|Photo: Salvatore Vuono|
Greetings from foggy San Francisco!
So I’m just going to do a list form today. Thoughts and impressions after being in San Francisco for 11 days, in no particular order:
1. Rage. I take two MUNI buses, public buses to get to work. Because I’ve had to focus so hard on making sure that I know where I’m going, I couldn’t tune out the emotional energies on the bus. Rage is splattered all over the bus. Not from me, but from others. People yell. People push. People seethe. I feel that the MUNI buses that I take are a microcosm of what’s going on in the outside world in the US. Not everyone is being taken care of. Not everyone is getting back on their economic feet. People are falling through the gaps with a loud thud. And the MUNI bus system is woefully underfunded. I’d like to make every politician that makes funding decisions about the MUNI system to ride the buses back and forth for a few days.
2. Product Choices. I walk into a supermarket or a pharmacy like Walgreens, and I’m overwhelmed by the number of products. It feels like there a billion types of things from cheese to black tights. This always happens when I come to the US, but it hits me even harder now, because I’m here on a permanent basis. Honestly? I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to shake the feeling that it is all just too much.
3. Mexico. In the conversations that I’ve had with people about Mexico, it is fascinating how the country is often seen as the inappropriate drunk uncle at the Christmas dinner table. However, there’s usually no critical analysis about who makes the invitations and serves the drinks, y’all dig?
4. Weather and Walking. I appreciate the fact that I can get where I need to go on my own two legs, like I did in Mexico. If I’d landed in a city where everything is done by car, I’d be one unhappy puppy right now. And while the weather isn’t as warm as where I live in Mexico, it ain’t snowing. ‘Nuff said! lol However, the whole San Francisco is hilly thing? Totally no joke!
5. Race and Class. Every city that I’ve ever lived in plays these two issues out out in it’s own twisted, sometimes well-intentioned, profoundly-missing-the-mark kind of way. San Francisco is no exception.
6. Long Island and Being A New Yorker. One of my roomies and I go way back. She says Gino’s Pizzeria, and I know exactly what she’s talking about. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked with a fellow Willie Parker about the old hood, the old haunts, our old schools. It’s been very healing on a lot of different levels. It’s as if she and I click through an old-school version of Google Maps. But the application is in our memories!
Also, San Francisco isn’t New York. Sounds obvious, but this is my first time living on the West Coast. There’s a whole cultural competency that I need to gain. And it starts with not using the f-bomb unless I’m around fellow East Coasters! lol. My roommates can roll with my New Yorky ham-fisted verbal subtleties. And that’s a damn good thing!:)
7. Doggie. I’m also living with a big, beautiful dog. As someone who has anywhere from 4-5 cats, this has been quite the shift! However, we are doing well. I’m learning a lot about myself, and I’m bribing him with bones:)
8. My Sweet Husband. I get sucker-punched. The smallest thing will set me off. An innocent coffee sample table at Whole Foods. The morning news on Univision cheerfully reporting the fact that El Chicharito scored the winning goal for Manchester United. If R is able to enter the US this year, I think that California would be a great place for him as a sommelier. As a sommelier, you’re not just a certified wine expert. You also get certified in coffees, cheeses, teas, among other things. California would be purrrrrfect for his career.
I’m still very much in shock about the move, and I think that is protecting me right now. But I also know not to open certain emotional drawers. I don’t spend time in the cat supplies section on the supermarket. I miss my kitties. I won’t display a picture of R and I on my desk at work. It hurts too much.
R and I have our sweet nothings that we say to each other.
A new one that has sprung up is a simple as this: See you soon.
We always say it in English, and we always say it at the end of every conversation.
It’s a mantra for me now that I have tattooed on my heart: See you soon.