Thursday, November 4, 2010

Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden

(not a urinal)

I've decided this blog has gotten too weird. I'm going to try to reel it in a little bit and only give travel tips from here on out. Before we get into all of that though I wanted to share a few things with each of you.

Firstly, I still haven't gotten my camera, the Nikon D7000. Industry and distribution channels have failed me again. I search every day for a local camera shop that has the camera body alone in stock. Each day my searches are fruitless, though there is no end to misleading websites designed to draw my attention towards other products, of course. But I don't want another product, except perhaps the Nikon D800, which has yet to be announced, and is only a rumor in the aether....

Google alerts are a waste of time. They start out giving you genuine info. on things and they quickly lapse into advertising updates exclusively. Avoid them for increased life happiness.

Then there is the Nespresso machine that was given to us as a gift from two friends. It has changed our lives towards the positive, especially the mornings of that shared life. It is truly a thing of wonder and beauty.

I used to wait until about midday to have a coffee. I would often get one just before I went to work in Soho. There are many coffee shops in that neighborhood and the temptation can be quite seductive. To yield to the allure of coffee in Soho is one of the few times that you can share the drug-intake experience in a non-judgemental and nearly consequence-free environment. Though many people still consider it unacceptable to give coffee to children, but we're working to change all of that.

Oh yes, travel tips... If you ever get the chance then stop by the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It is a genuine treasure. They will charge you $7 per person to go in and buy some tea. But there are lots of nice little things to look at there: fountains, bonsai plants, gardens, walkways, stones arranged to reflect a celestial pattern, trickling waterbeds, and on and on.... But do not try to urinate in any of the flat water fountains. Nothing else I did there that day even came close to raising their ire as much as this.

It can be very confusing, you see, the fountain is arranged in just such a way, and with such close proximity to the more familiar Western restrooms (is Western capitalized? I don't think it is, but for the purpose of this story we will leave it that way). In any event, here is a perfectly acceptable receptacle for urine, both of the male and female chemistry types, and arranged thusly for mutual action and relief. Shortly after getting jacked-up on jasmine tea under the pagoda, in a confusing and twisted foreign landscape, well…it all gets a little bewildering, and I simply wanted to participate more fully in their culture.

My mistake, and I was nearly the first one to admit it. In my defense: I was the very first person to respond to them suddenly announcing it so excitedly and in confused unison. That might not be as much of a desired disclosure as admission before the fact in the form of a question, but it's as close as I was able to get at the time, with my limited cultural vocabulary, and my pants down in a public park, mid stream, as it were.

I am the victim here. Never forget that.

In short, that concluded our otherwise pleasant trip to the tea garden.

Had I only brought my guitar with me I would have done a little free-lance busking outside the garden, for the continued pleasure of both patrons and proprietors....

I was dreaming of a steal guitar engagement
When you drunk my health in scented jasmine tea
But you knifed me in that dirty, filthy basement
With that jaded, faded, junky nurse
Oh, what pleasant company...

- Jagger/Richards, Let It Bleed