Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Welcome To San Francisco!

I left the house without telling Brian, my new airbnb guest that I was going to be out of town and how long for. He had my number, he could reach me on my cell or via email on airbnb.

It was 03:00, I had just arrived in a city I had never been to in my life before. I didn't know anyone there. It was dark and cold. It was freezing! There was a bunch of people who got off at the station with me. I say station but it was more of on the sidewalk, next to the station because the station was closed. They were going to open hours later. I called my sister and told her where I was. She couldn't believe it! You know me, I never tell a soul what I'm planning until it comes to fruition. It was nice to surprise my sister like that. We talked for more than an hour on the phone about all kinds of stuff. It was nice. It seemed like he was right there with me. It may have been our first Facebook call, actually. It was nice and clear. Thanks Mark Zuckerberg.

The people who had got off the bus with me, took the bus while I was in the middle of a conversation with my sister. I was curious to know where they were going because they had told me they needed to take the train when the station was open. Now where are yall going? Not too long thereafter, they all got off the same bus. They told me that they went around town with the bus, full circle until it came back to the first stop. I thought that was a good idea, but what was going to be a better idea for me, was going to be to go to the hostel and see if someone would let me check in early. Surely, people have landed earlier than their check in time from whichever part of the world they would've come from? I took a chance and called the hostel. Someone picked up, thank goodness! They told me I could always sit in their waiting area until my bed is ready. I truly appreciated that. I hopped on the bus and made my way to Amsterdam Hostel, don't ask! (about the name). I got off the bus, dragged my suitcase up the hill to the hostel, took the stairs and checked myself in!

There was a friendly but quiet guy at reception, who gave me the key to the storage room for my luggage and let me use the shower if need be. That was awesome! Talk about customer service! Some people will make you pay extra for all that before your check in time! I think! I gladly took him up on his offer. It was cold outside, needed to take that shower to thaw out (defrost). I took my time in there too, when I found out that that wasn't the only bathroom. After my shower, I layered up and headed out. I wasn't going to sit in no waiting area and watch time pass me by. I'm on vacation goddamnit! Let's go! I walked around the blocks next to the hostel, took a few pictures, then headed to the bus stop. I met a nice lady at the bus stop and told her I wanted to go to the beach. I hadn't been to the beach since before Las Vegas. I definitely hadn't been to the beach in 2015 yet. It was time! The lady didn't seem quite certain which way to go. There are so many means of transportation in San Fran too, buses, trains, trams, this, that, the other. It's so beautiful out there, if you haven't been and can make it, do yourself the favor! You won't regret it! It somehow reminds me of Cape Town in a way. Chris, the crazy guy from South Africa, had mentioned that a long time ago as well. If you're been to Cape Town and loved it, which, to know Cape Town is to love it, you will love San Francisco.

I got off randomly from the first bus and waited for another one. I was making my way to Fisherman's wharf. I had a list of places I wanted to see while in San Fran. I don't care about eating here and eating there, if you're my Facebook friend (Babalwa Brook) or follow me on Instagram (thelovelybrook), you may not believe that, what will all the exotic food pictures I post; but I am more interested in sightseeing. I want to see all there is to see. I will try a meal or two from that place but most of all, I need to be to as many locations as possible. That's my thing. Next time I talk to someone about a certain area, I want to know that area. If that makes sense. What about you?

I finally made my way to Fisherman's Wharf. By then the sun was coming out. It was still very early, remember? I walked up and down the street malls on the way to the Wharf. There were many very touristy stores with souvenirs, t-shirts with very funny sayings. It was a good time! People ride bicycles a lot in San Francisco! I mean, coming from LA, that shouldn't surprise me,but San Fran takes things to the next level. Everyone has good legs over there. It must be all that cycling! I felt envious. I really need to learn to ride a bicycle, and to swim, and to roller skate, and and and. New year's resolutions anyone?

I finally made it to Fisherman's wharf! I was ready to eat by then. There were lines and lines of people waiting to be served by the stalls. I decided to go into the museum first and walk along the wharf, take pictures and take it all in! I could see Alcatraz island which hosts the notorious Alcatraz Prison from the wharf. When you come from where I come from, Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa, and you're in such close proximity to such places, it blows you away. You really have to take a moment and catch your breath because you grow up not thinking it will every happen. You didn't even wish for it because it's not in your realm of possibility until you wake up one day and it's 3am and you're in San Francisco. It's quite something, I tell ya! I don't ever want to get used to it. To take the opportunities that have come my way for granted.

After goofing around, taking pictures of things, selfies and having friendly strangers take pictures of me, or posing for a picture for a stranger to take with his camera, (that did happen), I called one of my sisters. I had told her about the prophet, I forgot all about it. She didn't! she is very health conscious, she goes to the gym 9 days a week, that sort of thing! I had to tell her about all the cycling I was seeing around me. That excited her, but really, she wanted to hear about the men! If I thought I was going to meet someone there according to the Prophet. By the way, the prophet didn't even say I was going to meet someone there, he said to consider living there. I think, I can't even remember. When I told my sister, that I have never seen so many tall men with long her and nice bodies in my life in one place, she told me that as soon as I met my man, in San Fran, she was going to take the next flight out. She apologised for not coming to see me in LA, lol, she already knew that that was going to happen. She just wanted to go straight to SFB, get her man and start their happily ever after. I told her they could come see me together afterwards lol. It was fun!

After Firsherman's wharf, I was still walking around, I think I was on my way to little Italy. I got stopped by a lady who worked in a massage type place. She wanted to demonstrate their products to me. I got on the water massage bed, we did that. It was fun, ten minutes of fun, then we did oxygen stuff, head massage and all kinds of things. I wanted everything but I wasn't willing to pay hundreds to thousands for them. They told me they didn't have a website, I had to buy from them, there and then. Uhm, no! I just got here, I'm on vacation, give me a break. I dropped a couple of dollars in their tip jar and headed on my merry way.

I got to pose with the wax statue of Beyonce at Madame Tussauds. That was fun!

By the time the afternoon hit, I was crashing! My energy levels were going down, you could tell I had been up all day.

I saw my favorite store while wandering about and made a pit stop.I got me a pair of animal print Converse Chuck Taylors, ankle boots. I love me some boots! I have one other pair of Chucks, they are also boots with tinsel, glittering every so slightly. I am not a sneaker type of person, but I will get myself a pair or two unique ones, for fun. Why not? I also got a pair of Knew High Doctor Martens. That was a great find!  I had always wanted a pair. This one had a double cherry on top! It was those thick soled ones, that will last you forever. Granted, I have had them for six months and have yet to wear them...bottom line is, I wanted them and now I have them.

I went back to the hostel early, to check in and get settled. Not before, having lunch by the wharf stalls. I had Clam chowder in a bread bowl. That was a lot of deliciousness in a lot of bread! Everyone was chatting and having fun in lines. Fun times! One big happy family! I sat on the benches out there while eating and fed some of my bread to the pigeons. There are so many of them and they demand that you feed them. Like, if you don't hold on to your food tightly, they will grab it off your hand. Be warned!
That lunch lasted me all day, it was very filling.

I met a nice Chinese lady in our room, she lives in Arizona. Beautiful as can be, with personality to boot!  My kind of people! The personality part! As we were chatting, two girls came in, one of them,,, I thought was a boy, but no she wasn't. They were only the nicest two girls who could walk into that room! Both from Korea, but one lives in Japan. We bonded over Traveling, as people in hostels always do, shopping, because everyone wanted my Doc Martens, but it was the only pair they had in the store, and San Francisco.