We Don't Rock

25 November 2001

I'm trying to think whether anything we did yesterday turned out as it was supposed to. We did indeed fetch Sarah and bring her home, where she now sleeps quasi-peacefully on the couch. (That is, as peacefully as one can sleep on that couch with people creeping around having breakfast in the room.)

Sarah called saying that her flight was being rerouted, and she'd be arriving at 2:45. That was fine enough; it gave us more time to putter around the house this morning, and less time to have to kill in the City. Then she called saying that her new plane was delayed. It was going to land at 3:35. Our Alcatraz at Night tour left from the pier at 4:20. Figure in getting off the plane, finding baggage, and driving up there. No chance. So I called and cancelled the Alcatraz tickets, and only had to pay a small service fee. (This was much better than I expected. I was fully expecting to have to pay $60 not to go to Alcatraz, which is a bit annoying.)

We found Sarah at the baggage claim right away, but there was a bit of a problem: her bags had come a different route than she had, so she watched and watched at the Las Vegas baggage claim, only to find that her bag was waiting at the Chicago claim. Sarah hadn't eaten since 6:30 her time (3:30 ours), and Timprov hadn't eaten since he'd awakened, so off we went, bent on House of Nanking and good Chinese food.

Market St. conquered us. We knew, from our map, which streets were one way. We didn't know which streets would let us turn. We were stuck in SOMA for around 45 minutes, because the streets that would let us turn, either north or south-west-north or even south-east-north were barricaded. I took a picture of the no-stopping/no-barfing-duck sign, but it didn't come out. (The do-not-litter signs in downtown San Francisco always look like they are prohibiting ducks from puking to us.) Finally, we gave up completely and got on the Bay Bridge to go eat in Berkeley. Somewhere in the drive, Sarah had mentioned that her hotel (for Monday evening and beyond) was on Kearny St., so we figured we'd get to House of Nanking on Monday when we take her to her hotel. We ate at Long Life instead.

Let's pause a minute. Getting on the Bay Bridge was our best traffic option. Do you know how sick and wrong that is?

All right then. So we had a nice time at Long Life, and Mark learned the dangers of trying new things, and Sarah learned to use chopsticks.

See? Here she is with her brother and her newfound chopstick ability. We went to Games of Berkeley and saw a Cheapass Game that was so cheapass that we may just make it ourselves. And then we came home and vegetated. Watched bad scifi on the SciFi Channel. Etc. The plan for today is that we're going to get cleaned up, try another new church in the area, have some lunch around here, and then head up to Muir Woods and Muir Beach. I have a very hard time referring to this area as "the beach" rather than "the shore," because beaches are places you wear bikinis, or at least places where someone could.

My godfather was talking, the other night, about how Californians don't know anything. When he first burst out with this, I thought he was making a generalization based on the educational system's failings out here. Nope. He was talking about the inability of your average California resident on the street to answer a simple question about their surroundings. This has been obscured for me because I tend to associate with the sort of people who are quite happy to know things and even happier to share them. But I've seen it elsewhere, in BART stations and so on. A lot of people will be perfectly happy to respond to strangers, they just won't know. "Ahhhohknow," they'll say. "Can I get to there from here?" "Ahhhohknow." That sort of thing seems reasonable to me -- it's a big metropolitan area, and very few people are likely to know its ins and outs. Just because I can get from BART to, say, Cody's on Telegraph, doesn't mean that I know the ins and outs of restaurants on Telegraph St., and if someone asks me, while I'm looking in Cody's, "Hey, is there a good Indian place around here?", well, I don't know. Dave has lived in L.A. for a long time, though, so maybe he's dealt with more of this and has gotten fed up. But sheesh, if a tourist had asked us, when we were wandering around SOMA, how to get up to Chinatown, evidently we don't know. We could point on the map to all the streets that would get you there, but....

At least we got noodles.

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