Chicago has surprised me on a number of occasions. For example, before we moved here, I thought the traffic would be bad, but it was worse than I expected. I expected a lot of Chicago snow, but there isn't more snow in Chicago than Montana. Chicago is called the windy city, but I don't detect more wind in Chicago than in Livingston, MT, unless we're talking about mayor Richard Daley.
The thing about Chicago I have found most surprising is the humidity and the rain. Chicago is a very humid place, which makes summer heat really feel hot. Given the humidity, rain in Chicago actually gets your clothes wet enough that you have to change. Plus, a thunderstorm actually qualifies as severe weather, whereas there is not much substantial rain in Montana (aside from the occasional afternoon thunderstorm).
The first time I felt like a newcomer to Chicago was last fall when I did not have an umbrella for a soaking, rainstorm. I got drenched walking to campus and I couldn't help but notice that every other person on the sidewalk had an umbrella. This leads me to the question of the week: What do you do when it rains? Do you...
(a) Grab an umbrella on your way out the door, and calmly stroll to your destination.
(b) Wear raingear but don't bother with the umbrella.
(c) Run from place to place to avoid the tiresome falling droplets.
(d) Grab an umbrella, wear raingear, and run from place to place.
The poll is up now, and will remain up until next Friday, 22 May 2009. Vote early, vote often, and encourage your friends to vote. There are three options, but you may select more than one! May you save enough umbrellas for your rainy days!