56. Cable Car Turnaround

Next morning after breakfast I went out walking in the direction of Powell Street.  I saw the cable car come down to the bottom there at Market Street.  I saw then this was the turn-around point of the cable cars and I joined in to help.  

Yes at least back then we would join up in the effort to turn the cars.  That was fun, it was.  I hopped aboard, paid my fare and rode out in the direction of Ghirardelli Square; Powell-Hyde line I believe.

First time I ever ate pizza!  What a big slice I got too and it was filled with lots of good stuff for only .25 cents.  Pair that with an ice cold beer and I was all set to watch the boats and people go by.  

Kind of familiar to me it all seemed as this scene reminded me of sitting on the wall on Marine Drive -the Queen’s Necklace– in Bombay, nearly three years earlier.

I noticed some people looking out to a small island.  I went over to see what I would see.  There was a big sign which read:  View Alcatraz the Federal Prison through Powerful Telescope  

Alright this ought to be interesting.  Like some of the other gazers I put my eye up to the telescope and saw an arresting prison situated on an island rock.  

I heard people talking about some notorious criminals housed there.  For a  moment I felt as though I might be in a Hollywood movie.  

After hearing about the sharks, the frigid waters with treacherous currents and the dangerous prisoners I was so glad I was well behaved!  I hung out for about 3 hours because I was really enjoying myself.  I thought it was all very beautiful.  

Finally I thought to change the scenery and so I caught another cable car back towards Market & Powell Streets.  I caught the next car towards Fisherman’s Wharf.  

As I’m walking towards a large pier, on the right-hand side of me I notice a sign in a window across the street.   It was of a little turbaned Indian man Air India’s logo I believe The sign was bright and colorful and lived in the India Office of Tourism.  The depiction was worth a smile.

Now the stomach has begun to direct my steps once more.  I kept walking towards the ocean.  An Italian restaurant to my left took my attention so I went in.  

There were many customers and I always thought that to be a good sign.  I sat myself at the counter, reviewed the menu and decided on a sandwich and some soup.  It was pretty good.

There was another sign –that’s 3 for todayin the window:  HELP NEEDED  Really?    Wait Staff Needed / Mon-Fri / 6a-2p

I was interested enough to inquire with the management and after a few questions, I was hired right on the spot – what a day!  The pay would be $1.75 per hour + tips to keep my own and I would be paid every two weeks.  

I was advised to immediately to join the Culinary Workers Union – gotta pay union dues in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

As I said before, what a day!  After all this I felt like a real good walk and so I did.  I walked back to the hotel and called it a day!

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The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union  (HERE) was a United States labor union representing workers of the hospitality industry, formed in 1891.

26. I’m Leaving On An Aeroplane ✈️

The day prior to my departure came quickly and I found myself on a bus for the 3-4 hours drive towards Nadi.  I had a relative by marriage who was a Customs Officer there in Nadi and I spent this night at his home.

The 18th of July was here at last!  My flight was scheduled for the afternoon and I knew my family would be there to see me off.  Sure enough they arrived in my brother-in-law’s bus, scores of them, the bus was full!

My wife had arrived with her family in her uncle’s taxi.  I met with everyone who came to see me off.  When she and I spoke again it was a reminder of our previous conversation on the subject.

My mother cried of course and so it began, everyone else started up.  It was like contagious or something!

Hemma said to me in final parting, “I love you always.  Hurry and get settled so you can call for me as soon as possible.”  Wouldn’t you know, just like an old movie, it was all about timing.  In these tear stained moments the announcement came for my flight’s boarding.

We hugged, we all hugged.  My wife and I held one another.  It wasn’t one of her lady bear hugs but that’s okay because I think she was being the normal coy Indian wife, what with all eyes on us and everything.  What else right?

It’s okay.  I could see through the tears in her eyes she was going to miss me.  She would miss ‘us’.  I know she really didn’t want me to leave her.

I walked out to the passenger boarding steps of the TEAL airliner, not the color.  That’s Tasman Empire Airways Limited for those of you scratching your head trying to recall.

daddy's 1st airline ticket 1956

 

Yes I was a bit nervous; this would be my first flight ever!  I had no idea what to expect.  I’m climbing aboard a Douglas DC-6 and heading for Sydney, Australia.  I turned to wave as I ducked into the aircraft.  I too was crying.  

 

Another adventure of this lifetime was beginning and those spinning propellers on the sides of the aeroplane were going to get me there well, at least part of the way there.

As I said before this was going to happen in steps.

First step, board an aeroplane, second step, fly over the ocean in that aeroplane to a country I’ve actually already been to.  This oughtta be good!

I do remember the meal that was served; it was Indian food and it was actually very good!

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