On my way home from a goodbye brunch, up and over Bernal Hill to the Mission District, after borrowing the perfect sized backpack from my friend, Sasha, I solicited packing advice. Who wouldn't after seeing such a well packed cart. The secret--separate compartments. Sasha's bag (the blue one on the ground) has these.
But, the cart isn't meant just for admiring. He collects the bottles and other recyclables to earn $400, which is necessary to apply for citizenship so he can get work legally. A year and a half ago he and his wife, who works caring for the elderly, moved here from the Philippines. When his cart is full--every couple days or so--it brings in about $25. His favorite book? Nothing in particular, just what he used to study English with at City college when he had the time and money to take classes.
Packing thanks also goes to Rai Sue who helped me weed down my gear. The functionality of a compartment is no good if you can't get the zippers closed.
While I had originally intended to do this trip entirely on friend recommendations (see yellow stickies below) and stranger recommendations, near the end I panicked and did a reality check. Books are always a good thing.
My friend, Jenny, gave me this 1,000 Places to See Before you Die guide by Patricia Schultz. I bought the Lonely Planet guide partly out of loyalty (I worked for them briefly a couple of years ago), but mostly because it was thinner than everything else on the shelf of the bookstore....and it gives bus station information. The "Romantic Seine" journal is a souveneir from Korea and a gift from my friend, Anhoni, who is, coincidentally, working on a novel about L.A.--stop #1 on my adventure. I have an assignment to photograph the bus station so she can add detail to a scene!
Not photographed is After Dark by Haruki Murakami, which was a gift from my sister.
In the midst of packing I completed 500 postings of PeopleReading, which is mostly in San Francisco and mostly people, though some sculptures, murals, and advertisements snuck in. Still, its a milestone. First San Francisco, now the country. What's next--the world??? I'll start enrolling in language classes.
I am emotional and I will miss you, San Francisco.... and my friends, as well.
Also, goodbye Ritual, goodbye peaceful Sugarlump may there be free wireless throughout the U.S..