One of the features of this town was that it was infested with capuchin monkeys! And if you have seen “Night at the Museum” then you know how mischievous they can be. They can be seen scurrying around, and swinging through the trees of the small square park, located at the center of the town. One day, Amanda and I (Caleb) had decided to have a snack in the park, consisting of chips and avocado. Suddenly out of nowhere three monkeys appear around me, acting as cute as can be, all furry and frolicking. A single monkey crawled foreword and hopped into my lap and curled up like it was planning on taking a nap. I thought to myself it was the cutest thing. “Ouch!” I yelped, for a monkey had come up behind me and bit my back, leaving a light scratch. I quickly spun around with my chips in one hand, and the other being a clenched fist, I swiftly PUNCHED him in the face! With a stunned look on his face he retreated leaving his other cohorts alone with me. A relieved thought crossed my mind… But it was to early, the monkey in my lap was prepared and now leapt for the chips, snatched them and ran off a fair distance to smash the bag and see his loot… We have now learned our lesson to beware of these cheeky monkeys.
Our first experience backpacking in the concrete jungle was pretty tiring, as you can imagine walking along freeways on asphalt can be pretty hard on your feet. So, after 5 hours of walking and a sleepover on a deserted baseball field, we thought we would give hitch hiking a try.
We began by taking turns holding our thumbs out, (which by the way, can become quite tiresome). After only a few minutes we saw a silver suburban pull over ahead of us, and a very pleasant looking women stepped out with a smile. We start quickening our pace to get to the kind lady. The moment we reached her we thanked her kindly, but noticed she was looking past us and not at us. We turned around and to our astonishment there was a police car with its lights on about ten feet behind us.
The officer walked over to us and kindly informed us that hitch hiking is illegal in New York and asks to see our ID’s. Shortly thereafter we found ourselves locked up in the back of her police car, when I tried to make conversation it lead to an awkward silence. As we pulled up to the nearest bus station, the officer stepped out of the car and opened the backseat door and freed us from the hard seat from which we sat. From there she informed us of the dangers in Hamburg (where we were at the time) with the fair being in town. When she left all we could think was two things; one we wish we had taken a picture in the back seat, and two how sad it was that the first time we tried hitch hiking we got picked up by a cop.
If you have ever been to the south side of Chicago then you know what we are talking about…Englewood the neighborhood we were staying in is predominantly a black neighborhood (not to be racist). It’s definitely a neighborhood you want to keep your eyes open at all times! (Check out our article “Don’t get shot in Chicago” for more info). When we walked to a from the train station we received so strange looks, like the people there had never seen a white person before! We where even pulled over a few times and asked if we were lost! All in all Englewood is definitely an interesting neighborhood and I wouldn’t recommend staying in it for all but it is a cheap alternative for staying in Chicago.