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tomodachi kara mono—stuff from friends

bart map

It’s a lovely day.
Calixton and I are waiting for BART. There is a crisp breeze coming off the bay, and some fat pigeons are bobbing around the platform.
Okay, the wait is killing me now. Curse you BART and your slow, sunday schedule!
Alright, that’s a bit harsh. I love BART, really. Even with the insane, absorbent interiors that make no sense, it is a great way to get to San Francisco. During the week, the trains run frequently enough. But, the weekends are killer.
Aaaaugh! Where is the train? Why do I always forget there is a weekend schedule?
Come on, come on, come on, a train will come… NOW!
“Fremont train in 14 minutes.” Crud.
Why am I in such a hurry? A message from the previous night:
“I’m in town.”
What better voice mail can you get? Ok, maybe “You’ve won a (insert fervent wish here, ie: pony, solid gold wheelchair, PS3, ticket to the land of chocolate, coffee pot with a radio in it)!”
Anyway, the message meant two things: 1. A really good friend is in town; 2. I’ve got to find a way to see him!

This seems like a good time to explain the title of these (there are supposed to be more) posts. Tomodachi means “friend” in Japanese. Remember this, it may come in handy if you ever find yourself in the alternate, Japanese Middle-earth and you need to open the Doors of Durin. ;) Mono means “things, stuff” and kara means “from.”
Anyway, I have some great friends. They show me neat stuff, they listen to my crazy ideas, and they teach me how to be a better person. We all have friends like that.
Like many of us in this modern world, I don’t live near most of my friends. I’m not the best at keeping in touch either, but no matter how much time has passed, a good friend is a good friend.
Stuff your friends like stick with you.
Whenever I see some great architecture, I think of several friends. When I see a cool car, watch a movie, have a tasty meal, I think of all sorts of people.
So, welcome to: tomodachi kara mono—stuff from friends!

Which brings us to the crisp morning at the BART El Cerrito del Norte platform and my impatient mood.
Finally, with a high-pitched tooting, the train shows up.
We board, the train whooshes off, and we spend the next 35 minutes riding the BART Experience.
It makes for a fun show.
You get some great views of the Golden Gate and the city.
You get some interesting views of Albany/Berkeley.
You get some industrial views of Oakland.
These views are interspersed with complete darkness accompanied by velociraptor/kaiju noises.
Despite this incredible visual and aural show, Calixton dozes (he does manage to wake up enough to switch trains at MacArthur).
We detrain at the Embarcadero station.
Emerging onto street level, we hunt down a bank.
Flush with cash (ok, just a couple of $20s—it’s all about the Jackson’s baby!), we head for the Ferry Building.
One phone call later, and I’m hugging a good friend.

—to be continued

map is by william bright isubwaymaps.com

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