The Tradition of Night 2

Trip Start Mar 13, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2013

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Where I stayed
Huriya and Josh's, via Airbnb

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, March 14, 2013

What is it with the second night? This one was no different - well, maybe a little, at least I didn't have to stumble home alone - from the last; inadvertant drunkeness, carousing, dancing....

The day began quite calmly with a walk to the local Safeway for food shopping and progressed with an afternoon of walking in the Mission Dolores, beginning at 16th  and heading down Mission Street checking out the street art - which was magnificent. Almost immediately after emerging from the BART station at 16th Street we saw a Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Watcha Gonna Do? bust with 3 police cars. Lots of people smoking pot on the street. Well, at least two people, but all the way along the street and indeed throughout most of San Fran you could smell it, most of the time. I bought the equivalent of The Big Issue from a homeless woman who was having troubles after leaving her husband. Lots of homeless people here live out of shopping trolleys, and many have dogs as well.

 The plan had been to visit the MOMA way down on 3rd, but after the long walk along Mission we came upon a Mel's Drive-In cafe, where we were compelled to eat pie with ice-cream and drink milkshakes; after which we had not enough money for the entry to MOMA.

Not to worry, plans change in the wink of an eye. Mel's was on the corner of Mission and 4th, so almost at Embarcadero, but being unsure a map was consulted which was quickly noticed by a homeless man named George who offered to take us a little way in the right direction (Broadway) in return for a burger. I gave him a tenner and he chatted with us almost all the way to Chinatown, a good 15 minute walk. Then he left us; but not before giving us repeated and very specific instructions..."go straight ahead, do NOT turn left, or right, but just go straight. Do not go through the tunnel, it's not safe. Go straight ahead, ok?" 
Thanks to George we found Chinatown which we wandered along as the sun set, then Broadway on which we turned left and hiked a loooong way up and over the hill to Rouge's Lounge and Nick's Crispy Taco's,where we met back up with Richard for dinner. We counted the steps up the last bit of the hill over the tunnel - 167. After tacos and margaritas at Nick's (where Shell found out from the wait staff how much nurses in the US are paid compared to Oz - LOTS) we were walking back down hills and dales to the BART, when Rich ducked in to a small bar to use the restroom.

  The rest, as they say in the histories, is classic....there was a lone AC/DC pinball machine, a lamp in the shape of a dogs' head above the antique till and a woman arguing with her boyfriend about what time they should leave to go home. We couldn't possibly leave this haven without thorough investigation. Shortly we met Van, a sweet African American guy who came and sat with us and taught Shell and me how to say San Francisco properly. Our Australianess squashes the 'A' in Fran so it sounds like frn, Van got us to say San FRAAANciscow. Several margaritas later and we weren't going anywhere - Richard had payed for 'Downunder' on the jukebox and we weren't leaving until we'd heard it. Another guy, Matt, asked Richard to teach him an Aussie saying, so Rich taught him to say I'm as Dry As a Dead Dingo's Donger, the method of which kept us in hysterical laughter for much longer than was really reasonable. We danced. We laughed. Around 2 or 3am we piled into a cab to go home.

BART = Bay Area Rapid Transit, the underground rail system not to be confused with The Met. You can buy a ticket that you just keep reloading. Your BART ticket will not get you on any buses though, and if you have a full day of public transport planned it's worth buying a day pass, which will get you on buses and trams as well. Cable Cars are separate again, but you can also buy a day pass for these.
Nick's = some of the best taco's, quesadilla's etc in the city, cheap. 1500 Broadway, cnr of Polk; Rouge's is the adjacent bar (they share the same room but you have to go up to Nick's counter to order food)
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