Sunday, December 03, 2006

Spinning Fruit and Missing Wheels…does it get any better?

Ok, so yesterday I had a whirlwind of a trip to the Oakland/Bay Area. I think our actual meeting was in Concord…but it all went by in such a blur that I am not sure.

However…as is typical in Zach-Traveling-Fashion, things were memorable for sure. First of all, I wish to apologize to the entire Male Population. When we landed in Oakland and were trying to find our rental car, I actually stopped and asked for directions. I know…I know…”How could I?” As soon as I asked, I could hear a collective groan of disappointment as every male within a 50 mile radius of the Bay Area expressed their disgust at my actions. To you…I apologize.

So we had our Coral Camp Training in a Holiday Inn. I don’t know exactly what it was about the people there…but something was…how do I say this? Different. They were nice people to be sure. However, in the main conference room lobby, they had what can only be described as a shrine, centered around a fruit theme. Built into the wall were 4 glass cases. Each of them contained a large ceramic fruit, (apple, pear, orange, pear). The lighting in the area was dimmed all around these 4 oracles of fruit, but inside each of the cases was a spotlight, glowing down on each respective produce icon. To add to the ambience of sacredness of the tree droppings, each piece was slowly rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. Despite being there for over 6 hours, I was never able to get a satisfactory explanation as to "why?".

However, that was not to be the highlight of this trip…oh no…the highlight award was taken by Senile Old Guy With Calm Demeanor. Why, you ask, may a pleasant-faced geriatric take this oh-so-coveted award for this particular trip? It was because he was driving down the road, not a care in the world, with nary a front tire, (nor rim mind you), on the front passenger side of his Toyota Tercel. I kid you not…he drove for many a mile, following right behind Lyndsey and I as though nothing were amiss. I remember at one point, stopped at a stop light with him barreling down from behind, (sparks and pieces of his vehicle were flying off into the abyss of the California roadside), I saw in the rearview mirror his face looking straight at us…but with a glossed over look of non-registration that he was about to rear-end our poor rental car. The look in his eye just said that he was out for another ride around town. I remember discussing with Lyndsey, what could possibly be going through his head at a time like this to be so calm? We shall never know I suppose. He continued driving towards the airport as we pulled off for the rental car return. His sparks leaving a trail that not a spectator will forget.

As a final culinary note, while we were awaiting our flight out of there, I happened upon the cafeteria/food court for the Oakland Airport. I couldn’t pass up the chance to try one of their chili cheese dogs. If ever you are faced with a similar dilemma in this particular airport…I recommend you pass. The dog itself was of mediocre quality; however, the crux of the situation happened to be the burnt chili and awful fries. Seek ye out better food and you shall enjoy.