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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fog Lines - Shaken not Stirred

She's got the weight of the world on her shoulders

FIREWORKS, EARTHQUAKES AND SKY SCRAPERS

Last week I had the pleasure of being fingerprinted for the FBI. Teeeeechnically it’s part of a process to work in the States (same girl, same company, different country) but I like to think I am being secretly scouted for a mission, “going Downtown to Chinatown” (to do some shopping or something!).


The fingerprinting, of course, was not without its amusing moments. Oh, before I forget, I have...to quote... “awesome” fingerprints, just sayin, no need fly into a jealous rage...baby, I was born this way. So, as well as the obvious inking of the digits, the FBI also want to know your height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, country of birth and your favourite chocolate bar. When selecting my eye colour the very nice lady (for a millisecond) clicked on ‘black’, love it, I have freakin satellite dishes for eyes.

The interesting part came when she struggled to find ‘Ireland’ in the ‘country of birth’ list, after a few attempts she casually said “I can’t seem to find it, let’s just put the United Kingdom”...??!!... Really? Really? If we’re going totally off script here, let’s just stick down Mozambique! And if we’re just making stuff up you can knock a load of my ‘Weight’ and increase my ‘Height’. Obviously I said none of this, instead I said with the utmost politeness “Emmm, I suppose they are different countries though, have you tried looking under ‘R’ for Republic of Ireland, maybe??” (the clue is in the name, sweetheart). I didn’t saaay that last bit, she was an incredibly nice person and did indeed find Ireland in the end. For what it’s worth, this is not a comment on Americans as she was Australian...or was she from New Zealand, who knows, same thing right ;o)

I can imagine the water cooler conversation now “Have you met the new British girl? You know, the one with the black eyes”!

Another thing I learnt...working in downtown San Francisco companies encourage you to keep an “earthquake survival” pack under your desk, in case you are trapped in your building for 3 days. They advise you to pack it with a change of clothes, torch, etc. I’m intrigued by this need for a change of clothes. I have never faced a natural disaster (although I have had my share of bad hair days) but something tells me a quick costume change is going to be the last thing on my mind.  If I’m trapped in a building that is dangling inches away from the centre of the earth, I don’t give a flying flahula if I’m wearing the same clothes for 3 days.

Are people going to be watching the disaster unfold on their TVs, see me staggering out of the building on Friday wearing the clothes I wore to work on Wednesday and scream “Oh my god, it must be worse than we thought, she never even changed her clothes... send her back in!”

While working in London I sat beside a pole (not an individual from Poland, a structural cylindrical object) so you can imagine my delight to discover my new seat in San Francisco is BAM right in front of a floor to ceiling window, annnnd I happen to be in one of the tallest buildings downtown on one of the highest floors = INSANE views.

Given how hilly it is, the city of San Francisco lends itself to spectacular vistas, a lot of which revolve around the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. On the 75th anniversary of the bridge (May this year) they had a mind blowing firework display on the bridge... or so they say, I wasn’t here to witness it in person. However, I was here on the 4th of July and thought ‘I’m not missing this twice, off to the bridge we go’.

Firstly, thanks to Patrick and Erin, our in-residence Bay Area ready-made friends, they very kindly swept us into their always welcoming all American arms and brought us to a 4th of July cook out – Hell Yeah!

I wish I could say our trip later on to see the 4th of July fireworks explode off the bridge was as much fun as the barbie. We legged it down to the Crissy Field beach area, hhhmm, not as many people as you’d think, grand, less people getting in the way of the upcoming bridge bonanza. Prime spot, on the beach, sitting on a rock, naaaaailed it! We waited, bridge still in relative darkness, we waited, traffic still on bridge, hhmm, unusual, we waited, hang on, why is everyone else facing us not the bridge...google- google- google....aaggghh... the fireworks are happening in Fisherman’s Wharf...<sound of eejits hoofing it down the Marina>.

Crinkle, Crackle, BOOM, Sparkle, Smile, Job Done, TAXI!

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3 comments:

  1. Hi Sheilagh or should that be Hey these days
    (or maybe just high!)

    Loving the Blogging and looking forward to the next installment of your amazingly awesome adventures in the hilly city.

    I just wonder if they have to take a geography test before they join the FBI??
    Bit worrying especially when they send the spies out.
    “Hey guys, we’re on a mission to Ireland this time”
    “Great! I always wanted to see Big Ben”

    Adam

    P.S. you forgot to mention where you can buy The Hat!

    ReplyDelete
  2. hilarious! still crying laughing

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  3. Great description of the fingerprinting process, felt like I was there with you - hilarious!!

    ReplyDelete