Sunday, 13 February 2011

strangers on the streets

I don't know in which part of San Francisco Mom and my brother stayed when they went for a visit in 2004. Mom said that the city was beautiful.

A lot of things could've happened in 6 years. Or Mom and my brother simply stayed in a better part of San Francisco. Either way, I don't think San Francisco is as beautiful as everyone has said. True, there's the glamorous Union Square and there's an area called the Geary Boulevard that's just so tranquil and serene and gorgeous.

And then there's Tenderloin and Mission with scattered used condoms and dog (I hope) poo on the pavement, the homeless and the crazy, and various other gritty stuff. Whenever I walk in the Mission district, I always encounter crazy people shouting about. When I was walking back to the 16th / Mission BART station, I saw two policemen searching an alleged drug dealer. One time, I saw a man kneeling and handcuffed in front of an adult store.

However, there are also homeless people in the most beautiful and upscale areas in San Francisco, such as the Fisherman's Wharf. Sitting in a cheap, Chinese-run "authentic Italian pizza" joint generically called "Pizza Zone" offers me a great view of the world. I'll be doing my homework while munching on my USD 5 slice of vegetarian pizza, looking out at birds (robins, pigeons, seagulls) and homeless people rummaging the dumpster across the road.

Looking (and videotaping) homeless people is evidently a lot different than interacting with them. One time as I was walking down Fisherman's Wharf, I walked pass a woman who suddenly stopped and called me. She said, "You! Your aura tells me that you've been broken-hearted twice, haven't you? Come here. Let me give you a reading."

Obviously, I was tempted. But I got a hold of myself and told her, "No... I was broken-hearted three times," which is obviously not true... Or half true. Or two-third true. I mean, I don't even have enough money to pay her to read me. And how on earth did she pick that number?

And then, as I was waiting for the bus on Van Ness Street this afternoon, a tall, dark stranger approached me. No, it's not as romantic as you think. In fact, it's rather disgusting. He was noisome and cross-eyed. He began with a little talk about what I was reading (I was reading the Word Smart book) and then he said my zipper was undone (my damn zipper of this particular pair of jeans always becomes halfway done though I've pulled it all the way up) and he asked my name (WHICH I NAIVELY GAVE AWAY - note to self: NEVER USE REAL NAME). And what started as quite an innocent conversation turned out to be weird: he asked for money. Luckily my bus came and I boarded it as fast as my dainty feet could carry me.

Now I'm becoming paranoid because this is where I usually wait for my bus to go to school every morning. Oh, well... I can always walk to school. OR NOT.

God, I'm such a weird-people magnet.

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