July 3rd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

Woke at 5.30, 90 mins too late for work.  Apparently, I had not clicked our newly bought clock radio onto “Wake to music” (subconsciously deliberately so?) and so we slept.  It may have been just as well – I at least was very tired – but we groaned and slept on.  Till 9.30 at any rate.  We finally arose, and walked round the corner for bacon and eggs, followed by pancakes and syrup – too rich for me.  Then we strolled the usual route downtown, picked up our films on the way, and stopped to look at them.  Not too bad, tho’ one of the films only had 14 come out of 24, and since it was the most recent film, we were worried about the camera.  We went on to the Christian Bros museum – tho’ we had thought it was an actual winery.  It was not especially interesting, tho’ they did have an excellent collection of cartoons.  We walked on to Ghirardelli Square and looked around that, tho’ unfortunately it was way outside our price range.  And then we moved on to Pier 39, another development along the same lines, and stopped to watch a fine couple of performers – jugglers mainly, tho’ one also unicycled, and one walked on stilts.  We tasted, and then bought, two bottles of wine, one for home consumption, one for Meher + Bill.  We were starting to get quite hungry, so we walked back to Safeway and bought some food, then started looking for a bus – we were also still weary.  A stroke of luck at this time – one of the Germans from the Western Hotel spotted us and offered us a lift – most welcome.  Val made sandwiches for our dinner, back in our hotel room, while I went out to search for a play to watch.  One was too expensive, but by chance I discovered that one play was having a free preview.  I trotted back, pausing only for a shoe-shine, to deliver the good news.  So we took the washing to the laundromat, got it clean + dry, and then were ready to go.  We paused briefly to watch an amazing busker, a guy dressed in top hat and tails, playing a white piano loaded on the back of an old pick-up – superb – and then on to the theatre, only to discover it was full.  We were instantly depressed, since with a little more information we could easily have seen it, but consoled ourselves slightly with a whisky sour in a bar, and 2 chocolates in a café.

Noteworthy how much time and concern (and money) needed to be taken up with photography.  Not knowing, until weeks later, whether the camera was working, whether the pictures were any good.

Curious that I should feel the need to get my shoes shined – is this another aspect of life that has largely disappeared? – presumably since I felt it was part of the American experience, as depicted in the movies.

And interesting that I should shove the theatre fiasco onto a lack of information, when it is quite clear, even from my own account, that it was down to our own dilatory approach.

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