Monday, February 25, 2013

Traveler Talk! Aria

I met Aria in the lobby at HI, and she was kind enough to take a break from planning her trip to talk to me for a few minutes about her experience in Chicago.  Aria is from a small town near Bordeaux, France, and she’s here visiting some family that lives in Plainfield.  She’ll be in the area for one month, and luckily she had some free time to come down and stay with us downtown for a few days.  

So far, Chicago has made a pretty great impression on her.  Her favorite thing that she’s done on this trip was a visit to the observatory in the John Hancock Building.  In her opinion, looking out from the top of the Hancock provides the best possible view of Chicago.  She also liked how the floor had a lounge atmosphere, as opposed to the museum type feel of the Willis Tower.  The friendliness of the people here has also helped make Aria feel at ease in the big city.  She was astounded by the fact that people will offer to take a picture of her in front of monuments and attractions without even being asked.  When she was trying to figure out directions with a map on a street corner, someone came up to her and asked if she needed help. Because of these acts of kindness towards tourists, she joked that we are “nothing like how the people are in Paris!”

Even though she’s used to the incredible cuisine in France, she thoroughly enjoys the food here.  She has tried a lot of different kinds of restaurants in the area, but nothing stands up to the amazing taste of deep dish, Chicago style pizza.  When I asked her what one word she would use to describe the city, she said that most people from France will instinctively say BIG.  Everything in the United States just seems enormous in comparison to the size of buildings and cars in their hometowns.  But after further reflection, she decided that the best word for us would be PROUD.  We’re proud of our sports teams, we’re proud of our music, and we’re proud of our city.

So glad to have you here, Aria, and we hope that you enjoy the rest of your stay at HI-Chicago!

By: Intern Sarah Consoer

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