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Playing tourist

We are in a weird inbetween state where we've lived here for a year, so we're not tourists but we'd never claim to be locals either. And we won't live here long enough to ever be considered locals. Someone stopped me on the street the other day to ask where the nearest Togo's was and I had to think for a second, "What city am I in?" and "What's a Togo's?" (we move around a lot, and from coast-to-coast; and Togo's is a mediocre sandwich shop chain that I haven't been able to eat at for about 5 years now) before I could answer that I didn't know. I drew a complete blank and could not think of a single sandwich shop, let alone specifically a Togo's, in town. I know how to get to the library, Peet's, and Target. What else do I need to know in any town?

Anyway, today we went searching for unique NorCal gifts to bring to my cousins in Poland. It's apparently very important for them to drop everything to make a houseguest feel welcome, as long as the houseguest brings presents. Fair enough. But other than wine, I was drawing a complete blank as to where one goes to buy California things. I put myself into tourist mode and came up with the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

On a Saturday morning that was probably one of the worst ideas I've ever had. At first it didn't seem so bad. Even though I got a little motion sick on BART, getting aboveground into the cool air made me feel better. We bought sweet Vietnamese coffees and had a short pleasant walk. Then we entered Crowded City. I had a headache and I was annoyed by everybody. For some reason I get afflicted like that every time I enter the Ferry Building. It was farmers' market day there, so extra people were milling around. There were lines for the bathroom, lines for the ATM. I was reminded that I don't like being a tourist in San Francisco. I don't like going anywhere crowded in San Francisco. I had a plan though and I was going to stick to it.

My plan didn't really work out. I bought one thing off of the list of ideas I had. We ended up BARTting back home to Walnut Creek and buying the rest of the stuff there. I'm glad I did get that one thing in the city (can't say what it is yet, in case my cousins read this!), because it's something I really like and I hope my cousins will too. But it was hours before my headache subsided.

And I got motion sick on the BART ride home, too. I never know when it's going to hit me. Doesn't bode well for all the train travel we have coming up in the next few weeks though, does it?


Laura said…
There's something unique about the motion & noise of BART that always leaves me headachey and/or queasy. I've ridden on public transit all over the world and ride Caltrain all the time, and it never bothers me as much as BART.

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