This past weekend found Rich Bachelor and I on a kind of aimless tour of all that is good and bad about mid-coast
But, if nothing else, last weekend’s trip, though brief, was an instructive look at why staying at home is a good thing also.
1. The people
The surfeit of humanity in
No, no, the people who offended, really—other than our fellow drivers, I mean—were our fellow diners. Like, check this: We’re having dinner at this really lovely restaurant with an ocean view. The restaurant is tucked away into some kind of apartment complex or another, away from the blatant tourism of Cannery Row or the Fisherman’s Wharf, and, you know, it’s not the most elegant place in all the world, but it’s pretty schmancy. For instance, I’m wearing jeans and I feel out of place. In
Now, we picked both that restaurant and the next night’s by looking in a menu guide provided by one of the local hotels and choosing the places that looked creative, tasty, and exorbitantly priced, my feelings on the subject being that people with squirming larvae to feed are obligated under social contract to bring said larvae to Bennigan’s or Olive Garden, and leave big-kid restaurants to us big kids. Not that I don’t love listening to the high-pitched screams of an innocent child. Really, no, I love that so much. And really, if you were planning on hating me because I would rather spend my time not surrounded by little squalling creatures, let me assure you that (1) there are many more important reasons to hate me, and (2) I have already been smited for my insolence. The restaurants we actually went to (other than the one we ended up in the first night, called the Tiki Hut or something similarly horrid, which squirmed with teenagers and their babies) were attended by something far worse than babies: Mid-level entertainment industry workers, up from L.A. for the weekend. Or, we can only surmise. But yes, yes, I think they were. The next night, we were seated next to a lady (whose glasses were smarter than her™—Rich Bachelor) and her mother/mentor/lover. The younger lady started off the evening regaling her dinner partner with a fine tale of how her friend had given her chocolates. They were salted chocolates! There were two of each kind! There were four different kinds! So there were eight chocolates! And her friend, Gavin (or whatever), he only ate one of these very special chocolates every once in a while! He wouldn’t eat them all at once! They were for special! And she had eight! From him!
Oh, and her voice was like nails on a chalkboard, like Kevin Covais from American Idol Season 5. I assume you’ve all read Shouts & Murmurs from the March 26, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, “The Wisdom of Children”? This lady probably did not actually say “Hey guess what? My voice is pretty loud!” but she probably has, and will again in the near future. “My voice is the loudest! My voice is the loudest! I have eight chocolates! I have a friend!”
2. The weirdness
I will make this short. The people provided so much fodder, and the landscape only so much.
I will note only that, while this is not in and of itself a reason not to travel, and may be actually a reason to travel—to see things like this, I mean—the sight of a hand-made sign in the second-story window of what one supposes to be an after-school acting classroom, which reads, “BEA MOVIE STAR! SUMMER MOVIE ACTING CAMP FOR KIDS AGES 7-14” will haunt your dreams, inspiring you to BEA child advocate for children who have not yet heard that child movie stardom is a sure path to lifelong unhappiness.
There was also a dance/comedy club, which, for those of you who have not seen me dance, might be the perfect setting for my skillz, but is really, when you think about it, a little weird.
3. The airports
No one likes airports. You’re not supposed to, I guess. It’s all part of The Plan. But really. Between leaving enough time for the taxi to be late, for the actual taxi ride, for standing in line at the check in, for standing in line to be X-rayed, for waiting two hours in the airport and trying to remain sober (“I won’t be fooled by your delicious airport margaritas! I’ve seen Airline!” Three vodka crans later … ), and then getting off the plane to find the baggage claim, wait for your bag, find the shuttle to the rental car office, ride the shuttle to the rental car office, wait in line for forever to get the rental car, battle with traffic out of the airport—well, it’s a wonder any of us can even get out of bed in the morning, ya’ know? And I have to tie my shoes!
But all of this, quite honestly, was as I expected, and—also quite honestly—I was half-expecting far worse. No long delays sitting on the tarmac—no delays of any kind. No lost luggage. No mechanical problems. The worst thing, in fact, was landing in
Oh, never mind, never mind, I think. This is sure to get better. I’m sure it will.
Five minutes later, Rich and I are humping our bags sweatily back to the taxi stand, where we find T.D. speaking Russian with a 19-year-old boy, his translator. He is mad—T.D. is, and the translator is. They both are, and Teacher’s Pet is kind of understanding maybe, but not very. “So, what happened?” says she. “Lookit—he can’t even communicate what his bitch is without a fucking translator!” we say—except we don’t, really. This is what I’m thinking, anyway, though what we say is actually something like, There’s a communication problem, He can’t take us where we’re going, We’re so sorry. We grab another cab, whose driver speaks better English, and gets us home in no time.
So. No more traveling for me, I think. Not for a while, anyway. And not without my car. And not to