bzzzzap.  Transmission begins.

Day -1 (Saturday)

Finally made it to San Francisco (woo!).  After seemingly waiting forever in the boring immigration line (I’m surprised they didn’t take retinal scans or DNA samples!) I managed to stumble my way out to the baggage carousel.  Watching forlornly for 30 minutes to see if my suitcase would decide to stop hiding and appear, some random official wandered over and asked what I was doing. “umm.. looking for my suitcase”.  “What does it look like?”.. “suitcasy?” She then told me to go over and see the carousel supervisor.  I should have realised after 10 mins that the sinking feeling you get watching other people on the same flight escape from that same immigration queue and see their bags immediately means your suitcase has decided to abscond and leave you to your own devices.

The carousel supervisor had my name on his list.  I should be impressed and feel important but that clinched it.  My suitcase was not here, and not clinging to some crevice in the conveyor belt somewhere.  He directed me to the baggage claims desk, where a seemingly harried looking vietnamese gentleman behind the desk was trying to placate another Australian who was flying on to Britain sans baggage. He was very loud and vocal (the Australian) and using terms like “well, what are you going to do about it?” and “what am I supposed to do now?”.  All very understandable but the baggage clerk wasn’t helping matters by trying to move him along saying he had to help other people – me.  With a glare from my compatriot, the clerk turned to me.  Blah blah, yes, we’ll send the bag to you, TOMORROW night. The local time was around 11:00am. To my surprise though he then filled in a petty cash slip and gave me $100 US “for the inconvenience”.  I didn’t understand why I was being offered a bribe to keep quiet and shuffle out wearing the same clothes for more than 24 hours, and the other guy who was flying on before his baggage would arrive wasn’t.  Who cares!  I recall seeing on those airline reality shows the loud-mouthed passengers doing anything to secure $100 vouchers eg. “my seat was the wrong shade of blue”, but I didn’t say anything!


I managed in my state of stinky 30-hour underwear to catch the BART to near my hotel, and thankfully, got checked in immediately. This was about midday local time.  I needed sleep but first I had to go buy some clothes for tomorrow. After my zombie-gait meandering along Market Street, I ended up in the equivalent of a “best and less”, “Ross” where it seems buying “cheap but quality goods” was a mandate for every San Franciscan to be there at the same time. It doesn’t seem there are any normal department stores in the city, unless you want designer clothes (but I just want some underwear!) so this place seemed the most likely to satisfy all my underwear needs.  Hmm.. that sounds a bit dubious.  Anyway, back to the hotel for a decent sleep.

Day 0 (Sunday)

bzzz-tchetch-kerthump.  Oh great.  2:30am, and people staying in the room next door have arrived and want to continue to paaaaaarty.  Lots of “I love you man” and drunken shenanigans.  Maybe I’m old and crotchety in comparison but I want to sleep! I should have called out “get off my lawn” but they may have heard.

Today’s going to be much better.  Showered, in new clothes (completely – bought jeans, shirt, socks and underwear with my lucky “please keep quiet” qantas bribe), breakfasted and now sitting here in my hotel room typing this blog entry before going on an organised coach trip by the AUC to Frys electronics, the Computer History Museum and the Apple store at 1 Infinite Loop.

Unfortunately, my laptop charger and ipad/ipod sync cable is in my suitcase, so I only have around 2 hours of battery left.  Hopefully I can take photos and upload later.


bzzzzap.  Transmission ends.