Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

San Franciscan life… [Warning! Extremely long post! Warning!]

*Look at the goddamn birds! NO shield!



*…Alright men! The Javelin’s the key! It’s gonna be a tough kill! Prepare the Gustav…

Recognize the lines? I heard this scene 24 hours ago as Tom Cruise was having a fustrating conversation with a National Guard C.O. during the final minutes of War of the Worlds. After that, my cousin and I stayed up until one watching 10,000 B.C., a supposedly “epic” film. 15 hours ago, however, was an entirely different story as my mom, three of my relatives from Virginia, and I, are sitting on a 3-car BART train en route to the internationally famous city of San Francisco. Ahh, San Francisco, just one of those cities that parents always take out-of-state/out-of-country relatives to.

The first order of business was to eat. So off we went to the nearest Dim Sum. And God, it was totally delicious. The architecture! Man!

Its architecture vaguely reminds me of Europe. The brickwork, the pillar supports. The green plants. Looks so clean. And bright. I wouldn’t mind making this a living room.

Oh yeah… the food. Yes, the food was delicious, too.
The way everything was arranged, you’d think you were eating gourmet. This isn’t at all the theme I was expecting from a Dim Sum place. Nevertheless, the dishes were every bit as Asian and its satisfying taste proved it. The most tastefully arranged dish I was especially interested in was the seafood, shown right. How rich and buttery the fish was. And the texture was so smooth and seems to melt in your mouth. The epitome of a mouthgasm. I longed to enjoy the food so, but alas, my effort was in vain. Why? Well, in short, I was literally being force fed. My mother kept ordering plates and plates of food, making my three other relatives and myself just less than slightly annoyed.

After the lunch, our main efforts were directed towards a rendezvous with more relatives that came earlier. But what fate had in store for us, unfortunately, was certainly not our long desired meeting with the rest of the group. However, such a disappointment could not go unpaid, as stated by the governing laws of karma. After the dawning realization that we would not meet with the others, I became obsessed with finding… the black guy.

The black guy, elusive as gazelles, and just as nomadic. But also, with the hunting capaiblities of an Eddie. Do you know who I’m referring to?

Well, also known as “guy with the fake bushes, he’s somewhat become a tourist attraction. He would basically hide behind his bushes and, when the moment is right, spring the trap… and try to scare the CRAP out of you. He draws huge crowds, and works for the money. Homeless, too. Fate, however, didn’t even let us find him. Instead, it got us a much juicier deal. Regardez!



Haha, yes sir! A police foot chase, and its aftermath, succesfully documented by my pearl white Casio camera, along with countless others. So, newly discovered cousin… welcome to San Francisco. I think she enjoyed her first look at a police foot chase. I certainly did. Are those shades standard issue?

After the exciting development, and letting the realization sink in that we probably won’t meet up with everyone else, we decided to go window shopping. To me, however, it just seemed like walking. Walking towards the ends of the Earth. Then making a fat-ass U-turn. Pretty soon, my cousin and I would take any chance we had of just giving our legs a rest.

After hours of window shopping, the plan was to ride on San Francisco’s famous cable cars. Before that, however, was a quick pit stop at Starbucks. Ordering a tall caramel frappuccino and a grande mint mocha chip frappuccino, we took our well deserved break before waiting in a huuuge line that stretched an entire block almost. I was spared from a twentieth of the wait, however, due to an unforeseen bathroom break on my part. But before long, our cable car came and, lo and behold, my first cable car ride (and my cousin’s) begins.

Part 2. (Holy fuck, yeah. A part 2. Damn this post is long.)

 Round and round the cable car ride goes. Where it stops, no one knows. While I was sitting on the cable car, I was on the edge of my seat not just because of the bumpy ride that made my seat vibrate as hell, but the question of “Jeez, where do I get off? I don’t wanna be stuck up here!” And of course, some of the drops looked killer. San Francisco streets are famous for these kinds of drops, but they look even more intimidating on fucking dinky cable cars. Not to mention that these cars are close to a hundred years old!

Anywho, our main goal was to visit Union Square. Heard it’s beautiful during Christmas. Little did I know that we were there to shop at… Macy’s! Hell, I didn’t even know what Union Square even is! Even though I didn’t think I’d like shopping, it was fun either way, in a sleepy kind of way. I vaguely remembered pointing to the 4th floor to my cousin when she was looking for hats and scarves. So little I knew about shopping, I blink twice… and realized that the 4th floor was for delicates. Hahaha, how hung over I was. I didn’t even notice it at the time! Just a sleepy, “Ooops, maybeit’s5thfloor…” Well obviously half asleep the instant I went through the doors, I decided to sit around and play with the camera.

From the tourism guide to San Francisco to my incredibly hung over looks, you could tell that I was having a little too much fun with the camera. Ah well, at least the gals were having fun. By the time shopping was over, it was half past seven and I started asking what was for dinner. Not hungry, but extremely intriqued by the surprise stop at Dim Sum where the food was awesome! Dinner, while not as elaborate and expensive, was, perhaps, even better! Thick and creeaamy New England clam chowder, fresh and warm, in a sour-dough bread bowl, was the perfect remedy to an increasingly deteriorating weather outside. The food court wasn’t at all shabby either. Imagine…

ALL of THIS. Such a formal food court… underneath the Macy’s! Also available was Mexican, Japanese, American, so much more… topped with a Jamba Juice and a Ben and Jerry’s! And it was so warm, so clean. Totally woke me up.

So by this time, it was becoming quite chilly. It was, finally, time to head back to base via BART. This time, due to the food, I was once again, pleasantly drowsy. But no time for that. Battling through the San Franciscan night life, in fifty degree weather, kept me awake. Another hour on a train, topped with another hour in the car, awaited me as we rode down the escalator to the subway. Ah, did I mention another half hour for just waiting? I didn’t mind as much, though.

Such a long day of walking, shopping, sights, smells, tastes, and sensations only a person can enjoy got me already reminiscing about the one day, this day, that made my worries transparent. Time spent with family, a family whom I’ll never meet again for two whole years, whom I still barely know, was such a blast.

Talking on the subway car, watching a jerky Tom Cruise in “War of the Worlds,” in the van, finishing it with a much smoother version at home, and watching 10,000 BC ’til one was how my day and my cousin’s finally ended. And the next day would be the day which marks a return to the mundane, leaving behind a wake of sadness, though cheerful good-byes.

At least I still have friends to enjoy my life with.

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