Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Yesterday and Today - Trivia, More or Less

Five students and our professor of French Conversation went on an excursion to the Getty Museum ( to tour and lunch.

To get there, Caroline, Notre Professeur, booked an Uber SUV/Mini van and we met it in the parking lot of the classroom (Hermosa Beach Community Center.)  We were milling about minimally when a large black SUV came rolling up.  "My God!" I said to another passenger, "People will think we're the Russian Mafia!"

When Richie and I were apprised that it would be a Uber set of wheels, I was somewhat dismayed.  I remembered (vaguely) horrible stories of sexual assault by drives on comely (or perhaps not so) female pax, the odd robbery and so forth.  And to be fair, drivers killed while working.  Still and all, our party was composed of three men (could defend if necessary) and three women, one of whom was wearing heavy-heeled boots quite adequate for head bonking.  Most of all though the reassuring factor was the driver himself.  Middle aged, no visible tattoos or facial jewelry and a professional mien.

We enjoyed our ride; me especially because the seating was:  Male at shotgun, male behind driver (could garotte with one of the lady's scarves) and me.  The three other women filled the very last row and twittered and peeped accordingly.  I was in the second row with the guys which I liked.  I much prefer the company of men.  Ladies make me nervous.  The driver and shotgun discovered commonalities - both very familiar with Rhode Island and my contribution was "Did you know that Rhode Island has more professional hitmen than any other?" and that launched them into a discussion that was highly-entertaining to me.

The Getty Museum does not charge admission to the facility, but when you park your car - $20, please!  With a ride share deal, they just roll up to a designated space, the Uber/Flyt /pax crawl out and proceed on to the museum proper.   And the ride goes wherever.   When it was first opened, one had to make a reservation, just to get in.  "I'm sorry, we're completely booked until (six months later.)

The headphones with explanations of what you are seeing are free - but you have to leave your Driver's License or other form of ID to use them.

When we began to feel a little peckish - it was lunch time - we ankled over to the formal dining room - white tablecloths which serves fancy lunch and then later fancy dinner.  A couple of us read the menu, looked at each other and promptly left to apprehend the others, now walking toward us and report.  I remember Octopus something with a shudder of horror.

We immediately traveled further to the much more informal grab and go cafĂ© and bought what each taste dictated.  We sat out on the vast patio on French parc chairs and ate and chatted.  It wasn't until later, when I asked R to see the check that I was shocked to read:  1 small bag of Doritos $2.50, 1 small bag Lay's potato chips $2.50   1 white chocolate chip and cranberry cookie $3.25.  Worse than trying to buy something to nibble at an airport!  We did each get an Italian Deli sub half and the whole one was $13, so that was reasonable.  

We all enjoyed the visiting over lunch and I for one could have spent the afternoon right there, under a shade tree, admiring the park-like views.

Our Uber driver back to our cars was thoroughly professional, the 405 was heavily trafficked and he paid attention to that and not us which was fine. Uber Sidebar  Don't stand on the street waiting for your ride; stay inside and then when a car stops, approach and ask who he is waiting for? - Always made them say your name.  You will have told someone where you are going, color of the car (women are usually no good at describing vehicles) and driver's name. Sit in the back - see garotting above.

All in all an enjoyable day but if I ever have occasion to go back (doubtful - the Getty is large spaces, beautiful building design, dynamite views and very little art.) I'm carrying a large purse with lunch inside it.

The morning radio news had a line that instantly made me sad.  It was that 9,388 American military were buried there - all facing home - the United States."  

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