Saturday, September 24, 2011

before i leave for my trip



i've been away from the blog this week. i've been working and getting projects completed before i go to this work-oriented conference for a few days.....as well as doing prep for the conference. when i saw sus earlier in the week she mentioned that hapa ramen may need some help at a saturday event....so this also meant that i needed to get all of my day job stuff and prep done by saturday morning.

which i did.

yet, this also translated into not writing for the blog so much this week. i still write in my personal paper journal. i doubt that i can go a day without scribbling something.

so when this morning came around, i didn't go to market. it doesn't make sense to go to market when i won't be around for a few days. also, there were a few trip-related things i needed to take care of. yet, i when i headed out this morning, i planned on taking the 19 down polk street to the event where hapa ramen had set up....yet, when i walked to polk street, there was some sort of festival thing being set up. alas, this meant that the 19 was being rerouted but i didn't have time to figure out where exactly it was. so i walked to a different bus stop to catch a different line.

it is funny how a single change can impact who you meet.

i'm not sure what it is about me. tourists, especially non-american tourists, ask me questions a lot. there was this lady from the uk in the bus stop. she asked me if it was the right bus to go to the hospital....that she walked there yesterday but was too tired to walk there today. i assured here that she was waiting for the right bus. she proceeded to tell me where she was from....and was probably relieved (which i was later to ascertain) that someone knew exactly where she lived in the uk. also, admittedly, when i speak to people from the uk.....i do mirror the way they speak. it is english....but in many ways....it is its own language filled with its own expressions, cadence, and meta-language.

before the bus arrived she asked me to help her go through the bus system....she had her money out but wasn't sure who to pay and that sort of thing. i assured that i would. i suppose i have moments where i'
m not an asshole. she was obviously in that state of stressful exhaustion.....running on fumes....terribly worried about her son....in such a typical british stiff upper lip fashion. i stood there....listening intently....tryi
ng to put in a word or two of support, suggestions on practical alternatives to the local hotel she was staying at.....since she was worried that her room would be needed for an upcoming show at moscone center. i recognized that sometimes when we are in the midst of crisis, there are moments where we want to speak of the mundane....and there are moments when we want support....even from random strangers. her son was in yosemite when he collapsed and is now in a coma. she rushed to the states from the uk to be with her son.

when the bus arrived, i gently told her where she should put her money into slot and said that the driver was going to give her a ticket. then i asked the driver to announce the stop to the hospital as she needed to get off at that precise stop. the driver took over from there....he pointed to the seat across from him and said "sit there, i'll let you know when to get off." i said my good byes and well-wishes....and then moved to the back of the crowded bus. as i rode the bus, i couldn't help but try to put myself in that lady's position. how frightened she must be. how overwhelming the despair must be. how difficult it must be to try to be hopeful. it is so british to talk about things in passing as if they aren't a big deal.....when everybody fucking knows it is a big deal. naturally, i was hit with a wave of empathy. this doesn't surprise me. for being such an asshole, i have a rather strong sense of empathy....even for complete strangers.

after i got off the bus, i stopped into jane for a cappuccino "to go". i mean, why not?....since i had to transfer to another bus anyway. so i took a moment to sit outside, drink my coffee, and think about what it means to not know from moment to moment whether those we love will be with us. i sent out a tweet about how people should hug who they love. feeling quite emo i was.


then i hopped onto my second bus which would take me to the event that hapa ramen would be having a presence at. when i arrived to the event, i pretty much enclosed all that empathy into a box. being all emo is not appropriate for service. interestingly enough though, i thought i'd be doing primarily cashier stuff but i ended up doing a mix of things....some front of house, a wee bit of food prep, some garnishing, etc. i did this standing in my new clogs that i bought at dsw in union square.

yup. i bought clogs. (see top pic).

i do realize that this purchase is a bit loaded. i'm too tired and i don't really feel like going into it now.

anyway, after helping out, i caught the 22 line toward home. i realized that the 22 line goes right by wing wings.....and since i was hungry, i decided get off the bus to stop into wing wings for some food. this time i bought the buffalo wings (hot) and a chicken on a biscuit.....


and then one of the folks that work there offered up a scallion bacon biscuit to myself and someone else that was eating in the place.....


this biscuit was flaky, moist, and quite good. these folks have a way with biscuits. oh yes they do. the food in general was tasty and comforting. it is also such a casual atmosphere that i didn't feel out of place....being a wee bit grubby and smelling porky from helping out in the stand. the folks here have always been really nice. they really hustle to keep it clean as well which must be a feat given the amount of people in-and-out .....as well as how late they are open. it is a place where i can let my hair down (literally).... where it is ok to eat with my hands..... a place where i could just enjoy the food.....taking big deep breaths and sighs. while i may enjoy experiences such as coi quite a bit....there is also something really nice about visiting a place where you can just step in for a moment, have a quick bite of good food, and then move on to other things. "other things" in my case being packing and getting ready for my trip tomorrow.

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