So after my very sad flight I touched down on San Fran turf and couldn’t believe I was actually in the U.S!
I got a taxi and after almost clambering in the driver’s door (cos I forgot they drive on the other side…) I saw this stunning city before me. Apparently the weather is never this good here (really warm and sunny) so it was a nice welcome!
The first thing I did was nap for 3 hours. Then ordered dinner at a “1950s style” diner. It was really gross.
But then I got invited to a gig in Haight St (Rio Rio, check em out)
and I fell in love with everything! The people here are actually pretty friendly. And they like showing off their city to tourists.
Also some comparison to Auckland: the gig was free and the bus to get there was $2. That’s right, going to a really good local gig only cost me $2!
The only negative so far is the homeless people. One man slept in the middle of the road and no one looked his way. People are so used to it that these wayward individuals become part of the scenery. I felt like a rich snob ignoring their requests for money. In NZ those people should be on the Benefit but here they’re just screwed. It’s also mainly dark skinned people who are homeless from what I’ve seen so far. In the taxi tonight a white guy pleaded with the black taxi driver for spare change and the taxi driver felt bad for him and obliged. I thought that was interesting. Like, if the tables were turned, I wonder whether that would happen.
It reminds me that I’ve been dealt some very good cards in this life so I’m grateful every day. I’ve always felt that life is not a huge struggle and almost everyone I meet is friendly, but it wasn’t until my Asian and Indian friends pointed out how hard the racism can be. It was then I realised I don’t encounter that kind of treatment on a daily basis and if I did I would not be as trusting in people.
Also just a personal rant on the subject of racism: if you believe a certain culture should leave your “home” country and go back where they came from – you are forgetting that your ancestors were once migrants too. What gives you the right for your family to migrate here and not another??
Anyway, so tomorrow I’m looking forward to seeing the San Francisco Symphony among other gems. My hostel mates are fantastic and two are moving to London. Yay for new friends!