June 25th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
View of Alcatraz from the ferry

A good, substantial breakfast – tho’ not an English one – after which we packed up and prepared to leave.  We think Meher and Bill had expected us to stay longer, but we didn’t like to presume so, and in any case wanted to explore Sausalito.  However, they told us we were welcome to stay at any time, so that was nice.  Bill dropped us back at the BART station, and then we repeated our futuristic journey back to SF.  We walked out along Market Street, to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry to Sausalito, but had to wait an hour or so.  Val got bored, but I spent the time reading the paper.  The trip across, when we finally got on, was quite pleasant, and we passed quite close to Alcatraz, so we were able to take some pictures.  Sausalito itself seemed quite a nice, rather touristy, town, but we received a blow upon arrival.  Val called the Youth Hostel, and it was full.  This left us stuck, since we didn’t think we could afford anything else in the area.  We decided to try our luck with employment in the bars, restaurants and hotels there, taking it in turns to go in and ask, but only one place seemed to have any vacancies, and that required form-filling with the inevitable social security no, so that was out.  Had a pleasant lunch of good bread and cheese sitting on the harbour wall, tried a few more places, then decided to go back to the Western Hotel to consult our friend.  Caught the bus back in, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and arrived at the hotel at about 4, although Georges, the manager, wasn’t about.  Val was quite tired, so she was going to wait for G and then take a nap, while I went downtown to try to search out John Elk, the guy I’d met in London last year.  It was a fair old walk, but eventually I tracked down the address – a spaghetti restaurant.  Apparently, they leased out a back room to the co., Spaghettijam, and the woman there said she expected them back that evening.  I walked back to the hotel, had coffee at the hotel with Val, and then we both walked all the way back to the Spaghetti factory, the restaurant’s name, only to discover Spaghettijam weren’t there that night, but a different group, Flash Family, were.  We dithered for some time about what to do, eventually deciding that Val, still tired, should go back to the hotel, while I should stay + watch them.  I felt really guilty.  However, the show was excellent, very funny, especially the music.  I walked home.

Not so guilty that I walked back with Val, however.  In case you were wondering, for it is not made clear here, these were both companies involved with Comedy improvisation.  Pete and I had happened upon a workshop the previous year, meeting the aforementioned John Elk, the visiting tutor, and of course he had invited all and sundry to call in when in SF, little knowing that at least one would take him up on it.  Rather a niche market, but in fact this particular scene was to provide one strand of our social life while in the city.

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