I landed at SFO about 20:30 on Tuesday evening. The pilot said that it was partly cloudy, but it looked clear to me. A half an hour later I had cleared immigration and customs.
While I was waiting for the BART train to the East Bay, I tried calling my son to let him know when I would be arriving in Oakland. Twice I got the message from T-Mobile saying that my call could not be made and to call 611. I called and they were less than helpful. So I decided to try a different network. While searching, I received a couple messages from my vendor, Movistar. The last one said that I should be using Cingular, now known as AT&T for making calls in the US. Miraculously the phone had switched to AT&T and I was able to call my son.
The past two days have been foggy and chilly. Although the temperature is only a few degrees cooler than Barcelona, it feels a lot colder.
One of my first tasks was to have my ballots for voting sent to me in Spain. There is actually a Federal form that all States are suppose to use for this purpose. While I was going through the mail my son had saved for me, I noticed a dreaded Jury Summons. I breathed a sigh of relief to find that the trial was not until the 26th, so I avoided a fine/jail term for missing the trial. Lucky for me, both the jury department and registrar of voters are located in the same building not far from where I am staying.
I called the jury department and told them of my situation of now residing in Spain (which excuses one from jury duty.) They said I needed to show proof that I lived there. I told the woman that I had a copy of a property tax bill receipt and also a document saying that I was registered with the town council. She was hoping the documents were in English. So I asked if they had their own documents in castellano since Alameda County is officially bilingual. We all know her answer to that question.
Anyway, I soon presented myself at the two departments and got things cleared up. Interesting that I was the only person there, in spite of the county population being about 1.5 million.
I have been busy buying a bunch of stuff to take back with me. In some cases I asked the retailer if they preferred that I pay using real money or devalued dollars. Most didn’t care, but were amused.
I was surprised to see that regular gas was selling for $3.45 USD for a non-Imperial gallon. It will be interesting to see if oil prices hit $100 USD a barrel and the Euro reaches a value of $1.50 USD by the time I return to Barcelona next week.
This weekend my son and I are headed to Folsom to see my daughter and her husband.