Date: Sun, 15 Jan 1995 05:46:03 EST
Sender: English Language Discussion Group <WORDS-L@uga.cc.uga.edu>
From: "heather. just heather." <HHEW1030@URIACC.URI.EDU>
Subject: It's so *nice* here:-
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

It's almost like summer outside. Well, maybe more like spring... but still, it was far too beautiful for me to *sleep*. I kind of drove about a bit and (*gasp*) landed here (here being Tyler 109, the all-nite computer lab conveniently located about 20 minutes from my home in beautiful downtown Cranston). I sort of cheezed you guys out of a WHTM in Chicago, and since I've before the rest of the world starts looking for me (read: mom wakes up and panics), here goes:

The whole trip was planned/paid for by my dad, who travels a lot. Because of his frequent business trips, he had garnerd ample frequent flyer miles (and free nights at a hotel) to "purchase" for me a very expensive (yet entirely free) Christmas present. I guess I'll start with the most impressive component of my trip (next to the company, of course)...the hotel. The Palmer House Hilton houses an enclosed shopping arcade and a variety of restaurants and lounges. My room, 18 floors above all that excitement (yet only 11 above the swimming pool) had its own minibar, TV/VCR, ironing board, hair dryer, and a plethora of other stuff I've learned not to take for granted in the cheezy hotels *I'm* used to. Alas, Judith, there was NO HEATED TOWEL RACK. Still I was, we shall say, content.

Getting to the hotel was an entirely different matter, however. Despite all these signs in the airport that pointed through various underground tunnels toward some vague destination called "Hilton", Tushar decided we should bail out and NOT FOLLOW THE SIGNS. Instead, we took some sort of train-thingy to somewhere determined by T to be "near the hotel." Being from RI (where mothers abandon the "don't cross the street" caveat in favour of "don't leave the state"), it took a bit for me to get used to what I shall affectionately refer to as HGACOTAS (His God-awful concept of Time and Space) The long hikes did not go uncompensated-- besides the fact that it was fair weather (for the first half of the trip, anyway), a most gentlemanly Tushar assisted me in toting about my floral luggage (which, I might add, looked dashing with his colouring)

In theory, I would be there for four days. I arrived on the 28th and was scheduled to depart on the 1st. Although I can't actually remember the events by what *day* they occurred, here are some of the highlights:

"The Most Happy Fella" I somehow managed to talk Tushar into a musical :-) It was quite good, although I emerged with a chicken-scented coat. We had gone to a Southwestern restaraunt just before the play (about 3 RIblocks away from the theatre), and decided to keep the tasty tidbits for tushar's late-nite snacking puropses. It was a rather nice playhouse, though, so I figured it would be prudent to hide the burritostuff in my (folded) coat. It leaked. Nevertheless, we carried it around for a while after the play (after sitting behind this woman on the train who kept talking to the window while pointing to it accusingly), determined to find a homeless (or just plain hungry) person to bestow it upon.

"The lack of open Walmarts" This immediately followed the musical, I believe, yet deserves a paragraph of its own. I find it fascinating that rich people never need to visit convenience stores. I say "rich people" because the Hilton is a rather posh place, yet even the indoor security men (who, for some reason beyond my ken, wear hats) have no clue where to find your basic 7-11 type store.

"Tushar's roommate" Saunak, who made some sort of lentil thingy which everyone in Tushar's apartment at the time (Tushar, Florin, Saunak, and myself) ate. I mention the lentil thingy only because (a.) it was rather good, and (b.) I had no clue how to eat it. I saw tortilla-like thing. I saw beans. I saw no silverware. I guess, given enough time, I would've guessed the whole tearing-off-a-piece-of-bread-and-picking- up-the-food-with-it thing, but luckily I saw someone else doing it first. Now don't get me wrong...I go to the local Curry-in-a-Hurry all the time. It's just that they always give us silverware. I guess they just .

"Tushar's Freinds" I had heard about Tushar's best friend. I had heard about Katherine. I had also heard about Tushar's best friend's girlfriend and some guy named Patrick. These all ended up being two people (I'll leave the "who's who" for you to figure out.) It took me a bit to figure this whole thing out, actually. When first I met Patrick, he was gathering a regiment to help him pass out a couple hundred copies of some book sent to him by Harper Collins (his sister works for the company and they offered to give him a coupla hundred to pass out the things in front of the trade centre) This was, as I recall, about the time Chicago started getting *cold* So there we were (T, P, and H) passing out _Free to Trade_ on some street corner in Chicago. It amazes me how many people will refuse a free novel, although, I might add, I think I had more luck giving the things out than the other two (all those years of donut-lady charm). Katherine I met later the same day, but was introoduced to me as Katie. Within a half hour, I figured the whole thing out.

"The Afghan place" So the four of us decide to go out to dinner with the criterion "Heather must be able to wear her new dress there" (I got this *wicked cool* dress for Xmas that I to wear). There, I had fried pumpkin. The food was excellent, but the decor was questionable. Like, I sat with by back to a window with 5 different kinds of Christmas lights (blue, blinking coloured, flat white, plain coloured...and...er, well four kinds, anyway) There was also green tinsel hanging from the chandelier. Need I say more?

"Tushar's Indian Friends" I have come to the conclusion that all Indians under the age of Gandhi look about twelve years old. Not that that's a bad thing, just that eventually I'll go somewhere with Tushar and they'll ask me if my son would like the children's menu...

"Tushar's passport photo" hee.

"A Change In Plans" While Tushar was at the store, his friend Teesta called United and, claiming to be me, extended my trip by one day. When Tushar came back, Teesta told him that she'd like to spend the next day (the 1st) with me. When he said no, she said "Well, what about the next day?" Tushar replied something to the effect that even though that might be all well and good, I was leaving Chicago before then. "But wouldn't you *like* to have Heather here another day?" "Of course, but-" "Good! I changed her flight..." [etc.] Anyway, I call the airline the next day to confirm my flight. Maryanne answers.

"United!"

"Yes. I mean, I'd like to confirm a flight, please."

"Name?"

"Heather Hewitt"

"Flight number?"

"That's just it...I'm not sure."

"Don't you have your ticket?"

"I changed it..."

"Then don't you have your new ticket?"

"...over the phone."

"Oh. I see. Destination?"

"Providence. Tomorrow. From Ohare."

"You extended your trip one day? Liked Chicago that much?"

"No, actually, I met this guy over the computer...(I actually did say this. Don't ask why.)"

"Oh? Computer dating?"

"No...internet."

"OH! EMAIL! I DO EMAIL!!"

"Er, yes."

(entirely new tone) Well, why don't you stay longer? There are flights out at the end of the month, and you've already paid the $35 service charge..."

"I can't. I start school the 18th."

"There's one the 17th" (here I begin to wonder why it took her so long to figure out my flight number, yet in less than a minute she is trying to reschedule my life)

"No, really. He has a grad school exam the 7th, and I'm already taking away from his study-time."

"Oh. Flight 1036. Bye." *click*

And there you have it.

heather "my kinda town" hewitt