Experience ‘The Rock’ in San Francisco
UNTUK BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI
It’s been a while since the last post update. I’ve been under the weather lately. I only able to peep into facebook and give a thumbs up to certain post and that was it. Weather in Alaska and homesick weaken my spirits. I am desperately hoping for hot lemongrass oil body massage right now. If I’ve been given a choice to fly to Paris and Malaysia for free, I’d choose Malaysia anytime.
Here is my post about my trip to San Francisco. Usually people have good local food, shop and pose the best pose during their trip or vacation. But Mike and I went into a prison. Since Mike paid for the trip, I just follow his selection for place of interest this time. His admiration towards history and facts brought us here, to where Al Capone ‘Scarface’ resided for 4 and half years due to tax evasion.
The ticket to visit Alcatraz a.k.a The Rock is USD 31 inclusive ferry ride to the island from Pier 33. Who ever planning to visit San Francisco, you should take this tour since it serves 2 activities in one price – cruise ‘almost’ around San Francisco Bay and a visit to Alcatraz Island.
It was one cloudy morning that day. It suit the trip to visit a prison anyway. Haha. I am not a fan of cloudy skies. I lost interest and mood to take pictures when its cloudy since everything appears grey and flat. Ah, if you think USD 31 is kinda of pricey, you can just visit the Alcatraz’s mock up sitting at pier 33
Actually, Alcatraz has its own fan from all over the globe. We took the earliest departure and yet, it was already a long queue waiting to board the ferry. However, they manage to rotate the visitor in a timely manner so it wasn’t that cramp when we were in that tiny island. First time I stepped my foot onto Alcatraz, I feel a little bit sad because I tried to re live the experience and feelings of those was sent here. I don’t think any criminal feel happy to be here, even they are bad people.
Let me put the facts about Alcatraz into summary since I know you are too lazy to read a long ass history writings;
Alcatraz was built in 1847
The size of Alcatraz Island is 22 acre
It was built for military use as a fortress to protect San Francisco
Late 1850, Alcatraz started to hold military prisoners and it continues for 80 years.
1934 – was taken over by US Justice Department and it became a Federal Prison.
Shut down at 1963 due to its high cost maintenance. Apparently, every prisoner has their own room – no inmate share jail space. Also, the management hired approximately one guard for every three prisoners. The cost of feeding the prisoners and all, it said that the cost per night to run single cell in Alcatraz is equivalent to one night stay at Waldorf Astoria hotel. This made the taxpayers unhappy knowing their money spent into this.
No death sentence carried out in Alcatraz. So no spooky feelings here ok. Oh, they even have night tour to Alcatraz. I think our Penjara Pudu in Kuala Lumpur has more mystical eerie story to tell. Speaking about Penjara Pudu, I was upset when I get to know they torn it down instead of open it to public with a fee, just like Alcatraz. I bet there will be a lot of tourists and locals interested to learn about Penjara Pudu since death sentence was carried out in it. This will give foreign visitors to learn about law in Malaysia when it comes to drug and murder offence so they won’t try to do nasty stuff while in Malaysia. And, it’s good for those hipsters, ravers and Kpopers kids to teach them lessons and life values. Or, maybe Penjara Pudu can host annual ghost seekers event with worldwide participation and see who can last the whole night stay in that hang room.
This is how ‘luxury’ jail cell in Alcatraz. It contains a single bed, toilet bowl, sink and simple book shelves. Come to think of it, my apartment in Shah Alam don’t have toilet bowl for each room.
It’s has 3 floors, vast dining hall, library and outdoor space for workout / leisure. Meals came with designated menu for every day. These people indeed, live well in here.
Everyone will get one of this, an audio story teller so that you will know detail every corner of this building – The facts, the history and gruesome events. There were death cases here in Alcatraz Prison but not from death sentence, but due to escape attempts by the prisoners and fights among the residents.
I felt very sad when I arrived at this area, the point where you received your new attire where it marks that its the beginning of your new life as a prisoner. I imagined myself as one of them, getting my status changed into a prisoner and will spend the rest of 10-20 or my whole life in here.
I don’t know about prison in Malaysia, especially on 10 – 20 or lifelong sentence, but here, it’s very humane. These inmates are allowed to have or carry on their hobbies like painting, knitting, crafting or composing music. I guess this is one of the way to keep the inmate insane in here.
And if one of them cause any trouble with other inmates, he will be confined in this special room with very little light or in a total dark room.
At the end of the tour, you will end up in souvenirs shop. But souvenir here is totally different than other souvenir shop! You will find all the replicas of cup, tray and uniform used by the prisoners. I didn’t get myself anything though.
I left Alcatraz with heavy heart. Not because I didn’t get myself anything from the gifts shop, but after seeing and listening to Alcatraz facts, it surely not a happy place like theme park where Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck jumping around. I pray that my family and I would never ever associate or have a slight experience with places like this.
We had a picture of us waiting to get pick up at pier 33. Well, you know, they have this photobooth before entering special tour but it is still up to you to buy it r not. Knowing what Mike will say about it, so I made a copy of the photo for keepsake.
To be continued… tata for now.