Not finding Marjolein's hat and Karl-Magnus
Today we had to go downtown again to fetch Marjolein's hat, but it turned out that the hat the staff had locked in the safe yesterday was not hers, so the trip was wasted. Then we went to Chinatown for lunch in what our guidebook said was considered by many to be one of the US's finest budget Chinese restaurants, namely House of Nanking. Well I would have to agree. The food was utterly delicious and almost ridiculously cheap. For $12 I had five gigantic scallops on a skewer on circles of aubergine in a sauce with complex flavours. The staff were incredibly friendly (which is pretty much par for the course in California actually, even if I would say that SF people are a bit cooler) and the owner was photographed by a family who said they always ate there when they were in SF.
After this I bought an adapter and polarizing filter for our camera in a shop full of smooth-talking Hispanic guys, one of whom tried to sell me a lens for $220: "It would cost you $1000 in Europe my friend!) and we headed down to Civic Centre to meet Karl-Magnus, my former Ph.D. student who is now in Roger Kornberg's group at Stanford. On the way I wished that we hadn't chosen Civic Centre as a meeting place, as some of the surrounding areas are pretty seedy, but Civic Centre itself was quite OK. We had an hour and a half together and we promised to take a trip out to Palo Alto and Stanford tomorrow.