Day 1 in the US
This episode brought to you by extreme sleep deprivation, IPA and Temazepam
Time makes no sense when you’re traveling. But if I were to try to make sense of time, I’d guess I’ve had about eight hours’ sleep in… 100 hours? Something like that. Not that I’m complaining; not at all. Most of the sleepless hours were very enjoyable! Apart from those spent sitting in the Qantas lounge quaffing mid-range Pinot Noir and trying desperately to keep myself awake as my flight out of Sydney got pushed back again. And again. And fucking AGAIN.
On the flight, though, things changed. I had myself an aisle exit row seat (legroom FTW!), and the lady sitting by the window seemed quite lovely (she’d left her husband and kids at home while she took a holiday in San Fran and NYC, ticking items off her bucket list after a brain aneurysm).
The lady in between us, though — hmmm. Very unhappy about things. Particularly about the USB port on her seat not working (despite the fact that the very patient cabin crew staff had told her it wouldn’t work until after takeoff). Once we were in the air, she immediately moved to a different (NON-EXIT ROW?!!) seat, leaving me and the lovely lady with a spare seat between us. Fuck. Yes. BEST FLIGHT EVER.
After landing in SF, successfully navigating the BART and finding my hotel, I set out to find a US SIM card, some food and a beer. I accidentally managed to visit AT&T’s new flagship store — not something I’d go out hunting, but quite impressive!
I found a Trader Joe’s, marvelled at the insanely cheap booze (a bottle of Grey Goose for $30!!), and bought some bananas (because, bananas). I found a lovely little dive bar (Hyde Out), shamed my country by forgetting to tip when ordering a beer, then redeemed my country by tipping $5 for my second ($6) beer.
I then went off to find some food. After a few false starts I found myself at Hops & Hominy. Despite being packed full of punters, the lovely staff seated me at the bar overlooking the kitchen staff — who were fucking AMAZING to watch. I ordered a killer IPA and the spinach ravioli to go with the complimentary cornbread and ‘orange blossom honey butter’ (their words, not mine, but holy shit it was amazing!).
While enjoying this amazing feast, I was torn between watching the chefs and watching the couple I was seated at the counter next to. The chap, Vijay, explained he and his lady friend were on their first date (awww!) when she left briefly to use the toilet (/bathroom/powder room/facilities/whatever the fuck it’s called here). I promised not to cramp his style, then had to contain my sleep-deprived giggling as his date insisted on taking twenty different photos of every food item in every possible position available.
As I was leaving, I asked Vijay, “How’s your food?” He just looked at his fork, poised above the rapidly-congealing mac ’n’ cheese whilst still being photographed madly by his lady friend, and shrugged amusedly at me.
That’s a good guy right there.