November 19th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Reserve postcard no.3 – by now, Alcatraz

Up early + straight to work.  While Val packed up all our worldly belongings, I shot off to the shower.  And then, when I returned, it was my job to pull down + pack up the tent, while Val in turn trotted off for her ablutions.  And then, bye-bye Campland, and off to Mexico, or such was our intention.  Lugged our stuff out to the bus stop, + while we were out there started to hitch.  Which turned out to be a good idea, because the second vehicle along stopped for us + took us some of the way.  Mind, we still had to catch a bus from there, + it was a flat-rate fare…  Still.

Dropped off right next to the Greyhound Station where we unloaded ourselves of our bags in a locker, + then set out to cover what seemed like a multitude of chores.  We had to buy a universal sink-plug (no trouble), + some pens (likewise); buy a card to send to Liz + Brent (ditto), fill out Australian immigration forms + send from a PO, buy some heavy reading (no sweat), + a frameless rucksack (couldn’t manage that in our price range.)  Then, all that we had to do was get our cheque from A1 (Seattle) cashed, + we’d be on our way!  And that was where Plan A folded.  Tried to cash it at a bank (or 2) – Nope.  Tried a check-cashing shop – nope.  Eventually, I left Val at the Greyhound stn., + caught a bus out to A1’s San Diego office – annoyingly where we’d been dropped off – + manged to find it after much walking + more asking.  And then… then… then all the guy there did was give me another  – local – cheque.  So caught the bus back, tried the check-cashing place again (still no way) + finally returned to Val, who’d had an equally desperate afternoon.  Called up the YMCA, despairing of leaving San Diego tonight, + the guy there was funny, being indignant that I should enquire about a double room – even when I didn’t.  Calmed down when he found we were in the AYH tho’ + got cheap accommodation.  Treated ourselves to hamburgers then went to a singalong with free coffee – both were pretty awful.

Thwarted in our attempt to leave the USA, at least we were able to move out of Campland; as happened so often, we were stymied by bureaucracy; I don’t suppose our cheque from A1 was very large, but we were in no position to write it off.

Hopefully, tomorrow we leave America, and dive into a new culture.

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