Either I am exceedingly lucky or I don’t understand at all complaints of other people about O’Hare airport. I flew there and back quite frequently in my pre-England years, and just made a second trip this year, and I don’t seem to ever get stuck going through O’Hare. Going in or coming back, flights depart on time and arrive on schedule (although, truth be told, we did wait almost half an hour for take-off on the way back – but, apparently, that is “built into the schedule”, according to our pilot). No long delays on my memory.
I suppose now I jinxed it. My next trip to Chicago will be nightmarish, no doubt.
Walking through the airport, I was momentarily surprised with seemingly overwhelming interest Americans pay to the soccer World Cup. Every TV in every O’Hare bar was tuned to the broadcast of the live game. The teams playing? South Africa versus Uruguay. Wow, I thought, if a game between those two opponents is being universally watched, then Americans must truly be soccer aficionados nowadays.
Then it hit me. The game was on ESPN. Likely, the default channel on in any bar.
I was overly cautious about the Chicago traffic and the ensuing security controls, and found myself at the gate with more than an hour to spare before boarding time. So instead, I went to one of the nearby eateries, procured a seat at the bar, and ordered a glass of wine. The bartender asked me for an ID. When I commented that I did not think I looked that young, my neighbor at the bar chuckled and explained that at this particular bar they seemed to be carding everyone. Over the next hour, quite a number of fellow passengers – almost invariably in their forties or beyond – stated their delight at being carded, only to have their joy deflated when someone would tell them they were not really special that way. Quite amusing.