Saturday, 4 April 2009

Day 3

Woken at seven o'clock by the American girls packing up and clearing off to Los Angeles. Went back to sleep. Woke up again at half seven wide awake. Left hostel at nine after gorging on yet more cakes.
Set off for Nob Hill, one of the plushest suburbs of San Francisco. Saw a brownstone mansion which was built by James C. Flood, who brought the railroad to the west coast. It was pretty much the only house to survive the great fire in 1906. All the rest were built from wood.
Continued through suburbia until encountering San Francisco's steepest street. Which was 31 degrees. Walked up it without stopping. Regardez moi. Along from this was the 'world's crookedest street'. Think a smaller Alpe D'Huez with manicured flowerbeds surrounding each bend.
Down to Fisherman's Wharf. Like Blackpool but hotter. Checked out a few of the piers, mainly because I remember them from Dirty Harry.
Went to Safeway. Sunbathed in a square. Read more of Herzog. Realised I was now quite sunburnt. 
Went to a museum in a bank's HQ. Actually pretty good, although I left with the impression American life in the 19th Century mostly consisted of stage coach robberies.

Walked back to Haight to see if Jackie and Rachel were there. They weren't. Hung around until they came back.
Went to the opening of Rachel's boyfriend Karl (aka grafitti artist Hush)'s new gallery. Drank some complementary piss weak beer. Before going into down to drink some much much stronger beer. Shitfaced.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Day 2

Awoke in the hostel. Ate a breakfast comprised entirely of cakes. Set off to buy a camera. After half an hour eventually found the camera shop. After another half an hour umming and aahing finally chose one.
Took new purchase through Chinatown. And then up to Telegraph Hill. Walked round Coit Tower. 
Didn't pay $5 to go up it. Still, a handsome view of the city, bay and Golden Gate etc.
Wandered back towards town. Stopped in Washington Square. Another old 'beat' hangout, and where Joe di Maggio and Marilyn Monroe posed for wedding photos. Read a bit of Herzog and sunbathed.
Quested over a couple of big hills along Union Street. Fancy shops. Boutiques and the like. Had a coffee while Si finished work. Had an Ice Cream while Si ran late. Met Si.
Bus to Golden Gate Bridge. Walked round, under and on it. Snapping merrily away. Went to the best looking climbing 'gym' I've ever seen. Didn't climb but Si was eager for me to see it.
Wandered back through Chrissy Field. Took yet more photos.
Past Marina. Down Fillmore to Lombard.
Mel's Drive-in Diner. Suave burger. The most American place I've seen yet. A fat family even walked in as we left.

Went to meet Jackie as she finished work. Got caught short by a sudden onset of bowel movement. Had to shit behind a bush in a church. Soz God. Also had to sacrifice a sock.
Back to the hostel, where the news was broken to me that I'd be sharing with three American girls frollicking in their pyjamas. Shit.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Day 1

Flight was uneventful if extremely fucking long. Watched Quantum of Solace, Burn After Reading and Vicky Christina Barcelona. All OK. Thought about Penelope Cruz for a while. Greenland and Baffin Island both looked spectacular.
Got to America. Nearly sent home straight away. Immigation phoned Si. Si confirmed I wasn't going to work for them illegally. Cast into San Francisco a free man. 'Have a good trip sir!'
Bus into town. Heard some rucksack recommendations and extreme 'free climbing' anecdotes from the yank lovechild of John Lennon and one of Spinal Tap. Let's hope they're not all like this. Got into town. Cab to see Si and Jackie. Didn't know the tipping etiquette. Didn't pay a tip. C'est la vie.
Tea with Si, Jackie and Si's sister Rachel. Greek Salad. It's fucking massive and well tasty. Pint of Stella too. Go for walk to Haight Ashbury, the birthplace of the 'beat.' It's like Affleck's Palace stretched out into one long sunny street. And full of homeless people. Sweet.
Walk back with the intention to go for a drink. Realise I've now been up for 85 hours. Sack it to the hostel. Looks like a refuge for the homeless at first sight but is actually OK. Bed is very comfortable.