Recently in San Francisco Category

Next Time

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I was only five weeks in San Francisco. This was a very short time and passed over very fast. So, there are a lot of things which I will do next time, if I come back. First, in San Francisco, I still must visit the Fire Department Museum and near SF Sausalito. Lake Tahoe and the Cameron Airpark I missed too. And to PB I must come back too. For a Segway drive I should find time too.

Just going to school and speaking most of the time only with people who speaks as bad english as myself makes not so much sense. Fortunately, in my class was a girl from the Ukrain, who was an english teacher at home and a girl who already lived in San Francisco for a half year and went here to the college for a semester. So I had to good schoolmates, who corrected me sometimes and explained me my repeating mistakes. But, this is not normal, as I saw in the other classes. Especially it is bad if you have 50% germans in the school. I hat it, that it happens thousand times in San Francisco that I only must say one sentence and than the people already know that I'm from Germany. So, it is not very helpful if you hear the whole day people with much stronger german accent than mine. Yes, I know, that is hard to imagine, but we had some guys in the school who spoke with a so hard german accent english, that even I heard the accent.

A good plan for the next time is maybe to take one or two months english classes and then do two or three months an internship. My school works with some companies together, to make this possible. And last but not least, I need next time, more time to see California.



The Return

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Terminal 5 is still a funny thing. Now they show in the airplane tutorial videos about, "how to handle Terminal 5". Unfortunately it only describes things like "If you want to go to Gate A, follow the Gate A signs. If you want to go to Terminal 4, follow the Terminal 4 signs". The really important things, like, if you come with a British Airways flight and you will leave with a British Airways flight, than you must get in the line where a big sign with "only for passengers which don't arrived with British Airways" is - I must figure out alone.
They still have the problem here that there is no electricity in the sockets at public places. I saw a guy disconnecting a departure/arrival display to get electricity for his laptop. I'm sitting at this moment in a Starbucks, because there is a working socket and drink a bad and maybe overprized hot chocolate. Is 3,50 pound a lot? I don't know. I'm still in the dollar feeling and there is 3,50 okay.
Can anyone explain me, why Great Britian is not in the European Monetary Union? It bothers me that it is so complicated to buy here something. I don't know the exchange rate from british pound to real money, but I feel bad, if I give 20$ for a sandwhich and they give me 3,70 pound back. It feels like I paid 16,30$ for a sandwhich. What is a lot, especially, if you are accustomed to american prices. Normally I've never paid more than 5$ for a whole lunch.
But I don't want to complain the whole time, than here is not everything bad. In some things Great Britain is very up-to-date. In the USA I didn't found an automatic condom vendor in the restrooms, so it makes totally sense, that they have so much tenage pregnancies. But here, you just go to the airport restroom and you find an automatic vendor which sells, vibrating cock rings, condoms, headache tablets and mint drops for a fresh breath. I don't know why I should need all this stuff on the airport, but if I want to join the skyclub (I hope the club is really called skyclub and you know what I mean) then I can buy here in the men restroom really everything what I need to join the club. I can prepare my breathe to ask my seat neighbour if she is already a skyclub member. If she says no, but she hasn't interest because of her headache, than I can offer her a headache tablet. If we join in the restroom of the airplane, we can use the condoms to protect us and the vibrating cock ring to increase our pleasure. If we were in the Staates, where everywhere is a sign, that something is forbidden or a warning, than would be on the automatic vendor a sign: "only for ground use".
The other very modern thing here is the multi-faith-room. That is what I call multi-cultural. I was attempt to sleep in the multi-faith-room, because it was quite and empty, but I was not shure if someone will believe me, that it is necessary in my religion to sleep while I pray. Unfortunately I didn't check the sockets in the multi-faith-room.


The Curse

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There must be a curse about California or about me. Everytime, if I leave San Francisco the weather is bad. I don't want to complain about the weather, but how is it possible that it rains a whole day in the summer in California? I heard there is a 0.3% chance of rain in the summer in California.
In my last week I want to do a little road trip through California. I rented in the internet at the Enterprise website the smallest and cheapest car - two doors, no radio. But unfortunately they have only bigger cars as I arrived to pick my car up, so I could choose beetween five cars with four doors and with radio. The biggest one was a really huge black pick up truck - very cool. It would be cool to take this one, but we decided to take a car which needs not so much gasoline. Because it is here actually a big topic that the gasoline is so unbelievable expensive. They pay approximately 0,5 Euro per liter - so, the excitement in the american media is very funny for me. So I chose a very cool Chevy which lokes like a copy of the Chrysler PT Cruiser - naturally not so cool.
On the first weekend I drove with two girls from my school to the Yosemite national park. I think normally is it pretty beautiful there, but it rained the whole day and it was very cold. So, the grey sky fucked our photos up and the cold and the rain fucked us up. So we "enjoyed" our day in Yosemite freezing and wet all over. Fortunately our motel had a non-heated pool, which we didn't enjoy too. And as we left Yosemite the weather was again typical California - very sunny.
So, I brought back the girls to San Francisco and picked up my travel companion for the rest of the week. First we drove only to Monterey, because it was already late. At the next day we drove to Los Angeles and then to Long Beach for the night. Long Beach is very nice and we enjoyed it very much. At the next day we drove back to downtown Los Angeles, to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Everything was okay, but nothing special. Especially the Walk of Fame was disappointing. I thought the Walk of Fame is a nice and beautiful street, like you know it from the famous streets of other cities, but to be honest, it was ugly. So, we left L.A. in the afternoon to drove to PB (Pacific Beach, San Diego). In PB we stayed two nights and it was just very cool. It is a nice beach, with a nice way along the beach - very good for inline skating - and a lot of nice bars for the night. It is really like in Baywatch in PB, not without reason we heard in North California, that the most beautiful girls in the world are in South California.
After some warnings about killing and kidnapping we decided not to go to Tijuna, and enjoyed instead a second night in the bars of PB.
The way back was just millions of hours in the car. The only special thing was, that I fortunately didn't get a tattoo in Modesto. We met this guy in a bar who makes tattoos and visited with him some other bars. On the way we visited also his tatoo shop and I though it would be a great idea to have a smiley tattoo on the shoulder. He said it is not a big thing, he can make a little smiley immediately. Fortunately I decided, that if the idea is so great as I thought in this moment, than it will be tommorow, if I'm sober, still brilliant. So we left the shop without any tattoos.
Back in San Francisco, I enjoyed my last two days in my loved San Francisco, among other things with the visit of the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and than I left San Francisco a bit sad.


Third Inventory

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The last two weeks were very nice. I tried to see all the stuff which I want to see in San Francisco before I leave. I think I did my job pretty well. I visited the Cable Car Museum, the Coin Tower, the Post Card Row, Twin Peaks, Lombard St, North Beach, Mission District and Alcatraz. In a nutshell I did everyday something touristic and for this reason I had not enough time for my regularly inline skating in Golden Gate Park and my cinema visits. To compensate my lack of sport I went to Bay to Breakers very early on sunday morning. Bay to Breakers is a strange event. I would describe it as a mixture of Love Parade, marathon and carnival. Actually it is a race which crosses San Francisco from the east (bay) to the west (breakers). A lot of people take it serious and start at 8 a.m. or so with little numbers on their bodys like a marathon. But, even more take it not serious and just walk the distance in funny costumes or naked, drinking and joking with friends. So, we were an international group focussed around some mexican americans, pushing a huge barrel of beer in front of us, because it is very important that you don't dry up in a so long race in sunny California. Useless to say that we don't run the race, but we alternate the person who must push the cake (barrel of bear), so we have more than enough exercises at this day. The first half of the race was very funny. The weather was good, we saw so many funny costumes, drink some beer and had a lot of fun. Unfortunately the second half was not so funny. We lost the half of our group, most of the people were much too drunken and the weather was getting colder and colder. But, in general it was a great "must see" and funny day.
My last two weeks in school were okay. I think I learned some stuff. And in my exit test I had sensational 3% more than in my placement test four weeks before. What a big progress in only four weeks. But I don't believe in multiple choice tests, so, I don't care.


3 For All

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Last Friday I saw great improvisation theater. For me tt was the third time in an improv theater in San Francisco and the show was just unbelievable good. In the first half the three actors did "normal" improv theater and it was already really good. A lot of great stories, only a few bad scenes and not so much jokes, but still funny. But in the second half they improvised a complete, so far didn't shot, movie. The audience made three proposals for titles and voted then for the titles and after this they improvised the complete movie.

I already saw Loose Moose and I heard that they are the best improv group. Now I heard that 3 For All is the best. I don't agree completely, because it is difficult to compare them. Loose Moose does more funny improv and 3 for all does more story improv. But I think at least that 3 For All is so good as Loose Mose. The improv group was so good that I visited the show at saturday again although I had already plans for the evening and it was amazing again.


Second Inventory

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I've now been here for two weeks and I decided to review my stay every weekend, so I will do this now again.

The second week was not so good. The girl from Austria left us and with her our group split up. It seems like she was the middle of our group and kept us together. The new guys who joined our class last Tuesday are not really interested in social contacts. Maybe not in general, but not with me. So, sometimes I feel alone. Because of this I've been going inline skating and to the movies a lot and sometimes I reviewed the irregular verbs. It's unbelievable, but I really wrote nearly 200 irregular verbs on little cards and practiced them at home and on the bus. Just the attempt to pratice them in the Golden Gate Park ended up with me just lying in the sun. Maybe someone will remember that I wrote in my last review that this was exactly what I wanted, but I think I don't like this extrem either.

School this week was bad too. We only got new German students, so we are now nearly 50% Germans in this school. The whole week some teachers were absent, so they combined classes and I had classes with about 20 people and only an emergency program. Try to imagine how much you can speak in a 120 minutes conversation class with 20 people. I think the teacher will speak half of the time and if you split the rest of the time every pupil can speak maybe three minutes. This doesn't really help you improve your conversation skills.

Little Things

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There are many little moments here which are very memorable. I know that I wrote before that I hate that there are so many musicans on the streets. But the problem is not the number of musicians, the problem is the poverty.

One day as I came from the movies there was this great band that played on the pavement. They played really good music and there was a large audience, so that some must stand on the street. A lot of people from the audience gave money, mainly notes. Me too. I gave 20 bucks and took one of their CDs. Unfortunately my laptop has no CD drive so I can't listen to the CD here. But this was a very cool experience just to stay after the movies on the sidewalk and enjoy this "free" concert.

On another day there was a jazz concert in Union Square as the cable car passed the place the driver rang the bell in concert with the music. Very cool.

Kaboom

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On Saturday I went to the Kaboom festival organized by the local radio station Kfog. And in short words it was amazing, really amazing and I don't mean the American use of the word amazing, I really mean the German amazing.

First there were some concerts of bands which I'd never heard before. Unfortunately the first band was the best and the last one was a little bit too boring. But this was fortunate, because it was so cold so we walked around as the band played. As the band ended and the fireworks started we were standing in a place directly at the water with a perfect view of the fireworks and this was just great, like I already described above. It was the best fireworks show I've ever seen. Maybe it's just because I haven't seen very many professional fireworks in my life, but I really enjoyed it.

The tiny video maybe gives you a little impression, but it's only a short moment of the fireworks, the colors are not great, it's very tiny, you can't see how huge it really was and you can't feel the bass, but maybe you will get a little impression.


Beside this we experimented a lot with food. We tried Fried Twinkies, Corn Dogs and burnt meat on a stick. Very funny, a little bit like an American version of the "GrĂ¼ne Woche" in Berlin.

What I really like...

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...is that the Americans start chats with unknown people. I think this form of open mindedness is something we really can learn from this culture. They just wait for the bus and you see that someone asks someone else when the bus comes and after this they start to speak the whole time in the bus as if they were old friends and just met accidentily at the bus station.

One day I was inline skating in Golden Gate Park and there was this good place with great pavement at 6th Street. There was a guy who I have seen there often and after some minutes I chatted with him about the differences between the skates nights in Europe and here. He gave me some tips for good places for inline skating and in general it was a very nice chat. I really enjoyed it.

On the same day in the evening I went to a theater. There was me and another guy waiting alone in the foyer and some minutes later we had a great chat about the improv theater scene in San Francisco.

It is strange, because you can do things alone here, but normally you are not alone for a long time.

Okay, exceptions confirm the rules, because I've been sitting here for about an hour and writing these words and drinking my beer alone and I haven't met new friends. But maybe it is just because I'm sitting behind my laptop which builds a kind of wall. I think if I were sitting at the bar I would now be having an interesting discussion about whatever.

What I really hate...

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...in San Francisco is that there is a big gap between rich and poor people. There are so many homeless people here, it is unbelievable. Just go down Powell Street and really every ten meters is a guy who just begs for money or plays an instrument to get money. But, what should I do? It is just not possible for me to help them. If I give everyone a buck I will lose about 10 to 20 bucks everytime I go out, so it will be maybe 50 bucks a day. If I cross the Tenderloin I can easily double this amount. But I think it will not help these people if I give them a buck!

Only some blocks away, the financial district begins and there are so many people who look like they earn some money. And these two groups live together in the same city, but in two different worlds. Why is it not possible for the American society to take care of the homeless?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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