Day 2: Chicago (Fight) to St Louis (Creepy Hostel)

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North America » United States » Missouri » St Louis
February 21st 2015
Published: March 28th 2015
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Today would be my only day in Chicago. This entire trip is what I literally call a drive by trip, so I would only be spending a short time in each location.

I woke up and grabbed free breakfast at the hostel. Today was toast with jam and an apple with some juice. I chatted with the hostel staff and told them about the strange dream. Apparently it was not a dream and last night some intoxicated people had come back to the hostel. Only some of them were actually staying at the hostel. A very confused fight broke up in the hallway where no one knew who was fighting whom. The hostel staff was finally able to sort who was who and throw out the interlopers. They did a good job because the hostel was clean when I woke up.

Not a lot of people were staying in the hostel at this time. It was a cold spell in Chicago so it was a cold time to visit. I did meet one woman Elena who was trying out for the voice later that day. She was the one we heard singing last night. After getting some directions from the hostel staff I was off. First stop was the bean.

I opted to take the train instead of getting my car out parking so that I can familiar myself with the transit system in Chicago. Train ride was $3 and I had to buy at a machine. This caused a initial problem because I didn't have any dollar bills and after a very confusing conversation with a transit worker in a booth I opted to pay with a credit card. She apparently didn't think I understood English and used very loud words and gestures to explain that the machine does not give change and she couldn't either. I thought this was strange because usually transit booth worker can sell you tickets.

So I took the train down to the nearest stop the bean. After getting myself oriented with the GPS on my phone I saw the bean. The bean looks literally like a metallic, reflective bean. It is artistic work and subjective but quite cool when you are there. I walked underneath the bean was saw my reflection on many different surfaces and must admit it was quite dizzying. After the bean I went looking for the Sears (Willis) tower. This tower is the tallest in the USA before the finishing of the Freedom tower in NYC. I could see the tower from the bean so I just walked in its general direction until I got there. There is a tour of the tower and a view from an observation deck but since I wasn't really interested I just took some pictures from the base before heading out.

Lunch for today would be a fancy cheeseburger from Red Robbin. The burger was quite good but I always have trouble eating those tall burgers. After this messy lunch I went to get my car and this is where I ran into some trouble. This parking garage has no attendant and you pay with a credit on the way out. I tried 2 different credit cards and it kept rejecting my card. I finally pressed the help button and the man on the other end of the line tried to help me but couldn't get it working. He finally had me slide $20 underneath the attendant booth and took my word I had done so.

So I was out of Chicago. It was midday so traffic was light and I was on my way to St Louis. Travel time would be about 5 hours which would make it a short drive (relatively). I was having trouble staying awake and I fought it by singing in the car and listening to music. I am very glad I had gotten a good stereo system in my car. To be sure I stayed awake I worked out combining caffeine pills with cough drops to stay awake. I made it to St Louis and found my hostel which was the only one in the city. The Huck Finn hostel consists of several old buildings. The reviews on it were mixed but since there were no other in the city I was low on options.

I have a review on this hostel which is unique for hostels I have stayed at. I put down the words you should not stay at this hostel. I have never written those words down for any of the 40 other hostels I have stayed at around the world. First there is no security I simply walked into the hostel and found the desk empty. I called the number that was left on the door and after a short wait a guy showed up who seemed annoyed I was bothering him. He gave me a discount on the night though so it was only $20. I left after getting my key for the door that was not locked and went to see the St Louis Arch. This was really the only reason I came to St Louis. It was a nice arch and I got my picture before heading back to the hostel. The next thing I noticed about the hostel which was the lack of people I saw. The common room which was in another building was deserted. It was cold and appeared to be heated by a space heater. I honestly did not feel safe at this hostel and after talking it over with some people on facebook I was seriously considering finding another place to stay. It felt like a horror movie staying at this hostel and only the fact I had already paid and didn't want to find another place that night that I toughed it out.

Eventually after midnight a few other people did show up but I opted to leave as soon as possible tomorrow morning

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