It was one of the most surreal moments I've had in a while. I was sitting in the Philadelphia airport at 7:30 in the morning, attempting to get Wi-Fi access waiting at the gate for my plane. I was surrounded by other people like myself, checking computers, chatting endlessly into their cell phones, dressed in nice business casual.
"Who are you, and what have you done with the real Hannah?" demanded my inner artsy punk rocker.
"Oh, shut it," I told my internal monologue. "You are a mere chameleon among these people. Besides, you're flying out to Chicago for a training, not a business meeting. Besides, I'm still wearing these pink plaid Rocket Dog sneakers."
There was no way I was about to walk around an airport in dress shoes. I think the women who do it are out of their minds, especially if they're in stilettos. Vacation travelers wandered all over the place, with Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Businessmen in perfectly pressed suits.
My company paid for my trip out here to the greater Chicago area for training, and it's been a great week so far. I feel like I'm learning a lot about how to help our students at the university I work for, but it's sometimes alternating feelings of accomplishment and "how am I going to remember all this stuff?!" On the other hand, some pretty important people in our local bunch of schools have either complimented my work or mentioned what great things they hear about me. I guess this means the job is going well. I am typing this blog entry from my laptop on my huge king-sized bed, listening to The Raconteurs on my iTunes playlist. It sounds like I have a pretty cushy life.
It's been non-stop eating for like 3 days with no end in sight for this trip. I'm trying to stay on top of things, but it's not easy to balance all those continental breakfasts, company-paid dinners and post-training drinks with colleagues! Plus, all the food we've had has been SO GOOD. Chicago-style pizza, fancy Italian, a taco bar at lunch yesterday--I feel a food coma coming on. You know what a food coma is, right? When you eat a bunch and then just run out of energy or you want a take a nap. Not to be confused with a scary diabetic coma--this just refers to wanting to do nothing but lie down for a couple hours.
Illinois has been pretty hospitable so far. Someone is talking about a trip into downtown Chicago tomorrow night. Who knows, maybe on Friday I'll pass a famous face or two in the airport since Lollapalooza starts on Friday night! I would definitely flip if I ran into Eugene Hutz from Gogol Bordello. I love that dude.