The first day. A sign next to the door announces that I need to have exact change to board the bus. They are surely not serious about that? Because if everyone else does, the driver will have enough one dollar bills so that I can pay with a five, right? Well, no, he doesn’t.
All the cash goes into a locked box. Before I can say a word, my five dollars are in that box too, I get one dollar change, and am made to sit down. Four dollars for a bus ride? I am still annoyed with myself for being too optimistic when a passenger approaches me with a one dollar bill, pointing to the bus driver. After only two stops, I’ve got all my change back. As I get off the bus on that first day in San Francisco, I am in love with the city and enthusiastic to explore its improbably inclined streets.
My last day in San Francisco. Downtown, after dark, I am tired, hungry and exhausted after spending hours to get a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. Everyone else is either super busy or looks a little suspect. I don’t usually eat a lot of fast food but today, it seems like an acceptable solution. I squint to read the menu behind the counter and I observe those who are already ordering to anticipate all the questions I will have to answer once it is my turn. Regular-or-large? Which-kind-of-bread? Do-you-want-fries-with-that? Chilli-salsa-or-guacamole? Cream-cheese-or-cheddar? Skim-milk-or-half-fat? Magic-mountain-or-hungry-hunters-seasoning? Would-you-like-to-try-our-special-today? For-here-or-to-go? Anything-to-drink? Is-it-ok-if-I-speak-really-fast-because-you-sure-know-already-what-all-the-options-are?
It takes a while until I realize that someone is speaking to me, and when I do notice, I have no clue what she might have said and she starts screaming
I do not want you in my world, you do not even speak proper English.
Fair enough, but I cannot disappear on the spot. On that day, standing in the middle of a noisy discussion between her and the kid in front of me, I do not like the city.
Have you been to San Francisco or do you even live there? Which of these two memories do you think is more representative?
And as always, you can also ..
This article was published on perelincolors.com as a response to the Daily Post’s Photography101 themes “Landmark” and “Water”.