As today was our last day in the almighty San Francisco, which by the way is the Auckland of the USA. In terms of it being the most expensive city in the country anyway. The almighty difference though is the politeness of the entire place. Back home I always felt so kind when I allowed some idiot to squeeze into the traffic after cutting half the queue up the inside lane on the motorway. The good samaritan citizens over here however go out of their way to let you walk across the street in places where cross walks are nowhere to be found. It’s all a little awkward really though because you stand on the side waiting for them to pass while they wait for you, so eventually you start a fast-walk/run sort of stumble across the street to let them get past. That a side, the gesture is appreciated. Continuing on with what I was meant to say about five sentences ago; as it was our last day I thought I’d leave you with my initial impressions.
I’ll start with the vehicles people drove. Coming out of the train station I witnessed about four Lexus branded sedans and considered they were all into the European market (Lexus is actually just an expensive Toyota from Japan but look and act like they’re from Europe). It didn’t take me long to realise the roots of San Francisco still lay with the American stereotype of stupidly huge Chevrolet Silverado’s and Dodge Ram’s. Utes which are more the size of semi-trucks is what I’m getting at. I soon realised that the community is stuck between two sectors though and can be identified as two groups. There’s the “traditionals” with their raised redneck utes with their trucker caps and camo sweaters. On the other side there’s the “smug bunch.” Don’t worry I don’t think I’m going to offend anyone with the nickname because as the tour guides kept informing me they “lack no self-confidence.” Anywho, the smug bunch all drive hybrids, the rich drive Tesla Models S which in central city I can count more in a half hour than fingers on my hands. Considering they’re upwards of $120,000 that’s pretty impressive. Asides from those two groups it’s basically just Nissans, BMW’s and Cadillac’s.
Next off I noticed the fashion. People who know me probably know that a majority of my money I either wear or eat, so I like to think I’m up there with the trends. The dress over here is a bit more upper class than in good old South Auckland. Almost everyone had the colours matching and all that good stuff. I think it’s largely helped by the percentage of people who identify them self as homosexual. Not being stereotypical but they do tend to dress a bit better than the average joe. I did have to watch myself though as I admired dudes outfits as I’d get the occasional smile, which in turn I would pretend I’d stood on a piece of gum and stare at my shoe until they had disappeared around a corner.
Overall San Francisco left a very good impression on me, and hopefully sometime in the not too distant future I’ll return; probably as the new Apple CEO (maybe not but it doesn’t hurt to dream). That aside though I’ll get on with the day.
We ate breakfast (not a sandwich surprisingly), packed our stuff and then ordered an Uber. It sat around the corner for five minutes, supposedly waiting for us while we waited at the point I had clearly specified as the pickup location. It’s very difficult obviously. Eventually the guy had the guts to cancel the trip which in turn charged us $5 (I had a yell at Uber and they kindly refunded). We ordered another which found us with ease and took us to collect our wagon for the next wee bit.
The mighty Ford Mustang. Sexiest thing I’ve seen since I left New Zealand. Put this up in front of yesterday’s eye gouging view and I think my head might have just fallen off. Under the hood though it’s a little disappointing. A mustang is meant to be pure American muscle but the thing only contains a 2.3 litre, 4-cylinder, “eco-boost” driven motor. Sounds a bit girly really. Eco-boost? C’mon. The thing is drop dead gorgeous to look at though, and pumping out 310 horsepower it’s not too bad.
Heading north we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge before turning around and heading south towards the Pacifica highway. Dad quickly adjusted to driving on the “wrong” side of the road, but not before kerbing the front wheel. Sorry dad, but got to give the readers the facts. I also want them to turn against you so I can drive but somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen.
We followed one of the many wonders of the world, poodling behind cars from here to there. I don’t know how these people don’t crap there pants when the black beast turns up behind them but they somehow remain oblivious and have the guts to do half the speed limit. We pulled over a couple of times to grab snacks and take photos and what not. At a couple of stages we even took the roof off but not before long the rain was upon us. Tropical! (Actually typical but family saying. We’re really just mocking mum who doesn’t know the difference between the two, love you).
Eventually we pulled into a hotel a bit south of Hearst Castle. We ate some Mexican for dinner; I have Mexican once every never so I’m not sure if it was nice on the scale of things but I digested it so it can’t have been too bad. Getting back to the hotel I had a swim (yes it’s the middle of winter over here), a shower and then caught you all up.