July 28th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

And so, finally, the last day at work.  The usual beginning (see pages on the last 4 weeks or so) and the usual walk in.  Val was going to be working with Gerry on an easy + lucrative run – out near Meher’s, in fact, and I would have to take pot luck.  The prospect did not please me, especially since my feet were badly blistered from the work the day before.  My heels had a network of small blisters corresponding to the pattern in the heel of my new sneakers, but I packed them with newspaper and they seemed to be alright.  I was chosen for Billy’s van, and was surprised when a few minutes later Val joined me.  A regular of Gerry’s who had been injured had returned, so she had to make way.  We also had 2 total newcomers working with us – a rather dopey black girl, and a spaced-out Englishman.  We’d worked the route twice before and it seemed to go quite quickly, tho’ neither of us were really in the mood, + so we quickly got tired.  Stopped for lunch at about 1 – at McDonalds! – but were a little annoyed at the end of the day when once again we had to run out the papers once we’d finished the regular route.  However, were amazed to discover that the time was 5.20 by the time we finished, and considerably gone six by the time we returned, picked up our money, etc.  We had planned to do so much in the afternoon – shop, take a sauna, wash the sheets – but in fact only had time to pack up our belongings + clear out.  We were rather intrigued to find the shop full of branches of green foliage tho’ – curious.  We caught the bus + Bart out to Hayward, + Bill was good enough to come +pick us up – we were too tired to move ourselves.  There was a terrific meal waiting for us, and then we (Meher, Val + I) walked down to Pam’s (the owner of the car) and sorted out the money + documents.  We spent longer than we wanted there really, being so tired, but it was pleasant sitting + talking, the main topic being the English educational system.  Eventually, we got away, and I drove us back.  Val went to bed, where I joined her after taking myself a luxurious hot bath, very necessary for relaxing sore muscles.

Hm… a little self-obsessed, methinks, especially when going into details of my blisters – not of lasting interest.  Reflections on our job?  Positive, really, since it gave us a way of extending our stay in SF – we would never have been able to afford staying there as just tourists.  And in its own way, it gave us a chance to peek at the bit of the city that we would otherwise have missed: not so much the suburbs through which we walked as the company we kept, the lifestyle we glimpsed.  My most vivid memory was of Gerry explaining the route we were to be taking, just before we were dropped off, but pronouncing the word as though it were “rout”, and having to prevent myself from correcting him – we say it like “root”.  Fortunately, I managed it.

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