Jessica from Portland
Today I stopped for lunch at the Herbivore on Valencia because I was craving their shawarma. I sat down at a small table. At the small table next to mine was a girl about my age, studying the menu, also by herself. After both the girl and I had ordered, she turned to me and said
"Excuse me. Do you know the best way to get to Fisherman's Wharf from here?"
I asked her if she was driving. She said no and that she was going to try to take BART or walk. I chuckled, and she asked if it was difficult to get there.
"No, it's just that I'm a taxi driver, and my taxi is right outside. I can take you there if you like."
"After we're done eating?"
"About how much will it be?"
"About twelve dollars."
"Okay. That sounds good."
We chatted a little while we were eating. She was visiting a friend who had just graduated from UCSF. Today she was checking out the city while she had a little time to herself. She said she hadn't been to San Francisco in over ten years. I also found out that she doesn't eat wheat because it makes her nauseous.
After we were both done eating and had paid for our food, I asked her if she was ready. We walked outside and across the street to my taxi.
"The green one?"
"Can I sit in the front?"
"I feel like I know you now."
I took Mission Street, turned left on 7th and took Leavenworth all the way up to Fisherman's Wharf. That way I serendipitously got to show her Lombard Street even though I hadn't even planned for that.
I asked her if a friend had recommended Herbivore to her. She said no and that she had been looking for Cafe Gratitude instead. But she had gone the wrong way from the BART station, towards Valencia instead of Harrison. That's how she had found Herbivore.
"And that's fine," she said, "because that way I also found a ride to Fisherman's Wharf."
When we got to Fisherman's Wharf, the fare was $13.90. I told her that I was only charging her $12 because that's what I had told her it would be. She gave me $17.
We didn't exchange names until the very end.