Musings from Frisco (that will be $25 please)

At least according to Matt, my tour guide on the sightseeing bus. He said the then Emperor enacted a law in the 1800’s to outlaw calling San Francisco "Frisco", and apparently it still carries a $25 penalty. Various google searches don’t seem to confirm that ‘fact.’

I’m here on an impromptu trip, tagging along on a friend’s business trip as I had time off and no plans.

Things I’ve liked:

Pedestrians have right of way, even when jaywalking/illegally crossing a street. Maybe it’s the US culture of litigating that inhibits drivers from being aggressive on roadways. In London you have to be solidly in the zebra/pedestrian crossing before a driver comes to a halt.

Shop staff quickly acknowledging a customer’s entrance into a store/shop with a hello and how are you.

Strangers chatting to each other almost anywhere on almost any topic. It just seems so sociable acknowledging we’re continuously in each other’s presence in a shared environment.

Things I’ve disliked:

The number of homeless people and the juxtaposition of them sleeping in doorways of banks/shops and living amongst obvious wealth. What can we as individuals or as society do to rectify this?

The consumerism – everything seems to be about consuming, whether that’s shopping or eating. I’m not sure if this is worse than the UK, it just seems everywhere I go there seems to be an upsell or cross sell to something else. And don’t get me started on the size of portions; it took a few days to remember that we should order 1 main and split it especially if having an appetizer as well.

The tea – and by that I mean hot tea not iced tea. You know the tea here is bad when Starbucks has the best tasting English Breakfast tea. I’ve found ‘ok’ tea in some small, independent diners. It’s easier to find specialty flavoured teas. The tea that is rampant in the UK is rarely here, and when it is they serve it with cream. I’ve been ‘making’ low fat milk by adding cream and no fat milk together.

What have you liked and disliked about your recent experiences?