Two memories of San Francisco

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.
Inclination
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?

The reason why I was so exhausted: even though I did not have a travel blog back then, I couldn't leave without my own crappy picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The reason why I was so exhausted: even though I did not have a travel blog back then, I couldn’t leave without my own crappy picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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.

Sometimes, it pays out to look beyond the most popular. I don't like my pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge half as much as my take on the Bay Bridge.

Sometimes, it pays out to look beyond the most popular. I don’t like my pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge half as much as my take on the Bay Bridge.

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”.

8 thoughts on “Two memories of San Francisco

  1. Keisha || The Girl Next Door is Black

    I live in SF and I like how you captured different elements of the city. I’ve seen more than a few acts of kindness on the bus. Most regular bus riders carry a bus pass, so cash isn’t an issue. Though, the one time I forgot my pass, I did pay 50% more for the fare because I didn’t have exact change. Your story resonated! Great pics (even the “crappy” one)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sabina

    I love what you wrote about anticipating the questions. So true and so relatable. I love all three of these photos, but the first one is actually my favorite–it’s a more subtle, more representative version of SF.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. perelincolors

      I tend to think that all of these are pretty bold pictures – but, yes, the first is a little more subtle. I am always half-scared of ordering food in the US; I am not good in making choices when it comes to food and I haven’t grown up to appreciate the American standards of service.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Teresa Coppens

    The Bay Bridge was my favorite as well. The golden light makes it appear to glow. Visiting California is on my bucket list. I’d love to see the steep roads and ride the trolleys of San Francisco!

    Like

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