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San Francisco Seattle

17th May 2010

A Wet Day in San Francisco, Burning Rubber and a Mad Woman

    I needed to catch up on some chores, so today I would become a San Franciscan and just go about my daily business. First task was getting some money from the bank, the Wells Fargo Bank. This name may bring some fond memories back to older readers, younger ones won't have a clue why. I was tickled to find that I also had to put a thumb print on the traveler's cheques before they would accept them. I found out later that this is fairly common in the States if you don't have an account with that bank.
Powell Street Cablecar Turntable
    Next stop was the launderette. Since I would be flying to Seattle the next day, I wanted to carry a suitcase full of clean clothes. I made a good choice for today since it started to rain just as I entered the launderette. The washing and drying was a mundane affair, but a bit of colour, or should I say smell, was injected when I got a whiff of burning rubber. I guessed a bearing was seizing up causing a belt to slip and burn. It didn't perturb me, just swap the contents to another machine and get a man in to sort out the bearing/belt. I thought nothing more of it and the guy who I assumed to be in charge continued with his six machine loads of white towels. But wait, there was the 'mad' woman. By now she could smell the burning rubber too. Wow did she start wailing, interrogating me as to whether I could smell it or not, where was it coming from and so on. I tried to explain to her that it wasn't an earth shattering event, but she wasn't having any of it. She was hopping around like a cat on a hot tin roof full of "Doom, doom, doom". I was averting my attention by now, but she suddenly let out an enormous shriek; I thought a machine had exploded in front of her. She shot out of the door like a Chinese whippet (ever seen one of those? No, well it just shows you how fast they are) screaming, "I must go call". An old Japanese chap and I momentarily made eye contact, and without a word being spoken, instantly knew what the other was thinking. She turned up again 10 mins. later with Mr. Fixit, who opened up a few machines, shrugged his shoulders and with a hushed curse, left.
Here Be Dragons under the Streets
    By now it was raining hard, so I just returned to my room and caught up with emails and blog. Boredom eventually set in, so I thought why not see San Francisco in the rain. I drifted at a lazy pace down to the Yerba Buena Gardens, a delightful little gem surrounded by high rise buildings; well worth a visit. I then shuffled down Mission Street to the bay, spotting a YMCA on the way. Ah, I thought, a useful opportunity to find the way of the land regarding the selling of the vehicle I was about to purchase. Don, the guy who is cutting the purchase deal with me suggested that one possible outlet would be via the hostels. These are full of travelers who would be on the look out for kitted out vehicles like mine in order that they can head up into Canada or across to the East coast. That's the theory anyway. I chatted to the fellow on the desk who apologised that this hostel had no bulletin boards. I discussed the scheme with him and he suggested craigslist.com on the web as another possibility. Food for thought. I'll air a few more folk out before this trip is done.
San Francisco's Answer to Easter Island
Contrasting Architectures
Yerba Buena Gardens
Bay Bridge in Fog, not to be Confused with the Golden Gate Bridge
Yerba Buena Cinema - FOOD, BUY ME
    To escape the drab weather I went to see "Robin Hood" at the Yerba Buena cinema complex. This place was huge. When I entered the actual theatre for the film I was confronted by some folk in it who were equally as huge. They were lolling around in their seats like beached whales with a bucket full of drink and a dustbin full of popcorn - each! I know Americans love to eat, but this was excessive. I enjoyed the film, and the Americans seemed to appreciate some of the quirkier English humour moments of the film.
    I hadn't eaten all day, so some nourishing fast Thai food saw me through as I climbed the hill back to the hotel.
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San Francisco Seattle

Uploaded from Comfort Inn, 1414 228th Street S.E., Bothell, WA 98021 on 18/05/10 at 19:25

Last updated 20.5.2010