Friday, May 12, 2006

M - It's exactly as I feared!

So far the coffe has been terrible!

To be fair I haven't actually been to a proper cafe yet, we are on a tight budget after all...

San Francisco is working out pretty nice so far. We are staying with Jeff Fink in a student flat which is every bit just like a student flat in NZ, creakey floorboards and all. Jeff's Mom and Josh's mum are cousins. Jeff and his flatmates Pete and James are really great, giving us a place to stay and heaps of advice and help.

There is great public transport here, the BART train which runs from the airport right across the Bay area, and buses all around the central city called MUNI (pronounced Moonie). Muni costs $1.50 pp and you get a transfer for a second ride within 90mins. We quickly discovered thought that the drivers don't check the transfers, so you pay one fare in the morning and then use them to get onto buses for the rest of the day.

Visitors to NZ often comment on the clean clear air, and when I was in Europe I could see why, and now I see it again. San Fran doesn't seem particularly polluted, but the view is definitly limited by the clag hanging in the air.

We are on the hunt for our motorbikes, and looked at two today. There are heaps all over the city, so I am optimistic about finding something. J and I discussed how we were both nervous about test riding bikes without first being used to being on the other side of the road, but as it happened the oppotunity came out at Ocean Beach where it is pretty quiet traffic wise, and not much in the way of intersections. So Josh was able to have a cruise up and down on practise a bit in relative safety.

We are really close to the Haight-Ashbury part of town where the whole 69 summer of love thing went on. To me it is just like Cuba St, so I feel quite at home there. Also close is the Golden Gate park. It is really cool, often overgrown and wild. It makes a nice change from completely manacured sculpted gardens often found in major cities. We have yet to get to see the Bay Bridge, but I saw the the towers today from the bus.

I guess I will get used to it, but I find the poor people begging on the streets a little bit hard to deal with. The locals just ignore them, as I suppose we do at home, but there are so many of them, and unlike in Wellington, these people are activly begging, I presume for their survival. They are amazingly cheerful however, the american service ethic even counts for the Bums, as you look the other way or shake your head they call out "Have a nice day!"


Christine said...

Hi Guys

We stayed at the green tortise hostel in SF and there was a coffee shop opposite a bookshop round the corner which did great coffee, helped that it was little Italy I guess.

The SFMOMO is definately worth a visit too

Caroline said...

Hi, Thankfully something interesting to start the week with... Can't help you with coffee spots, when J and I were in SF we didn't drink coffee (was good for the budget). Had the same thoughts on the beggars tho...
ps: E&K have allowed me to tell now (and its a Boy - first knitting project for them complete, tx for the lend of your needles...)