I knew that I didn't want my first night to be with friends. I wanted to be able to do what I did, which was to sit in my room for a bit and then drop off to sleep. I dropped off to sleep a little earlier than I'd intended, but it's not the end of the world. But I didn't need to be sociable with anyone. I was asleep by the time my hosts got back from work. I did get to spend some time with them this morning, but by then I was more human.
At first I'd planned to stay in a hotel the first night to cover this anti-social time. But when it came to booking somewhere, I found myself really resistant to everywhere I looked. That's when I thought I'd have a look at AirBnB. I'd first heard about it late last year when I was looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Paris (which in the end didn't come off). But I hadn't really looked at it properly, it seemed a bit odd, I don't know why really. But when I looked this time, I quickly found something that looked perfect.
And it was. For $89 +$11 fee for AirBnB, I had a beautifully comfy bed in a spacious, light room, in a gorgeously decorated Victorian house a short walk from the BART at 24th St & Mission.
My hosts Tania and Philip made me extremely welcome – I couldn't have asked for a better start to my trip. I wanted to stay up later to help with jetlag, but by 5pm I was really flagging. I was able to just shut myself away and slumber and although I was awake for chunks of the night.
In the morning I emerged and said hello to Philip. Who knew that the first person I would speak to properly when I hit the USA would be an expat Englishman originally from Dorchester? Tania was a little busier but Philip and I had a lovely chat uncovering mutual interests and resolving to meet up when they come over to London in the summer.
After they left for work, I hung around for a little and caught up with people online. Then I set out to get some lunch and go up into the city. I found a T-mobile store and got myself a US sim card for the month. I now have unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data for the month you can get me on +1-415-395-6224.
Then I walked along to CitizenSpace the ur coworking space and sat there for the afternoon, sometimes writing, sometimes just being. It was chilly. I haven't quite got used to the climate and the need for corresponding clothing.
Then I took my first real train – I mean I'd been on the BART but the CalTrain feels like a train – down to Palo Alto where Robert came to pick me up and take me to his home in Half Moon Bay. It was great to see someone I already knew! After a 45 minute drive we pulled into his garage and then I was into the chaos of a home with two over-excited toddlers. I was pleased though to have some hot delicious Persian food (rice with dill – yum!) But I couldn't manage very much longer without sleep. Took a melatonin and slept through till 3 am when I woke up worried and needed to blog…
Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman