Cultural experiences

I’ve spent the past 10 days living in San Francisco on an extended trip for work. I’ll be spending more time here this year, all going well, and I can’t find too much to complain about. Mostly, I like San Francisco. I mean, it’s stupidly expensive and everyone takes themselves a little too seriously, but it’s a good sort of serious. Like they’re seriously into their thing, man.

It’s the only city I’ve ever been in where I’ve had to step back onto the pavement because a bloke in a suit is whizzing by on a skateboard.

The only city I’ve seen a dog – not just any dog; something with a serious amount of unfussed husky in it – wearing socks, because it might get cold.

The only city where the lady who checks my ID when I popped to the supermarket to buy a beer spends so long staring at it and talking to her colleague in Chinese that I assume they couldn’t take it – only for them to ask me excitedly what all the annotations on the back mean, because they’ve never seen a driving licence with so much detail and they think it’s awesome.

The only city I’ve sat next to a guy in dreads on the bus, who spends half his journey chuntering about how he didn’t want their goddamn water, he didn’t want their resources, man, if he wanted a glass of water he could ask for one, not that anyone in this city would give him one and wouldn’t everyone be better if they’d just give you a glass of water when you asked? And the second half of his journey leaning out the window yelling at pedestrians to give up tobacco and smoke weed, you don’t know what that shit is doing to you. You have no idea.

I’m pretty one of us doesn’t.

The architecture is just plain bonkers – there’s little rhyme nor reason, just city blocks of houses whose builders wanted to experiment or show off, embracing a plethora of styles and periods. Some are truly awful. Some are awfully magnificent. A few are just wonderful.

And yes, everything here comes with broccoli. Luckily for me it’s one of my favourite vegetables.