hola! i flew in from san francisco tuesday, holding on to the armrests for dear life and trying to think happy thoughts. i do not know why, but since i have developed a fear of flying lately, i have also invented a whole little routine, which i do every time to ensure a safe flight. i cross myself three times (i have good luck with crosses even though i am not Christian) as the plane starts liftoff, and i pray for a safe passage if there is the slightest airbump. i read riveting and gripping books during the flight, and take benadryl, hopping for a quick knockoff. don’t knwo if it works, but i am still alive and writing this. (so go ahead, try it if you need too, and tell me how it went)
anyway, i just wanted to say that i did indeed leave my heart in San Francisco. I almost thought of moving there too. this city is truly beautiful, even when covered by the fog in the morning, or hit by the wind at night. there are some steep hilly street, and i saw one guy riding his motorcycle downhill in the middle of all the tourists. what a showoff!
their chinatown is great, bigger and better than the New York one, but their union square is very small. their prices are higher, but our rents are higher too. they were very polite, even if some had an attitude, (but next to my bronx ‘tude they did not stand a chance). the men paid more attention, at least to me, and were more forgiving of my earthmother figure. maybe the seals on pier 39 had something to do with it. very loud and very smelly creatures, but strangely comforting with their big bodies and wise eyes.
the translator’s conference in itself was very big and very distressing. i was the only albanian around (1500 people!), although i did get to see a man in a qeleshe halloween night. i ran to him full of hope, only to find out that the qeleshe was given to him by a friend, and it was the most exotic item he owned, so he decided it would be a good halloween costume! my outraged face must have scared him, because he took it off there and then.
i would have been terribly lonely, but i was adopted by these 15 wonderful spanish speaking interpreters, which took me everywhere they went and taught me the meaning of “pendeja”. it seems that it does not mean gay as i once thought but merely “bitch” or bastard. and it is different for venezuelans and for puertoricans. good to know.
they gabbed away in spanish most of the time, and i was happy because i could almost follow what they said. pretty soon i’ll be able to curse in spanish too. they were also very shrewd shoppers, bartering with the old chinese jewelry ladies and pushing jade bracalets back and forth until a satisfactory price was reached and plastic was swiped. they talked the cable car conductor in charging us only once, and made a celebration out of his decision, making him to fully extend to the whole 5 feet of his height. he was the sultan of the car (men are so easy!)
i bought the most heavenly wine made out of chocolate and blackberries, celestial chocolate and massage oil that smells like peppermint. oh it was a fiesta in the hotel room. i had a king size bed all to myself, and i could peek at the golden gate bridge in the afternoon. and i had my laptop with me and as many credit cards as my wallet would hold. (i’ll have the heart attack at the end of the month, thank you very much)
of course, the reality hit as soon as i got back, with my oldest patient dying, and my job in shambles. can’t quit right now, though i gotta pay the san fran bills. the city by the bay, made my money go away.
but yes, put San Francisco in your list and enjoy.