Sunday, February 20, 2011

That Religious Guy: Smokey Francisco (SF)

..... Last weekend, my friends and I took a trip up to San Francisco to celebrate Claire and Sarinna’s birthdays. Apparently, Sarinna, who was born and raised in California, had never been to SF, preposterous right? It’s like if an Englishman says he’s never been to London, which oddly enough, was the comparison which was given to me by an actual British person. But I digress as usual.
..... So we were basically tourists from the Central Valley exhibiting typical out-of-towner behaviors. We’d walk a couple of steps and take a picture. Oh a building! Take a picture. Oh a bicyclist!! Take a picture. Oh our reflection in a store window! Take a picture!!! It was a day of constant walking as well; we made our way to such staples as Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 3, Musee Mecanique (Gosh I know I don’t have the accent aigus… It’s just a pain to place them!), and Blondie’s Pizza (which should be called Blondie’s Greasy Pizza…).
..... Throughout our journey, however, we were practically engulfed in second hand smoke! For all the relative advancements of San Francisco, that’s one attribute that makes me proud of living in the Port City. I mean I found myself actually saying, “Geeze, I could go for some Stockton air right now.” I made a point to cough hysterically whenever we passed by individuals with death sticks in hand. After all, they can huff and puff all they want, but they don’t have a right to blow MY lungs away.
..... One of the weirdest things I saw in Smokey Francisco (See what I did there? haha), besides the freaky laughing lady game in the Musee Mecanique, was a strange incident illustrating the relative casualness of smoking in the big city: an old man was busily puffing away at a street corner when all of a sudden, a random lady walks up to him and grabs his lighter, lights her cigarette, and walks away. The man didn’t even bat an eyelash. 
..... When I was being my regular Jeremy self and complaining to the gang about all the smoke, I caught the attention of two SF women, who promptly rolled their eyes at me. Hmm, I guess smoking is such a sacred institution over there that any jeering can get you branded as a health heretic.
..... Stockton may be the Most Miserable City in the U.S. according to Forbesmagazine, but at least a breath of our air won’t kill you. Just stay away from Wilson Way though (That’s some local humor for you!). The moral of the story? Wear a gas mask when you go to SF. And make sure to see the silver lining in wherever you live, even if it’s Stockton, CA.
- Jeremy Dela Cruz

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