may be improving, the CTA funding crisis goes from bad to worse. The CTA decided to accept the state’s bailout money earlier this year, removing the sense of urgency that had lawmakers on the verge of passing legislation. Or not passing legislation. Since no elected representative in Illinois can be called a leader, and no one can agree on anything (yes, that article is from May, but it’s not like anything has changed). With doomsday scheduled for Sunday, the CTA once again decided to spare their riders and take state cash, this time pushing Doomsday off until New Year’s Eve, giving law-makers two more months to do nothing. Two thoughts: where is Joe Biden when you need him, and whither penny rides?

But since everyone has New Year’s off anyway, and no-one, therefore, has to worry about missing the job or class they won’t be able to get to, YS is here to humbly suggest that shut-in former commuters kick back and relax with the two best TV shows of the season: Kitchen Nightmares and Dirty Sexy Money.

Before you, o wise and humble reader, rush in to say “Nay! Those two shows are practically the same program!” please allow me a brief defense as to why I have decided to name these sister programs the best shows on TV. Unlike last year, when Studio 60 and 30 Rock battled things out, any and all resemblances between KN and DSM are purely coincidental, rather than a nefarious network plot to advertise SNL an additional 90 minutes a week. As such, they probably deserve to be taken on their own merits, like dueling volcano or Capote movies, but for purposes of this review, they won’t be.

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Useful travel tips!!!

November 2, 2007

Hello, before I start this, my second post, I would like to introduce myself.  I write about travel here at Yesterday’s salad, so feel free to contact me with any and all travel questions such as, “what is the hip gay area in Sydney?”  But also, “is it rude to blow my nose in Mongolia?” (you’ll be shot!).

Before talking too much about my own travel experiences though, I want to give some tips to the solo traveller. 

There is never any reason to be rude, even to this man.  Miss Manners says, and I agree, that rudeness in  is not an opportunity to “tell someone how it is”, but to exhibit self respect and dignity.  That means you can only laugh once you are out of ear shot.

And though this man displays little concern for societal rules or cleanliness, he is right in that it is important never to be cross anyone off your conversation list. By talking to as many people as possible when travelling you can learn all sorts of interesting things.  For example, naif that I was and didn’t know, cab drivers hang those dangly things from their mirrors in order to take the passenger’s eye off the road.

By being friendly and leaving your attitude at passport control you are also likely to find good insider tips on where to go, like “all the prostitutes on the street go to this salon.”  However!  Safety is most important so don’t put good manners above your sense of security.  Who are you travelling with?  Your older brother, who has lived in the area for years and is a security guard and/or professional athlete.  Where did you grow up?  All over, but most of your childhood was spent in Rio/Bogota/Detroit.  What is your last name? Montoya/West/Penn.

 Lastly, don’t hug too many strangers, you’ll get your watch stolen.  Enjoy and happy travels!