This morning in bed, I thought a lot about being brave. I struggle with bravery.
Questions in my head: will I be brave enough to explore San Francisco, to let go of the fear, to truly let myself experience this place? Will I be brave enough to meet people? Will I be brave enough to eat breakfast at the hostel?
The point of this trip, too, is to enjoy it and not put too much pressure on myself. I need to find balance. Between fear and strength. So this morning is cream cheese bagel and latte at Starbucks. American enough, I guess. I tried to take Ellis, but I’m not brave enough yet for Ellis in the early morning.
Tenderloin is so weird. So close to these big hotels and gigantic stores and filthy rich temples of consumerism, and there are homeless people of every age, race and gender. Sleeping, lurking, living. Scattered between upscale hipster shops and Vietnamese hairdressers. That’s a lot of blunt misery, a lot of America showing its true colors and hurling them right in your face. This neighborhood scares me, and at the same time, I feel like it is really important for me to be here, to see this.
A great thing about this place: nobody is from here. We are all imported pieces of a giant, mismatched puzzle that makes no sense. You can walk around for blocks and not hear a word of nasal, drawn out Californian English. A third of the population is Asian here. I can get lost in Little Saigon and feel right at home. Except I gotta remember to tip.