Sunday, August 7, 2011

Richmond & Berkeley, 31st July

My last day at Steve and Ellen's. In the morning I caught the train a few stops down the road to neighbouring Berkeley to visit the university campus, UC Berkeley. I must say, I wasn't that impressed with the campus as a whole: the buildings seemed haphazardly designed making an awkward patchwork of boldly-styled structures which, in my amateur opinion, didn't really fit together. Steve later told me that there had, once, been a unifying architectural and stylistic theme tying all the buildings of the large campus together but that had been lost 50-60 years ago. Anyway, after a good tour around I explored some of Downtown Berkeley, and grabbed some lunch at a 'funky' (its description of itself - I was sceptical from the outset) diner.

I arrived back to Steve and Ellen's late in the afternoon when it was announced we had all been invited to their friends' from the Rowing Club, Stacey and Katherine's, for supper. The dinner was brilliant and we had a very fun evening a great deal of which was spent scrutinising Steve's justification for refusing to have a washing machine. It seemed to be Ellen, Stacey, and Katherine on one side, and Steve on the other: "I'm an economist, I've done the calculations...". I gently tip-toed around the battlefield, and shall reserve judgment until Steve shows me these 'calculations'.

The next morning Steve dropped me off a the Greyhound Station in nearby Oakland where I was to catch my bus to Los Angeles. Steve left me with the parting words "this Greyhound station can be a bit ropey sometimes, but I'm sure you'll be fine". He wasn't exaggerating, either. I was bodily searched by a security guard as I entered who also had a snoop around my bag. I asked him, "what's the search for?" and his very innocent reply was "guns 'n stuff".  Welcome to Oakland.

Luckily I wasn't staying too long - or so I thought. However, my bus was 45 minutes late arriving and then when it did turn up there wasn't enough space for everyone who was waiting and we had to wait another 45 minutes for a replacement bus to arrive to collect the rest of us. On the way to LA we were held up by roadworks for an hour, too, meaning that my already painful 7-hour journey had suddenly become a 9-and-a-half hour trip from hell. In the end, though, I made it into LA where I would be spending the next three nights.

No comments:

Post a Comment