Days 3 – 7


Unfortunately my time in San Francisco is already drawing to a close. As you might guess I have spent a fair chunk of the last few days at concerts (Feist, Cocorosie, Antony & the Johnsons) and in record shops (bringing my grand total for CDs purchased so far to 42). It is just as well the allowance for goods you can bring back into Australia without paying tax was recently increased from $400 to $900.

In the inevitable in-between time moving from one music related event to another I also did some other stuff, including:

  • Visited Fisherman’s Wharf, the most touristy part of town, from where the ferries to Alcatraz leave. Surprisingly, it was only moderately tacky and actually quite attractive. The highlight was the most amazing musical instrument shop I have ever been in with weird and wonderful instruments from all over the world. (If I didn’t have 2/3 of the world still to travel around (and a spare few grand), I would have now been the proud owner of a dulcimer, a gender, and a sitar.);

  • Visited Berkeley. Unfortunately the physics part is over at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab which was well out of the way of the CD shops I was heading for so I just wandered around the campus for a bit. The grounds were very impressive with lots of grand buildings looking like they must have many smart people inside. Since the uni year is just underway here there were lots of club sign up desks. I have never been more thankful for the hours of squash training Tom and I have put in than when fleeing from the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses of Berkeley’. Even knowing I wasn’t a student of the uni didn’t seem to discourage them.

  • Put a 9V battery and my keys in the same pocket. An hour or two later, when the combination created a short circuit, my first thought was “How perculiar, my right thigh seems to be heating up”. My second thought was “Ow, ow, ow, my right thigh is burning hot. Am I about to spontaneously combust?” Removing my wallet from my pocket and seeing no reason that it should have increased in temperature so rapidly, it seemed spontaneous combustion was the most likely explanation. Eventually, as I was bidding this mortal coil my final farewells, I discovered the culprit was said battery, took it out of my pocket and then flung it across the room as it began burning my hand, getting more than a few strange looks from the other people in the queue waiting to go in to the concert. I now have a hole burnt in my pants pocket and a very sore right thigh. I don’t recommend you repeat the experiment.


4 Responses to “Days 3 – 7”

  1. That battery incident has just got to be competing for best travel anecdote ever. It never occurred to me that such a thing would even happen.

    Running from Christians will be a sport at the next Olympics I’m pretty sure. Or perhaps Running from Religious Fanatics, that opens it up to all sorts of people.

  2. I would give it 10 out 10 as well, if it only it was more connected to “American style” 9V batteries. Sort of like the safety matches can onlöy be lit on the special strip. The “Australian safety batteries” cannot only be short-circuited in, hmm, pants?

  3. Far too many people are suffering from pants short-circuiting. Why doesn’t the government take arms against this sea of trouble?

  4. Okay I’m think I’ve ready this time around. I’ve spent the the last few years refining my arguments. I can’t wait.