In my new job, I’m seeing a whole lot of SFO a.k.a. San Francisco International Airport. Going into San Jose would be better but there are a lot of places that you can’t get there from. Herewith a practical time-saving driving hint, and a rant about the stupid, stupid, stupid monorail.

Practical Hint · You come into SFO, you catch the stupid3 monorail to the car rentals, and eventually you drive away in your car. If you’re heading north to the big city, read no more, this is not for you. For those of you heading down to Silly Valley, what you need to know is that the signs directing you to 101N and 101S coming out of the rental garage are Big Fat Lies. If you foolishly believe them and take the recommended route for 101S, you will be led several winding blocks out of your way directly northward and away from the direction you want to go. Instead, follow the signs for 101N to San Francisco into the left lane and (pretty soon) onto the bridge over the freeway, from whence you take a nice neat left onto 101S.

My only explanation for this egregious public lie is as part of the continuing conspiracy by the air travel industry to maximize the unpleasantness and inconvenience so they can cash in on their secret holdings of videoconferencing shares.

That Monorail · While it was under construction, you used to take a stupid bus up 101 from from the curb-side to the stupid rent-a-car center which is stupidly built a long way away (hey, a chance for more inconvenience and irritation). Now they have the stupid monorail; from all but one of the terminals getting to it requires going down multiple stupid escalators, trudging along multiple stupid hallways, riding back up other stupid escalators, only to arrive just as the stupid train pulls away. Eventually you get on and endure a stupid trip that is much longer and slower than the stupid bus was except (unlike the bus) you often can’t sit down, plus you get to listen to the stupid vapid recorded announcer tell you to “Please hold on. Please lock the wheels of your luggage carts” two times for each stupid station (an average of five or so), plus each station’s name gets stupidly announced three different times. Of course, since you just flew in, you want to listen to your voicemail and maybe make a couple of calls, which you typically can’t because the stupid recorded announcements’ stupidly high volume blasts the sound away. Plus, the stupid monorail stations are stupidly high up in the air near San Francisco Bay and stupidly open to the air, so the wind whistles through and hat-wearers such as I must leave one hand free for the quick clutch, adding to the difficulty of managing a cellphone and luggage.

When you get to the rent-a-car center the train decants you intelligently right at the sign-up desks. Which of course means that when you drop your car off on the return trip, you get to ride the escalator down three stupid levels so you can walk across the windy foyer and ride another one stupidly back up so as to be able to get on the other side of the monorail... I wonder why it would be a problem to get in on the same side? This puts you in just the right mood for the modern airport experience.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
April 28, 2004
· The World (126 fragments)
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