Arriving, the Haight and shopping til I dropped
Trip Start Sep 20, 2009
6Trip End Oct 11, 2009
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Even though I was knackered when I arrived, I decided to get outside in the sunshine to reset my body clock. And wow, what sunshine! I've arrived in an autumn heatwave - its been pushing 30 degrees since I've been here.
I wandered around, finding some food (more on that below), bought a mobile phone for $10 (!), and passed by Union Square
And slept for 15 hours. Felt refreshed and ready to head out on the town. Walked around China Town, which is similar to Sydney's but bigger, glitzier and packed with more crappy souvenirs. Saw how fortune cookies are made and got suckered in to buying a massive bag of them. And ate about half of that bag on the walk back to the hostel.
Went out to meet Kristina at Union Square at midday. I met Kristina very randomly - on the HoopCamp facebook page. I said I was coming to town and she messaged me and asked if I wanted to hang out. And I'm so glad I did. She was such a lovely host, taking me on the buses, teaching me about the public transport system (which rocks), and showing me the best places to eat.
We headed to her neck of the woods...the Haight, home of the summer of love, the grateful dead and a now a bunch of old wannabe hippies begging for dimes for their 'I wanna get high fund'. It's also the home of the most amazing costumes shops in the city.
And so we shopped. Tights, wigs, sequins, earrings, skirts, tops, leggings, fishnets and oh so much more. Spend a fair bit of money but put it all on the credit card so I can deal with it later. That is the American way.
After exhausting ourselves, we walked back to her place, which is an absolutely gorgeous little apartment just off the high street. And she kindly offered to put me up in her 'bat cave', the basement crash pad, when I get back to SF after hoopcamp
Found my own way back to Downtown and got an amazing japanese dinner, probably the best sushi I've ever had. And then to bed again.
This computer wont let me put up my photos, unfortunately, so you'll have to use your imagination for now. Although, to be honest, I didn't take that many pictures due to the constant shopping, so you're not missing much.
I'll leave you with some quick notes on what I've noticed so far....
* The contrast between uber health and the fast food nation. I wasn't really hungry on my first night but needed something in my stomach. So I grabbed a green smoothie (with strawberry, banana, brocolli, spirulina, and other healthful things) and some strawberries from the supermarket. The selection of fruit and veg, plus all the smoothie options was incredible. And on almost every street I walked past had a sign advertising vegetarian or vegan food. But when I shopped for cereal, everything I picked up had so much sugar, fat and high fructose corn syrup...yuck. So I bought raisin flakes (aka sultana bran), thinking I'd made the healthy choice. Um, no. The sultanas were encased in a layer of white sugar.
*The language. Hanging out with Kristina taught me that people in California actually do use words like 'gnarly', 'awesome', 'super-awesome' and 'like' on a very regular bases. I have also started doing this, although I don't think I'm using gnarly in the right context yet (apparently it means bad, not good)
* The friendliness. Maybe it's a cliche, but cliches had to start from somewhere - every American I've met is so (super) nice! People in the street stop and chat to each other, shopkeepers are lovely, everyone has a chat. It's really different to Sydney and London - and it does take a bit of getting used to. Although no one has told me to 'have a nice day'...yet.
Anyway, I'm heading off on a tour of the city soon, so I'll leave you for now
Have a nice day!