Another Greyhound, Another Nice Person and Phoques.


On to San Francisco a good likeable woman called Tammy was sat next to me and we chatted easily, although the main topic was not an easy one. Tammy's son Jason, who was born in the same year as me, had died a year earlier. He'd been mucking around with his fiance after a few beers, he picked up their gun that he had emptied of bullets the previous day, put it to his head and pulled the trigger. It wasn't empty.

Tammy recounted stories of how much her son enjoyed his life rather than lingering on the death although understandably she was never going to fully get over it. When Tammy got off we hugged for longer than you normally do with someone you've known for two hours.

Arrived in San Francisco and teamed up with another lost looking backpacker, a Parisian girl called Chloe. She was a two seat hog and initially came across as stuck up but we ended up getting on well. Found myself a bed in a friendly hostel then helped Chloe find the place she'd booked, it was miles away and looked like the sort of hotel where you can pay by the hour. We had lunch in an organic vegetarian restaurant which was predictably crap and then I left Chloe to go and explore San Francisco and see some sea lions.

Chloe and I had arranged to meet for drinks in the evening on a random corner we picked on the map. It turned out to be a dodgy corner so I was stood under a sign for XXX DVDs and was offered drugs and women by several people whilst checking my watch wondering how late it would be before I gave up. After twenty minutes I noticed Chloe on the other side of the street. the cheeky cow had gone in to a bar and got a beer and I only saw her because she came out for a fag. She made up for this poor behaviour by flirting with a man who bought us expensive cocktails. Went for dinner and decided that for all her Frenchness I liked Chloe, mainly because she laughed when I used my French to tell her I had a crocodile in my pencil case. Her English wasn't great and I was impressed that we could just about communicate in French when needed. We hit a dead end when I tried to tell her about the sea lions so I had to do the clappy hands Aaaaarrrr aaaaarrr seal impression which drew some funny looks from other diners. Apparently seal in French is 'phoque'. Getting down to what the difference was between a seal and a sea lion I gave up and concluded that a phoque is a phoque.