Travel update: The Google guide to travel and poetry

Does anyone else, when all alone in a room with Google, forgo all attempts at sophistication and eruditeness, and just ask of Google the stupidest questions ever?

Because that is how I get maybe 78% of my information. I’m serious.

This trip is no different. Having arrived in a foreign land I feel I have a no-holds-barred licence to type my most inane of queries into Google and see what she will provide.


google search: ‘interesting stuff to do in San Francisco’

Predictably this yielded the tourist attractions: Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s wharf, steepest street blah blah blah…

Me: Google, no! I want *weird* interesting…

Google: Well, why didn’t you say so, Christine?

google search: ‘interesting weird stuff to do in USA SF museums’

Boom. Hit the jackpot. The Musee Mechanique is what I’m talking about. The merit of this destination has the benefit being triangulated (or diangulated, technically) by my cool host, the lovely Lisa. I don’t need to be told twice! Although I guess I do: once by a human, once by a machine. Regardless, I’m going there today and I will report back presently.

[Aside: how badly do I want to go here? Quite badly.]

Meanwhile, an update more in line with the linear expectations of the space-time continuum, below the photo (which will make sense if you read on).

Legitimate pirate supply store as front for tutoring non-profit

Travel Day 1: May 22 2011

  • Arrived SF yesterday @ 10:15am.
  • Rode the BART and walked to Lisa’s apartment.
  • Talked improv with Lisa.
  • Hot shower to wash off the travel.
  • Went for a walk.
  • Got a SIM card for my phone (travel hint: T-Mobile will sell you a microSIM for your iPhone. They have a massive eardrum-piercing metal-punching industrial device that cuts the normal sized SIM down to a iPhone sized microSIM so you don’t have to pay ridiculous roaming rates while here)
  • Browsed Valencia Street.
  • Bought a burrito.
  • Visited 826 Valencia, which is a pirate supply store that serves as a legitimate front for a tutoring centre. Learn more in this awesome and inspiring TED Talk titled Once Upon a School.
  • Visited the less noble but equally intriguing Paxton Gate, which is like a natural history museum where you can buy the exhibits as well as generally be creeped out and intrigued. The exhibits include mounted butterflies and other insects, dead and taxidermed mice dressed up as little humans (a la Dinner for Schmucks which, coincidentally, is the movie I watched on the plane), all manner of taxidermed animals, including two ververt monkeys! Recommended.  Oh. And their logo is a monkey carrying a watering can with its prehensile tail. Colour me infatuated.
  • Bought a big and delicious coffee and watched the people go by.
  • Walked back to Lisa’s.
  • Went to dinner with Lisa at a place called Pomelo (delicious!) wherein we talked excitedly and passionately about improv. At length.
  • What an awesome day.

Post Script: Google poetry

Sometimes I don’t have a particular question for google. I just type in an interrogative phrase such as ‘how do…’ or ‘what is…’ and see what questions Google wants me to ask of her and what information she may wish to furnish me with.

Conclusion: Google – you are a modern day poet.

I leave you with a couple of Google poems that she wrote for me this morning…

How do…?

How do you know?

How do earthquakes happen?

How do you know when you are in love?

How do magnets work?

How do tornadoes form?

How do bees make honey?

How do you unblock friends from facebook?

How do I love thee?

How do I know if I’m pregnant?

– Google, May 23 2011

What is…?

What is my ip address?

What is love?

What is planking?

What is culture?

What is an earthquake?

What is liquefaction?

What is a verb?

What is g6?

What is a noun?

– Google, May 23 2011


About maximumbrooks

Christine is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. She improvises regularly at venues around town and dabbles in other things that interest her. She likes mango sorbet, monkeys and, apparently, throwing caution to the wind.
This entry was posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Whimsy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Travel update: The Google guide to travel and poetry

  1. Chelsea says:

    I hope you found this gem while at the Musee Mechanique: It was by far the weirdest thing I had seen in quite some time! I’m guessing the guy in the back is a sad paediatrician and he’s holding a mad giant baby.

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