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Disco and diplomats - By Senja Boom

San Francisco, October 8, 2016

Day 56 already. None of the team members keep track anymore, but today Peter van Deventer (or Pieter Vende Venter as they say here) reminded us. He got us invited to another high prestige event: The signing of the covenant of "Sustainable Cities through Connected, Clean, Autonomous & Shared Transport Solutions". A mouth full and none of us completely understood what it was about, but the opening was held at the residence of the Dutch Consulate and there was cake and champagne.

At the event I noticed again that I am not fit to be a diplomat. While the important people were discussing important business, I was quickly distracted by the consulate generals kids, who were building one of our mini motorcycle models. So far we never got to stay at an event long enough to see the children complete the motorcycle and this time I got to help a little. I enjoyed building the motorcycle at least as much as they did, and I got completely excited when they came up with the idea of racing the model motorcycle against our STORM Wave. In the meantime the event had shifted from the signing of a covenant to the opening of Itilitys new branch, but we were still allowed to interrupt for a model-motorcycle race. Obviously the STORM Wave was way faster, but the model was driving, so we still celebrated with cake (and champagne for me, not for the kids).

After this relaxing event in the sunshine we returned to Piston & Chain. I wanted to finally get out of my STORM dress and into something more comfortable, but my bag was at the bottom of a large pile of 25 bags of 23 kg's each. So, I just slipped back into my pajamas. We had time to do some work while other people were taking pictures of the motorcycle at the Golden Gate bridge, but again I quickly got bored. I decided to go get some crisps with Roan and from there we decided to walk to Mission Bay, the port of San Francisco. During this walk I remembered why I love being in big cities. I walked through the city for more than an hour and no one looked at me funny for wearing my pajamas. A good thing too, cause by the time we got back to Piston & Chain we were late for dinner, so I had to grab some socks and immediately leave to the Mexican restaurant for amazing tacos and burritos. The socks I needed afterwards for a roller-skate disco.

I suck at roller-skating. While Michiel, Yorick, Jeroen and Bob B were literally skating circles around me, I had my fun grabbing onto people trying not to fall. Still, I managed to stay up most of the time, and only fell on my ass once. At closing time we were all happy and a little high on adrenaline, so we decided to find a bar. This was more difficult than it sounds. Like I said, I was in my pajamas, and I was only carrying a pair of socks. No passport, wallet, or phone. We tried a few bars, and some of them were willing to let us in, until they found out Bram wasn't carrying any ID either. We had just decided to walk back to Piston & Chain when we came across the Armory Café. We got in and had just got an awful tasting beer, when we noticed some very erotic pictures on the walls. They were showing girls wearing mouth gags and chains, men wearing choking masks and advertisements for whips and leather cuffs. We started to wonder if we were maybe in the wrong sort of bar, but after asking we found out that the café was a regular café themed after The Armory, a porn studio across the street. We felt back in our comfort zone, but the beer still didn't taste good, so we left soon after finishing our first and only beer. Back at the Piston & Chain people were already sleeping, and we quickly joined to refuel for the next day.

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