“Why would I know where I live?”
– Kaitlin not really knowing her address by heart
My plans were to go see my cousin and between Honolulu and Houston there is San Diego, where my Egypt roomie Kaitlin lives. Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.
San Diego was short, but sweet. Didn’t start out the best way, though. (This is going to be a rant).
I got on a plane from Honolulu and ended up next to a dude who started talking about how “these women actors” who had reported Harvey Weinstein for sexual abuse “knew what they were doing”, “got millions of dollars and lucrative deals” and then “turned on him to get more attention, when they could’ve just said no the whole time”. Which made me very angry on the inside, but I tried reasoning with him… How much logic was capable for this guy is debatable though (like, if it is so obvious they knew what they were doing and wanted whatever happened with Weinstein to happen, why would they have to say no?).
In addition to this he kept droning on about how he would “raise his daughter right” to ensure “she wouldn’t end up in these situations” (apparently thinking his childrens’ safety is solely based on how you raise them, way to be delusional), where I pointed out that it would be better for women (and other vulnerable people) if we did something with the root of the problem. The systemic sexism etc. Maybe made it harder for men in powerful positions to take advantage of women in vulnerable positions. And then he asked me the million dollar question:
“You don’t have kids, do you?”
(to parents across the globe who’ve used this tactic: stop asking this like it wins you points. It doesn’t).
(He knew I didn’t, because when he asked what I was doing I’d told him I was traveling for three years before this). So I answered “No” and he said “Well there you go then.” Like that somehow ended the discussion with him winning it.
I wanted to point out that maybe, just maybe, my forty years of experience as a woman might give me some insight into this issue, rather than him being the father of a girl totally trumping everything I had to say, but I gave up at this point. Even though it did strike me that at no point did he ever talk about raising is son right with regards to this matter.
You, sir, are part of the damn problem.
The woman who sat next to him (he was in the middle seat) approached me after the flight and apologized for not getting more involved since he was being what she called “an impossible brat”, but I assured her it was fine, especially since she was holding her infant grandchild and I could tell she’d been a bit worried he might be a weirdo. Which I guess I should’ve been too, but I’m still not used to the US and how crazy people can actually be. Anyway, we parted on OK terms in the end. I told him to have a nice trip and judged the hell out of him while walking away. Idiot.
OK, longest intro ever, this didn’t even have anything to do with San Diego except he also got off there. I left him behind as soon as I could and promptly got very lost in the airport. I was looking for “baggage claim” and managed to walk right past a turn somewhere, found a part they were renovating and was slowly realizing there would be no baggage or Kaitlin this way, but at least I found a bathroom… Small victories.
I located my bag in the end, walked outside and immediately found Kaitlin, absolutely NOT mirroring our pickup in Milos where I waited for her for god knows how long, our phones didn’t work and the ferry wouldn’t arrive… *lol*
Kaitlin and I spent four lovely days together. She had to work, but the evenings and weekend were ours (except that day I slept forever because of some weird exhaustion or jet lag or whatever). She went with me to see “Birds of Prey” at the local cinema, she had a climbing date scheduled with a couple of friends that I went along to see (I had to sign a waiver saying I wouldn’t sue if someone fell on my head *LOL* America), after which we went to a great place for Thai food and then to some place called “Extraordinary Desserts”. It was just that, extraordinary desserts. Pictures don’t do them justice, but I have quite a few.
While Kaitlin was working I walked around her neighbourhood that I can’t remember the name of, but Google Maps has the name “Normal Heights” right next to it, so… I guess..?
Everything was straight line upon straight line crossing with another straight line, just like I remember Manhattan to be. I should appreciate the order in this, but it just doesn’t feel cool to me. Might be because everything is so enormous and beige and you have to have a car to get anywhere. I mean, I walked around, but I felt like I got 1 km down the road and that was about it. Still, I saw some really cool street art and some nice little coffee shops. Kaitlin took me to one of her favourite cafés too which had those book shelves where you leave a book to pick up a book. I decided to get rid of some luggage and left my finished copy of John Grisham’s “The Rooster Bar” without picking up a new one. I debated whether or not to for a long time, but in the end decided not to get so emotionally attached to things, damn it(!)
I regretted this because something in that novel touched me and I realized too late I should’ve shoved the book in my bag and brought it home. (After my return to Norway I ended up buying a new copy which is now in my book shelf with an inscription reminding me where I read the original).
After four and a half days of roomie time with Kaitlin I was going back to the airport getting on a plane heading for Houston. I hadn’t had a chance to find an ornament for my Christmas tree in San Diego so I thought the airport! That’s where it’s at!
I found a boat with San Diego on it. I remember San Diego as sunny and very dry to have a coastline at all, but hey, I decided I’d take it. That and the ornamental skull fridge magnet. Because I don’t want to own things…