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Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Andrew and Mikal do San Francisco: Day 2 - driving around aimlessly

Or should that be "Driving around screaming in terror"?

I had a lovely night's sleep, from 10pm until about 5:30am, when I woke up because I think the room had gotten a bit stuffy. As bad as going for 40-odd hours without sleep might be, I think it's the best way of dealing with jetlag for me. I've had no problems functioning today at all.

We thought we'd go for a bit of a dummy run to the place of the interview, and feeling all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I thought I'd give this insane driving thing a go. It is very offputting. I'm glad I've got someone else in the car. If I had had to have flown over here alone, hired a car and driven to the hotel for 30 minutes on the wrong side of the road after a 12 or 15 hour flight, I think I'd have been beside myself, if not wrapped around another car or something.

I think the two main problems I had driving today were that all directions seem to assume you have been born with a built in compass, or are otherwise polarised and able to determine where the heck north is at all times; and Mikal has a terrible sense of direction. I think I see why GPSes are so prolific over here.

So after driving in the wrong direction for a while, we stopped off at a drug store, of which I'd have to say drugs make up about 5% of their total inventory and bought a map (they don't seem to run to bound street directories, again, maybe this is why GPSes are so prolific here (you can buy them at a drug store too)), got ourselves back off again in the right direction, and got to where we were trying to go.

After that excursion, we went for a drive to San Jose, which didn't take too long at all, and checked out the Tech Museum of Innovation. This was mildly disappointing, as a few of the exhibits were broken, but was very hands-on, much like Questacon back home, with a bit more of a focus on technology than science. The highlight of this was that we got to ride on a Segway. I drove back, and there wasn't even too much screaming.

I ran away with Mikal's CompactFlash, and you can find some happy snaps here

Tonight we had dinner with Marc, and he gave us a bit of a driving tour of the surrounding area, as well as showing us his house. He's going to give me a joyflight tomorrow morning before the interview, and we're planning on attending the Bay Area Debian meeting tomorrow night.

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