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First impressions

November 8, 2011

My plane contained both a Buddhist monk and a nun, both in full habits. In my head, they were sitting next to each other. I took pleasure in the fact that the monk had more luggage than I did. What was in that suitcase? Nothingness?

* * * * *

The people on my plane could not have looked more different than the people who usually surround me on the plane to New York. The New York plane is full of people ignoring each other and talking loudly on their cell phones while covering their mouths, as if that keeps you from knowing what they’re saying. On the plane to San Francisco, people were volunteering to help each other, starting friendly conversations, smiling. Even the flight attendants were happy.

* * * * *

I saw snow! And mountains! From the window of the plane!

* * * * *

Hello, Pacific Ocean!

* * * * *

O’Hare airport is like a second-rate shopping mall. San Francisco’s airport is like a fancy hotel. From the future.

* * * * *

From my room I can hear the cable cars running up and down Market Street. When I first heard the whistle, I sprinted to the window, which slides open to a Juliet balcony. Cable cars, church bells, a girl guitarist singing on one corner, an amplified violinist on another, the sounds of disgruntlement from the Occupy Wall Street encampment across the street. This is what San Francisco sounds like. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood meets Woodstock.

* * * * *

There is nothing better than a glass of room service wine that someone else is paying for.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    November 9, 2011 8:58 am

    🙂 I hope you have a marvelous time there. I visited San Fran briefly in 1987 on my way to Hawaii. Love room service paid by someone else.

  2. Cranky permalink
    November 9, 2011 11:58 am

    I recently read a book in which someone drinks the alcohol in the little minibar bottles and then replaces the bottles filled with water.

    Experiment?

  3. November 9, 2011 12:24 pm

    Ha! I am enjoying the travelogue about familiar places. If you want a truly terrible airport, try Columbus — it’s amazing how different they are. Providence is excessively concerned with security. Columbus is cramped and slow — on purpose, it seems. Manchester is my favorite — tiny, with a statue of a moose and a good bookstore and ice cream. (I love new hampshire.) SF seems very big — I like the museum displays on the way to the gate — because we usually use Oakland, which was small but is getting bigger and now has decent food, a See’s shop, a wine shop (!!), and also a decent if small bookstore. Boston, also very big, but with a legal seafood.

  4. November 9, 2011 12:34 pm

    Let’s hear it for San Francisco! I hope your trip is wonderful.

  5. November 9, 2011 1:38 pm

    Room service when someone else is paying? Yes, please!

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