Aaaah, San Francisco – hippy home, homosexual haven and all round crowd pleaser. No one has anything bad to say about SF – No one. The only complaint is that you can’t get a good coffee here, but that’s a given in the US. I thought I was in luck
this morning because I found a small coffee shop that only served tea and
coffee and variations on that theme, and the girl at the counter had tatts and
thick specs so I thought she would do one that was ‘real, man.’ Negative ghost rider. Surely if that’s all your shop does you’d learn how to do it well, but it was
just a Starbucks coffee in an indie cup – me and my coffee got burnt.
Post horrendous coffee – the froth had huge bubbles, and looked more like the foam that washes up on the beach with the seaweed – I went to City Lights bookstore,
which is famous for being the hangout of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs and all that lot. Apparently this is where they met to discuss poetry and do whatever else it is
the avant-garde do. I don’t really love beat poetry – you give them a free
verse inch and they take a mile, but it was still pretty cool because it’s so famous. I wanted to buy a book there, even if it was unrelated, so I picked up a biography of T. S. Eliot which looks pretty reliable.
Soon I’ll find out whether or not he actually did put on white face paint before he went out to make himself look wan and elicit sympathy from people. Cue excerpt from personal fave – “Prufrock”:
Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherised upon a table.
Let us go through half-remembered streets, the muttering retreats, of restless night in one night cheap hotels.
That’s all I can remember. Oh T.S. – you were a nutter, but you wrote like an angel.
I had a really interesting conversation with two great oldies today – what can I say,
I’m a pensioner magnet – when I was having lunch in Union Square, and they were
loving how much I’d packed in in a month. One of them said I should write a
how-to book for the time-poor. Then we started discussing tourists vs. travellers and the distinction between the two, and he said – when you’re overseas and you’re going to these well-known places you’re a tourist, but when you get home you’re a traveller. He said that I could use that quote in my book as long as I referenced him. You
have to go to those places, he said – they’re packed for a reason. I don’t 100% agree, but I thought that was an interesting take on it.
I’m on a boat heading to Alcatraz and I’m really really really excited.
Looks a bit like Rottnest from here. Will give you the details tomorrow.
Yours truly x