24 April 2006

"You're Australian, right?"


"New Zealand?"

"No. British."


I've also been asked if I'm South African, Welsh and accused of being Irish.

"Why San Francisco?"

Like it's a shithole not worth visiting. Obviously if I met a tourist in Clacton On Sea I'd ask them that, but, San Francisco - while it doesn't have the shiny sun of LA - is actually a pretty cool (literally) place.

I rented a car and drove up here from LA. Having never driven on the right hand side of the road, and having never driven a left hand drive vehicle - it was something of an experience.

A few years ago when The Thrills released their album "So Much For The City" I heard the song "Big Sur" on the radio a lot.

Obviously, on the radio you can't here spellings, so I thought the song was "Big Sir" - perhaps a song about a dodgy, well-endowed teacher. Turns out that actually, Big Sur is in fact a place on the California coast.

Looking at the map, I thought it'd be an ideal distance along my way to stop overnight for some kip. Until I got there. Then I fully understood why the lyrics went "Just don't go back to Big Sur..." (and from that lyric you can also understand how I came to my misunderstanding over what the song is about).

I did pass a couple of inns/hotels/motels, drove past them and thought "You know what. I'd kinda like to stay somewhere that looks like it's got electricity. My iPod needs recharging if it's going to see me all the way to San Francsico."

So, I passed through the town thinking of one of The Thrills other songs "Oh Santa Cruz, No, you're not that far..." because I was getting kinda tired having been driving for 11 hours and I was looking for a place to crash. As in sleep - I wasn't looking to wrap my rented car around a pole, even though it was insured.

When I finally reached Santa Cruz, I checked into a motel. The first time I've ever stayed in a proper park-your-car-by-your-bedroom-door motel. I was somewhat nervous about the prospect, especially the thought of having to take a shower the following morning. I wanted to survive to see San Francisco and not to wind up with the contents of my veins flowing down the shower drain like I was circulating chocolate syrup. I've seen that movie.

I was nervous enough on a plane to Los Angeles - I was convinced the tail section would snap off mid flight and I'd wake up on the beach on a desert island, strangely no longer disabled.

I survived the night and the next morning packed my stuff back into my proper grown up car (seriously, Hertz gave me a Toyota Camry. What do I need a huge family car for? There was just me, and I'm used to my ickle 206) and discovered that I do, in fact, know the way to San Jose.

From there I headed towards San Fran via one of the US's infamous Outlet Malls. Can you believe they had a Skechers store and I managed to resist buying any footwear at all?

I arrived in San Francisco and checked into my hostel. I haven't seen that movie yet, so wasn't so afraid of getting butchered. I have bought the DVD whilst over here though. But I figured that was one to watch when I was safely back in my flat. However Massacre in a one bedroom Camden Council Flat is one I shall be avoiding.


  1. Anonymous7:20 am

    Ooh, which Santa Cruz motel did you stay in? When away from New York, I'm often in SC, so I'd like to obsessively re-trace the steps of a Lisy Babe. Too bad I don't drive, on either side of the road. I do ride in traffic a lot, that'll have to do.

  2. It was a Motel 6. It was actually just outside Santa Cruz (but in the county of Santa Cruz) called something like Watsonville. I can't remember...

    I stayed in room 107 if that's any help on the step re-tracing.

  3. God reading that takes me back to my yoof..

    A friend and I fly to san fran with 3 grand each in our pockets, got one nights accomodation for the flight so we put that address on the green card to get us in.

    We then spent three weeks driving around in a brand new Kia that we'd rented. Had the time of our lives and met some amazing people, we did vegas, La the lot!

    Enjoy, it's a wicked place to be.

    *Goes off to dig out the pics*