January 28th, 2015


San Francisco, Day 2: Kinky Coffee (12/01)

Our first mission of the morning was to visit EagleRider and enquire about hiring a motorbike later in the week. As we strolled down 8th Street, pausing for a photo opportunity at the junction with Howard Street, we passed Wicked Grounds, which advertises itself as a cafe and kink boutique, just sitting there in a neighbourhood otherwise dominated by car dealers and workshops.

All right then, San Francisco.

Concluding that nothing particularly sinister could be going on at half past ten in the morning, we cautiously entered. My latte and Everything Cookie were to die for, although the barista either forgot my request for the former (a sign on the counter read 'All drinks can be served in a dog bowl') or they suspected that I wasn't taking things entirely seriously.

We moved on to the hire shop, sat on some bikes, and selected a Harley-Davidson for later in the week, at Howard's insistence that we could ride nothing else in California. I asked if there was anything we, as foreigners, needed to know about driving in the States:

"Well, over here we have this thing called 'road rage'..."

I told him that I ride in central London, where at least one person shouts or hoots at me every single day.

"Oh. No, it's not like that," we were assured.

The rest of the day was devoted to tourism: we took a cable car along Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf, where we ate shrimp and chips. We toured the submarine USS Pampanito, and learned that American submarines are named after fish, their number including the USS Wahoo. After shopping for socks and beer at Pier 39, we watched sleepy, yawping sealions in the dusk for a while before heading home.


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