Monday, March 2, 2009

Riding the Rails: Day 3 Am I There Yet?

... Day 3 continued ...

I should say that I was actually really hungry by now. It was late afternoon, I'd basically had a bagel for breakfast and lunch combined, and I'm sure the whole thing was making me cranky, although Olivia could have tried the patience of a saint. The only restaurants I could see near the Winchester Mystery House were big sit-down chains, and I wasn't that desperate.

I got off the bus after a few miles at Saratoga. I had forgotten that the walk from here to Kinokuniya was more like a mile until I had been walking awhile. It was mostly what looked like an older residential area, although the ubiquitous new condos and giant apartment complexes were starting to show up. I knew I was going in the right direction, but still, I couldn't see anything ahead that looked like stores until... There it was! Yay! In a strip mall mainly of Japanese stores.

sjkinobooks In square footage, it was definitely bigger than the Los Angeles store, but it wasn't as densely packed with bookshelves. The stationary section looked larger, the manga section definitely seemed larger after I'd circulated a few times, and the crafts section was... smaller? Yes, I traveled around the store multiple times to see if they'd hidden stuff, but there were only about two shelves of knitting/crochet books. I was sorely disappointed. They did have a knitting stitches book I'd been looking for, but they didn't have any amigurumi books. What? Then on yet another circuit, I noticed that they had a small display of amigurumi books, both Japanese and American (English) publications, on a table near the front. It was still only a fraction of the selection in Los Angeles, though, and they didn't have the new Hello Kitty book I had wanted. I suppose I could have asked about it, but I was hungry and tired, and, well, didn't really need to be going out of my way to spend more money.

amicharmpatts beeandbugpatts In addition to the 300 knitting stitches book, I got a book of crochet motifs you work continuously instead of the more common, mind-numbing method of sewing finished pieces together one at a time. I also got an amigurumi book I hadn't seen before. It had a lot of charm-like patterns, and a pattern of a bumblebee man that reminded me of that character on Mexican TV. Bumblebee man has a little lady bug lady friend, too.

I walked along the strip mall and went into a ramen house. It was a hole-in-the-wall, I-wonder-what-grade-this-would-get-if-San-Jose-did-Los-Angeles-style-health-inspection-grades, no-maybe-I-don't-want-to-know joint, but it was pretty crowded and no one keeled over while I was there. I looked at the menu, but all the ramen had pork (there was even a note -- "All ramen dishes have pork") and I don't eat mammals, so I got a boiled chicken salad with kimchi. The kimchi had completely drained my sinuses after about 3 bites. It was hot, but it was good, and the chicken had a good curry sauce on it.

I felt much better with food in my stomach. I was still tired, though, and the sun was beginning to get lower in the sky. I walked back down to the bus stop, which didn't seem so far away this time, and the bus came about 5 minutes later. I rode back to the light rail station where I had caught the first bus, and then waited about 15 minutes for a northbound train.

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