Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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The Hell of Shopping Fruitlessly San Francisco, CA, Saturday, 10 February 2007 12:00am

I tried to do my trip shopping today. I want a light-colored long-sleeved shirt and a pair of light-colored travel pants to ward off mosquitoes. And I hate beige. I'd found some promising possibilities online, and was hoping to try them on locally before buying them. It was not to be.

I started off at Sports Basement, where I found the Larabars that Jessica wanted, but nothing else on my list.

Went a little upmarket to REI, where I was told they didn't have the Patagonia pants that I'd seen on their web site because Patagonia has a store in town. I did get a variety of socks and sock liners, and some Ex Officio underwear to try. And a permethrin insecticide kit for treating clothing.

I Google Mapped the Patagonia store, which turned out to be in North Beach, or maybe even the Marina. I rode over there to check it out. It turned out that they'd just gotten in a shipment of the pants... but that they only came in ugly brown colors (the ones at were "steel"), and they didn't have any sizes larger than 35. 35? I tried on the 35s but they looked terrible. The store clerk suggested a different pant, which fit me much better in the 34 they had. Of course they didn't have my size in black or anything over 30 in the light grey that would be better. So I ordered a pair from their Portland store.

The sales girl who helped me with the cross-store order asked about riding in the rain, and I said that it wasn't so bad, since it wasn't raining hard enough to actually soak through my jacket. I should know better than to say things like that. On my way to The North Face store, I made the mistake of crossing through Chinatown, where there was some kind of street fair going on, so traffic was awful. And, of course, it started raining harder.

The North Face turns out to not stock much of their own clothing either. They didn't have the shirt I wanted, though they did have the Syncline shirt in Fossil Ivory... in XXL only.

Google Maps claimed that there was another North Face in the city. I was pretty suspicious, since the location they gave was right by the old North Face Outlet that was closed years ago, and nobody answered at the number they had. But I figured I might as well try it. Of course it wasn't actually a North Face Store.

I gave up, went home, and ordered a pair of pants and a shirt from the REI web site. I hope they fit.