Vacation Mode

I went to Tahoe for just four days but I came back to a whole new city: MUNI seemed to run almost on time; the sun shined brightly day after day (in July!?!); and on my walk into work, I pass Republican-looking tourists.

The dream-version of SF continues when I go to Civic Center on Friday and office workers seem to outnumber the homeless on the grass. There’s some live music at lunchtime, but only one crazy person is playing air-guitar while holding a lit cigarette. Frank Chu sits nearby, but he’s put his 12 galaxies sign down on the ground and he talks on his cell phone like a normal person. This often-grimy part of the City looks surprisingly clean and almost wholesome.

I’m different, too. I feel an odd sense of satisfaction in these days after Tahoe. After Tahoe’s crisp mountain air, SF feels almost humid and I relish the sharp wind that hits me when I stop off the J Church. I notice the smell of Chinese food and eucalyptus on Church Street on my walk home.

Instead of feeling angry about our lack of warm summer nights in SF, I’m comforted when the fog rolls in at night. It makes me feel cozy, like I’m being tucked in to bed. Maybe I’m becoming a real San Franciscan after all.

I definitely feel like a local at the Saturday farmers market when I run into friends who live down the street at Primavera and then stop to chat with someone from third grade at Marin Sun Farms. On the MUNI ride home from the market, I trade smiles with another rider when the driver has a fit (“This isn’t a taxi cab!”).

Instead of putting away the corn, melons, basil, tomatoes and two kinds of cucumbers that I picked up at the market, I sit on the sunny front steps and read.  I wonder how I can keep this feeling going, this sense of vacation in the City and vacation in my own daily life.


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