Expressive. If I had to pick one word to describe San Francisco- it’s this.
Cab drivers, street artists, cops, homeless. The sidewalks, the cafes, the paper bins. Everywhere you look, someone has something to say… which could be said of anywhere, but in San Francisco it’s different. Provocative messages, political treatises, thoughts of hope, musings on the state of social well-being, exclamations on the lack thereof. San Francisco is chatty, articulate, thoughtful, pointed, political, pedantic, emotional, loving.
Homesickness set in hard this week. All of the art, music, food, and people left me nearly weeping down the sidewalks of Hayes Valley. The lacey Victorians and tree-lined neighborhoods. The microcosm quirk in the Haight Street shops so carefully tended too, but in that touseled, knocked over, hey-it’s-California kind of way. In Tokyo privacy reigns supreme, with its covered books and taped-up shopping bags. In San Francisco, the clerk eyes your handbag while handing you your new panties and receipt. “You don’t need a bag do you?”
No. No I don’t.
It all made my body ache with homeward longing. I miss my home. My friends. My American life. In just a few days I felt my roots re-growing underneath me, and just when I was getting comfortable, it was time to go. It hurt to rip them out.
But, if there’s one word not to describe me, it’s provincial. I’ve wandered all over this planet, for years, and probably won’t stop anytime soon. Today I’m so thrilled to be back in my adopted country, and going home reminds me again of just how good I have it, to be from such a truly magical city, and to be able to travel, live and work in another amazing place, to be able to see who’s out there and how things are done differently, thought of differently, lived differently.
San Francisco will always be my first home, and likely, if I’m honest, my last. And Tokyo is the best second home I could ever ask for. The challenge and the uncertainty of being in this frenetic wonderland makes my blood tingle. I love wondering what’s going to happen next.