What I Did On My Holidays


Chapter 21

Dinner with Gayleen

22/11/99
Day 16

Today we rested. It had been a long tough weekend and we felt we had earned it. Bit tough on Darren and Christine who had the same weekend, but got to leave for work disturbingly early. i.e. early enough to disturb our sleep. Not a big surprise since we had occupied one third of their tiny apartment.

Gayleen is someone we knew from undergrad days way back when. Co-incidentally, way back when was also when we last were in touch. A wild co-incidence had lined up three facts: she lived in San Francisco, we were going to San Francisco, and her email address. So we had lined up dinner as well.

Gayleen said she was "totally stoked" to be seeing us again, and "totally knew" where to have dinner. So come seven o'clock, or thereabouts, she totally picked us up and totally took us to a Tapas restaurant she knew. The food was good. I don't know who thought of combining bananas and blackbeans, but I'm sure glad they did.

I'm also glad someone invented sangrias, even if they did impede my introduction to swing dancing. This was the after dinner entertainment. The swing dancing that is, not the drinks. There's a place near Union Square called The Starlight Room. It's at the top of some hotel and offers really neat views of San Francisco at night. It also offers swing dancing.

The Starlight Room is done up in the decor of whatever era swing dancing was trendy in, apart from the late nineties.  I guess another exception is the TV over the bar showing either the Monday night football or a link to the camera near the dance floor. Many of the people are also dressed in the era of swing dancing. Even the band is dressed to the nines. Apparently some people get so carried away as to always dress this way in the rest of their lives, but this is America*.

It was a good laugh to step back in time and see this, but with my clearly demonstrated lack of ability in swing dancing, I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy really old suits. It was also a really good laugh to catch up with Gayleen.


* No, really, this is America. I checked the map and San Francisco is in America. Maybe only until the next big quake though. Also, given that this is the United States of Guns are My Constitutional Right, it's probably a good thing to encourage harmless outlets for people's insanity such as dressing up a bit odd and dancing... (back)


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