Saturday, May 13, 2006


en route to Chicago

From here on it’s homeward bound all the way. I’m writing this entry on my megabus from Minneapolis to Chicago. Megabus has been in the UK for a couple of years – I’ve never used it – and when I saw that it was starting up in the USA as well, it was a simple choice to book a round trip to see my Minnesotan friends for $2.50, rather than $120 on Greyhound!

Although I was in the Minneapolis area for a week, I actually ended up staying in three different places: Jess picked me up last Friday night and showed me around her hometown of Hudson on Saturday – a really nice little town just over the Wisconsin border with a high street (!), riverside bars and, of all places, a glass factory. We spent about 45 minutes watching a guy blow a glass vase, which in Italy we’d have had to queue up for ages to see. He seemed glad to have the company; we both immediately abandoned all other career plans.

I would have liked to go to Bethlehem Baptist church on my continuing church-tourism, but as John Piper is currently on sabbatical (in Cambridge) I went with Jess to Eaglebrook church out in the northern suburbs for one of their Saturday afternoon services. (Yes, it’s a big church.)

On Saturday evening we headed up to backcountry Wisconsin where the cheese curds are fresh and the rednecks are out in force. Jess’ sister lives in the one-pickup town of Clayton (pop. 507) where there is little to do except drink and smoke. Don’t worry – I didn’t smoke any cigarettes...

We had a real Camp Arka reunion on Monday night when Jess and I drove over to Sandy’s house and were joined by Lucy – four native speakers back together again. Thankfully, there were no potatoes, kiubasa or loaves of bread in sight, but it was a lot of fun to meet each other again. I ended up staying at Sandy’s for the rest of the week, because Jess goes to work at “stupid o’ clock” and lives out in Hudson. I got the guided tour on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday and Thursday spent some time exploring St. Paul and Minneapolis’ downtowns and getting thoroughly lost in their Skyway system of elevated walkways. What with those and covered parking garages, you could spend all day inside even though you commute to the city!

The other element of déja-vu in this entry comes from looking out of the window of this bus and seeing yet more cornfields. The scenery has not changed at all for the last 5 hours.

No comments: