ROAD TRIP USA 2010: WEEKEND IN THE WINDY CITY
After ten days in NYC, it was time to head to Chicago.
My main reason for visiting was to attend the wedding of Syb's charming young cousin, Rose to her college sweetheart, Stuart. I am not sure that he quite knows what he is letting himself in for. As I am finding out after three months of wedded bliss, there are three things you need to know when you join this particular Filipino clan. The first is that they are all (how can I put it nicely? I can't) nuts. Benignly, charmingly and beguilingly nuts, but nuts just the same.
The second is that there are enough of them in the extended family to populate a small city and new cousins/aunties/uncles and other relatives are introduced with alarming regularity at any family gathering. Every new member of the clan should be presented with a handbook when they join just so they can figure out who is related to whom.
The last thing you should know is that Filipinos are obsessed with food like few other people I have ever met. They talk about food constantly and any visit to the house of a family member will involve you sitting down and being force fed more food than you ever thought humanly possible regardless of how hungry you profess to be.
If you want to know how obsessed my particular new family are with feeding themselves, at one point during a pre-wedding meal at the house of a relative who lives in Chicago, an auntie appeared with a dish of soft cakes made with cassava and coconut (Pichi Pichi?) . Everyone tucked in until one of Syb's uncles proclaimed
"You know this cake contains a compound that they have found to be very toxic, don't you?"
He considered his words for a moment and then, reaching for the bowl added "So, I will just have one" as everyone else carried on devouring them undeterred by his words.
I love my new Filipino family.
The day after the wedding, I met with one of my oldest chums Neal (who had previously joined me for the Mozambique leg of my Eat My Globe trip) to begin Road trip USA 2010 proper. What better way to do that than to introduce him to a proper Chicago dog in the form of the Red Hot at The Wieners Circle along with a large portion of cheddar fries? The car on the drive to St Louis this morning is sure be filled with interesting sounds and smells, I am certain.
Let the fun commence.