Two very different parts to this blog: one, a nice tourist on a bike one – but a little boring; two, a much more exciting one – but pretty stink altogether.
With the bike together & hopefully enough sunscreen on, it was off to explore a small part of San Diego. Cruised down the hill to Pacific Beach & encountered my first four-way Stop. Not really having a clue, I soon worked out that whoever gets there first has right of way. Riding a bike around the suburban streets was pretty easy & unlike Switzerland last year, I had no problem staying on the right hand side of the road & was easily looking left first. Great walk/cycle/roller-blade way along the coast & it was getting plenty of use.
A nice sea breeze to cool the warm sun & there were plenty of people out enjoying it.
Great to see heaps of bikes out & about – cruisers now make so much more sense than they do in NZ; saw a few choppers, loaded up cycle tourists, pink titanium rims on a pink road bike, & only a few mountain bikes. Went over a couple of bridges & ended up riding around the coast a bit further to Sunshine Cliffs Natural Park, turned around & found my back home – having fun in more congested traffic. Nice to stretch the legs over twenty-four miles.
Looking where I got to on the map after my return made me realise it’s pretty easy to get a few places on bike – even if it is running knobblies. Maybe I’ll cruise down & spend the day at Sea World tomorrow.
So I wrote the first part of that yesterday afternoon – Sea World will have wait until Wednesday after last night’s events. Sometime after dinner & fruitless attempts to get a wireless router to go with Vonage (some phone system – I haven’t quite worked out what it does yet), Anna-Marie, Andrea & I headed out for a couple of beers at Andrea’s favourite bar down PB (Pacific Beach). I was pleasantly surprised by whatever beer I had – can’t remember what, but definitely not Bud – it wasn’t all bad. We strolled from the bar down to get tacos – I was thoroughly confused by Spanish menu, but whatever it was that the girls ordered turned out just fine. The complete opposite to the walk back to Andrea’s house.
After walking through an empty parking lot, some guy started walking towards us from the other side of the street – I didn’t pay much notice, as I just thought he was drunk. What transpired took a good few seconds for me to comprehend – Andrea (who was closest to Hoodlum #1) struggled with him as he tried to snatch her handbag. He wasn’t haven’t too much luck as Andrea had a fair hold of the bag, he only really had the handles. Once I had some measure of comprehension, wafer-thin (“just one more mint, Sir”) me rather ineffectually tried to break it up. Details are a bit vague at this time, but from somewhere another guy came at me with a small baton & chased me around the corner. I wasn’t too keen on this baton & crazy Hoodlum #2 breaking me in half, but thankfully disappeared in to thin air (I was to prove a pretty poor witness!) when a few green notes changed hands. By now the girls were on the other side of the intersection & Hoodlums took off in a black two-door coupe.
By now Anna-Marie was talking to 911 & Andrea had a fair amount of blood from two teeth that had moved south a couple of millimetres after a punch to the face & a nasty looking cut on one finger. Still somewhat staggered we milled around on the main road waiting for the cops to turn up – some half an hour later an ambulance turned up (the paramedic must have been to the Bernard Black School of Public Relations – she was a piece of work), Andrea pretty much had to clean herself up in the back of the ambulance & a fire-engine turned up as well (I love American fire engines – they have so much more presence than NZ ones & are a lot shinier). Eventually the cops turned up.
The two that turned up must have forgotten that good cop-bad cop is for suspects, not witnesses. The one that interviewed Andrea was quite pleasant – the tall one that interviewed Anna-Marie & I was a dickhead. It was about this time I realised how dark it had been & I was such a useless witness. Tall nasty cop pointed out that the guy with the baton never really asked me for money – but I didn’t care, that baton spoke loud enough & I am more than happy to be unharmed & slightly poorer. Sometime around this time (now probably 12.30 – 1.00 am) another unit pulled over a car fitting the rough description of ours some miles away on the freeway (we found out later that a tow-truck driver had seen these guys steal a GPS from his truck & followed them).
When more cops arrived, we each got driven some miles away to where the car & suspects were found for a curbside identity parade. I got my first ride in a police car, & it’s not so bad up front. Unfortunately Officer Sean wasn’t willing to put the flashing lights on for me. When we got there Officer Sean went to sort out the identity parade, I got left in the front of the car & it was all I could do not to turn the flashing lights, the sirens, the PA or the fog horn – not to mention pull the shotgun off the rack – but I could listen to the radio as they called in the helicopter to search for more of our friends. For the next couple of hours we pretty much stood & sat around & Andrea identified a few of her belongings in the car, each of us went through looking at five hoodlums (basically they were each in a car up front of another squad car that had its spotlight on & they would bring each one out to face the light while we wandered up in turn & look at them as they did a nice little spin). Once again, I was next to useless here – one of the five looked like he was one of them, but it was dark previously so I don’t think I was much help. After all that happened we had stick around until a detective turned up to catalogue, photograph & print the items in the car & give back what belonged to Andrea.
All that remained after the Mustang was towed was for the last remaining cop – we were down to one after previously occupying nine cars, a helicopter, a fire engine & a bitchy ambulance – to take us back to Andrea’s house. Cruising down the length of the street it all happened on I got to use the squad car’s spotlight (rather poorly) as we searched for the handbag that may have been thrown out the car. Finally home & in to bed at 4am – what a night!
Today has been comparatively quiet – sleep/lie in until 11am. Andrea has of course been to the doctor & dentist – two teeth that will die with in the week & need to be replaced with titanium, a fractured jaw & no broken fingers. Six thousand bucks apparently – I got off lightly. It’s all still a bit bewildering – did that really happen to us? Normally I have no problem being the skinny little weed that I am – but for once it would have been nice to be Jack Reacher & kick some butt.