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luisbg

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"all religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. all these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." albert einstein

don't trust google



because "pier 33" != "33 pier"
or the story of how google can get you stabbed

this morning mario limonciello and i decided to go visit alcatraz in san francisco bay. so being geeks in the information age, we ask google maps for directions from the hotel we are staying in to where the alcatraz ferry picks should pick us up, pier 33. fail!

when you search for pier 33, what really shows up is 33 pier (and a related link mentioning alcatraz cruises to confuse even more). mario has already requested the change of marker.

so we start following the public transport directions google map gave us. we walk from the hotel to the closest bart (train) station 20 minutes, so far so good. we come out in the glen park. at this stage, you have to be aware all i've seen of california so far is the san francisco airport and the hotel with motel feel we are staying at. and the first thing we see out of the bart station is a bum singing "we will rock you" of queen with all his lungs. i got a strange feeling of the place, that was poetic foreshadowing.

we find the bus stop quickly, but not any machines that give change to one dollar bills. the driver of the 44 line cant give change, but he decides to just let us in. soon in one of the first stops a guy that caught both of our eyes enters the bus and sits facing us (seats looking to the center of the bus). he had a huge red giants jacket, a t-shirt 10 sizes big that ended in his knees, and jeans that could fit 4 guys like him (with the waist way low to his ankles). wow.

a few stops after two girls join in, and from the entrance they notice "the homie" and they salute him. the blonde girl is friends with his and they engage in a suprareal conversation. she tells him she has to meet social services (she's taking care of a kid and they have to check she isn't an abuser), and how she is sharing an apartment with 10 people that are akward. but the real meet starts when he updates her, the day before his "godpop" kicked him out, so he had to move all his things to his "boy"s house. and that day he was heading to court, to get a trial appointment because "i got stitched by this black kid, so I'm probably looking into doing some time". we didnt got to hear what he did, and the uncomforted by the situation part of me didn't wanted to know.

we hear the conversation while looking out the windows of the bus, trying to become invisible, which was hard since being a spaniard and after 6 months in ireland, i can't be any whiter. by what i saw outside of the bus i could understand we definitely were in the sightseeing bus tour of the ghetto, not voluntarily though. again, first day back in the united states.

when we become the only passengers of the fail bus, the driver asks us from his seat if we know where we are going. we say "yes", but in retrospect, we had no clue. two minutes after he stops in the last stop. so we start our remaining walking path. puzzled and wishing to get to the boat asap.

we walked through a taco place, very peculiar, it was called "tacos rodriguez" and its location was the back of a truck. ideas about the economic crisis hitting the fast food market come to my mind. but they are quickly forgot when i hear a baby crying in a trailer close by, when we walk past it we see a mom cooking in his mobile house. we pass a few african-americans that are standing in the front of their houses, they stare back with confusion about us, "what the f*** are you doing here?". at least we share the same thought.

we pass this two guys, that looked like gta extras, that even stopped to look back at us when they had crossed the street we were heading. it would've been a great moment to take out my reflex camera and exploit the pictorial side of the area (which was huge) but i would've probably not been allowed to keep the photos, nor the camera.

we get to our virtual destination, 33 pier street. there is nothing there, ghost city in the port. we walk to a recycling center that has trucks coming in but there is nobody in the security booth. so without knowing what to do. we walk around looking for life. we find this small building and walk threw some empty halls, until we find an open door. mario starts talking with a lady called melissa the savior that explains us the error, this isn't the 33rd pier, this is 33 pier street.

with little time to get to our reserved tickets to alcatraz cruise, she gives us directions but she soon learns we walked there. "what! walking? i'm amazed you got here in one piece. this isn't a nice area of town to be walking around". so something fantastic finally happens, she offers us to give us a lift to our real destiny. i instantly fall in love with melissa, and finally relax my gluteus. now seriously, she was _so_ nice i would've offer to return the favor in any way she desired, but she had an engagement ring.

we engage in conversation easily as happiness irradiates from us in the car, getting out of there and closer to fisherman's warf. after running a little we make it on time to the cruise... and the rest of the day was just amazing but no as anecdotal.

so don't always trust google, you can get stabbed, sorry, in this case, luckily almost stabbed.

12 Comentarios


Referencias (TrackBacks)

URL de trackback de esta historia http://luisbg.blogalia.com//trackbacks/60930

Comentarios

1
De: Kevin Mark Fecha: 2008-12-06 12:26

Hi Luis, Thank you for a very well written amusing (at least to a New yorker) story. As I come from NYC, such scenes are not uncommon here. I enjoyed the feel of the place and the feeling running thorugh your mind as you encountered this new and unfamiilar environment.



2
De: Jim Campbell Fecha: 2008-12-06 14:24

Wow, what a great story! I'm glad you and Mario made it out there in one piece.



3
De: Michael "Yuck!" Howell Fecha: 2008-12-06 16:00

Of course, in Google's defense, it was an ambiguous search term that couldv'e mean either one.



4
De: nixternal Fecha: 2008-12-06 16:50

That was hillarious! Mario, Jim Campbell, and I can relate living in the Chicago land area. Great to hear Mario is in San Fran, I will see you guys tomorrow. I arrive at about 17:00, so I will probably give Mario a call as soon as I get there. Great story man, freakin' hillarious!



5
De: Roland Fecha: 2008-12-06 19:35

You might recall a SanFran TV producer was driving home from a trip to Portland, OR, a couple of years ago, in winter. He used Google to look for a shortcut through the Oregon coast-range mountains and it sent him up a ForestService road that is snowed in every winter, and never plowed. He & his family were stranded in a blizzard for a week. His family were rescued but he died in the big woods.



6
De: David Futcher (bobbo) Fecha: 2008-12-06 21:00

Haha, great story. "we walked through a taco place, very peculiar, it was called "tacos rodriguez" and its location was the back of a truck" = the funniest thing I have read all day.



7
De: Pete Boyd Fecha: 2008-12-07 10:55

It's disrespectful of the people whose neighbourhood you walked through and quite a stretching of your bias to say that you almost got stabbed, of all things, when absolutely nothing bad happened to you at all, merely people looked at you because you were as peculiar to them as they are to you.



8
De: rvr Fecha: 2008-12-07 16:55

Todas las ciudades tienen su Polvorín :)



9
De: Fabian Rodriguez Fecha: 2008-12-08 14:17

OMG! Of all people you could potentially get mugged you had to take Mario Limoncello with you! Next time make sure someone else takes his place in the Linux Desktops list before doing that!!! I guess I can't say much as I also got lost in SF with Luis Rodriguez (the irony), except it was ~2AM :)



10
De: Rohit Sharma Fecha: 2018-09-04 09:37

Very usefull article thanks ... keep writing such articles :)
I'm so happy bcoz you are write this post for everyone thnxx a lot


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