Were awoken early by the junior van Groenou’s, as we were going shopping with Meher. Breakfasted, then away. Dropped off Aneema at school, and then back to the Bayfair shopping centre. Unfortunately, the place wasn’t open yet, so we walked around for a bit before finding a way in. Still, the stores themselves were still shut, so we killed time by having a cup of coffee. The place was like a luxurious, carpeted, 2 level version of the Stratford shopping centre. Eventually wandered over to Montgomery Ward – the sports dept., since we were looking for sleeping bags – but didn’t find anything to our taste, and left after Salim threw a softball at a cooker. We were a lot more bothered than Meher was. Then Meher suggested going to Fremont, where there was a good store. In fact, it turned out to be excellent – Val bought a pair of jeans, and we found some cheap bags. I drove back – Salim was being tetchy – and we had lunch with Bill, then they took us to the Bart at Fruitvale – they were going to Berkeley. We went straight to the Crown depot to pick up our money, and were rather disconcerted to find nobody there. However, no problem, so walked back to town. Picked up some photos, but they were a little disappointing. We managed to find a second-hand bookshop that we had seen before, and bought a couple of paperbacks and “Mill on the Floss” for Bill and Meher. Then we went to see Arjan at the Western, and had a beer while we sat + chatted in the lobby and arranged to meet him at 10 that evening. We shot back to the shop, and got some washing done (after having a not particularly inspiring Chinese meal in town), + then walked back in. Saw Arjan in his room, then waited for some European friends of his to turn up. Georges got in a flap about us being there late, but eventually they were there, so we walked to a bar on Polk + Pine. On the way I chatted to a very attractive German girl – Hanne. It was a good night – Elvis Costello-like band, few beers, nice friendly people. However, were very sleepy, and it was a long walk home.
Apologies – again – for my comments on other people’s parenting. Having subsequently had a go myself, I appreciate that it’s not always easy or straightforward.
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