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A Long Way Down
A Thumbnail of Dr. Mona Minkara's image Mona Minkara - February 15, 2016
A picture of the Golden Gate Bridge during the day. San Francisco can be seen in the background

It was the middle of Summer, and I was on my way to the 247th American Chemical Society Conference to present my research. That year, the conference was held was in San Francisco, and I couldn’t contain my excitement! There was just so much to do! My reader Jikky and I were going to explore the trolleys that I always saw on Full House. I was intrigued to see the Golden Gate Bridge (honestly, I wasn’t so sure why people always want to see it. what makes it so special?), and I really, really wanted to meet up with my friend from Wellesley.

The journey was harrowing. I missed my flight for the very first time in my life, because I had made a mistake in planning. From there, I got sick on the way,  and had to cut short a meeting with the family friend. The first couple days of the trip were arduous. I felt like everything possible that could go wrong, went wrong. From the hotel room not being reserved, to us getting lost on the first day.

But never fear! I put my chin up high, and tried to make the best of it. And it worked! The trip started to look up the third day in. I was feeling so much better, happy to explore that great city. That was the day I discovered the trolly system. I enjoyed riding the trollies so much that the drivers started to know me and let me on for free. I would ride them standing in the front and slightly hanging out. San Francisco has so many hills; the feeling of going up and down over them was amazing. I also got to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge (by the way, it’s not actually golden. It’s orange!). Unfortunately, Alcatraz was booked for entire months in advance. I also got to meet remarkable scientists and hear some great talks. In the end, it was an awesome experience despite obstacles leading up to it. On the last day, Jikky and I were sad to leave the City of Hills.

We had one more experience in San Francisco, though. We had just gotten through security at the airport and had to walk pretty far to get to our gate. We decided to use the moving sidewalk to get to there faster. We got on as the walkway continued to roll forward. We approached the end, and as I stepped off I felt a tugging, and started to lose my balance. My left foot was caught! I fell down and to the right, thinking of others behind me that might be trying to get off and seeing this. Honestly, I was shocked by the whole proceedings. I looked at my leg as I feel someone trying to drag me back. But it wasn’t someone, it was the walkway! Startled, I called out for Jikky, who joined me in attempting to rescue my pants from the jaws of that monster of a machine. But no luck. A random guy also saw our struggle and joined in, pulling with all of his might. Three in a row pulling again the clutches of this infernal machine made a sight anybody watching will never forget. I finally extricated myself from the walkway. But sadly, a good portion my pants did not make it out. I have never been the same since that day.