HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I hope that you all had a very good new years eve and that 2014 has been wonderful for you so far! I have high hopes for 2014, as I said in my 2013 recap. I have this feeling that it’ll be a great year!
I spent my New Years Eve at a friend’s house with her host family and in front of the TV. We watched the ball drop in NYC and then counted down to midnight before falling asleep soon after. The life of an Au Pair is hard, you know? It’s exhausting! Originally, though, we planned on going to the Navy Pier in Chicago to watch the big fireworks but as the numbers of the people going dwindled down to none, we just decided to stay inside. This turned out to be a good decision as on New Years Eve, a snowstorm hit that didn’t stop for 2 days. It just didn’t stop. I think that if we ended up going to the Pier, we would have had a hell of a rough time getting back to where we live. Maybe not at all. So I am very happy with how I spent my night. And I’m very much looking forward to this year. I’m going to see and do so many awesome things.
My hostfamily has actually invited me to come on spring break with them. Destination still unsure but there has been talk of Florida. Then my family suggested that instead of coming to Chicago, we meet in a different city (like Washington) and spend a week there. So that’s at least two cities that I would see this year. And of course I’ll be doing stuff on my own. I really want to see San Fransisco and maybe Nashville if I can afford it. Se there’s all that to look forward to, not to mention all the things that there is to do in Chicago itself. It’s all going to be so awesome. Think about it though, if I plan something to so every weekend (be it an outing with friends, or a trip to a museum or even travelling to a different city), this year is going to fly by. It’ll be December again before I know it, and I’ll be (maybe) going home! Man.. January 3rd and I’m already thinking of Christmas. That’s weird.
Anyway, so today I had a little adventure. To get stuff done over here you need to have a social security card. Which you need to apply for when you’re here on a visa, you don’t just get one. So because I was off early-ish today I decided to go do that and get it out of the way. This means driving, of course. Driving in the US is still a bit weird but I’m getting more and more used to it. At least I’ve started to enjoy driving again and not be (extremely) intimidated by the tiny parking garage that I need to maneuver the car out of.
Okay so I drive to the address that has been given to me and I arrive at this trailer park-esq neighborhood and I think ‘this can’t be right..’ so I check the address and it turns out that the GPS took the wrong end of the road that I needed to be on. Luckily, I was close though and soon the little voice was saying to me ‘the destination is on your right’. So I take the next exit and drive onto some weird construction site and think ‘this can’t be right..’. So I turn around and take an exit earlier which is a moving and storage company and think ‘this can’t be right..’. Luckily for me there was a nice lady who told me that I needed another exit earlier and that I needed to hurry because they closed at 3 pm instead of the 4 pm that my counselor had told me. It was currently 2:49 pm. This is when I started to mildly freak out on top of being annoyed. So I drive the 1 minute that it takes me to get there and almost slam my head into the steering wheel repeatedly because there, on a large sign that I had passed not 5 minutes earlier, it said in big letters ‘SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE’. Which I had completely missed. Well done, Emma. Well done.
I got in just in time, though. Checked in with a fancy computer thingy and waited for my number to be called. After that it went all very smoothly. The nice lady put my information in the computer and I was out of there within 15 minutes. And I will have my card in the mail within the next 2 weeks. Yay! So far, my experience with the American government have all been very good *knocks on wood*.
There are several things that are still on my to-do list for next week. I need to make a trip down to the local College to sort everything out and register for the Class that I want to take (Abnormal Psychology, did I tell you guys that?). I really need to hurry that up as the classes are nearly starting. Then when I get some sort proof of that I am a student there, I need to open up a checking account so I can transfer money back to the NL so I can pay my bills and annoying things like that. And I also need to get a library card. Very important.
Speaking of books, I’ll be cashing in my bookstore gift card that I got for Christmas tomorrow! I’m so looking forward to it. I miss browsing in bookstores and holding physical books. Time of my life.
In related news, I recently finished Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and I will write a review on that tomorrow. I’m now reading Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult and I couldn’t put it down yesterday. Jodi does it once again. I love it.