San Francisco was cool but not cold. I only wore my orange Uniqlo windbreaker. I hadn’t even packed my ultralight down jacket. I caught an Uber Pool to meet Amy and Alon for brunch. Overseas travel transfers have become far less stressful now with Uber; I don’t have to face any anxiety over having sufficient cash, or if my credit card will work or get skimmed, whether I have to tip or how much, or whether the driver can understand my Aussie accent. From the Uber app on my iPhone, using the free wifi at the airport, I typed my destination, selected 1 seat in a pooled car (so environmentally friendly to share!) and waited to get picked up. The only problems I’ve had was the inability of Chicago drivers to understand the concept of calling/texting through Uber requires a local carrier and I’m unable to call or receive as my Australian provider doesn’t offer roaming.
The first place we went to was full and the queue too long so we walked a few blocks to a small French restaurant. I ate half a chicken, despite my body feeling not at all hungry for the middle of the night local time back home. Afterwards we walked around, first to drop my carryon at Amy & Alon’s studio apartment on campus where Amy is doing fellowship and Alon has enrolled in a postgraduate course. We then caught an Uber (cheaper and more convenient than public transport for three) downtown and walked around. I kept recognising places I’d been to before, almost unrecognisable from different approach and different season. Both Amy & Alon also like joining city walking tours and were able to point out different buildings and landmarks, and debate whether the building facade was representative of the Art Deco period or not. The sun began to set (very early in the afternoon) and I caught an Uber back to the airport, my 6-hour layover a success.