Monday, September 16, 2013

A new experience

So here I sit, settled in at SFO for my very long wait until my flight departs at just before midnight. Civilized city that it is, they have free wi-fi, so I'm all set to be happy for awhile.

The security lanes were empty when I arrived, and since the place I want to have dinner is inside those lanes, I opted to come on in -- little did I know the excitement that awaited me! First, a young man politely said they needed to do a bag check on my backpack, and please meet him at the end of the conveyor when all my stuff was through. That done, it turns out that the machines detected symptoms of explosives in the bag. So I got to watch while he carefully took things out, swiped some paper through it then fed the paper back through a machine -- did that several times, in several areas of the bag, even swiped my smelly running shoes. Naturally, the found nothing -- I did tell them that I'd been in a redwood forest with mold and mildew and chemicals used to get rid of those things. Then, I got my 'massage'. A very nice woman did a full pat down -- I opted against the private area for this. My flip-flops and sweatshirt and computer bag all had to go back through the system. I was relaxed and having fun with it -- a new and different experience, and they were polite. I told them I had a long wait anyway and it didn't really matter whether I spent it there or further into the terminal -- I was not exactly in a hurry. In the end, I was cleared and now here I sit. Waiting, patiently for now -- but with another 7 hours to go, that may change.

Had a great day! Wonderful, if emotional and confusing, morning talks with Ayya, a nice wait for the bus alongside the Pacific, an interesting ride into Santa Rosa where my good friend Sylvia waited. I had no particular interest in hanging around Santa Rosa, so we headed to Sonoma where we had a great lunch at a wonderful restaurant on the square, called The Girl With the Fig, or something like that. Nice shaded outdoor patio, perfect weather, good food and even better companionship. Then, on to Napa where she dropped me at the Napa airport shuttle. This time we crossed the new Oakland Bay Bridge that just opened over Labor Day weekend -- that was really cool. Will be better once the old span is taken down, but they're working on it. The thing just floats -- just a low concrete barrier on the right side, with a series of tall white supports on the left, between the two sections of the bridge. Then short suspension points to the one tower. A cool experience.

So now I wait. When I get back to Atlanta, it'll be tomorrow.

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