So my friends have returned back to their land of scotch whiskey and tartans. We had so much fun spending time together the whole month they were here! One of the days was spent taking a ferry from Vallejo to SF. If you love the ocean like I do, do yourself a favor and spend a day experiencing this. To be on the ocean and to soak up the sun was incredibly calming and peaceful. I only regret I hadn’t done it sooner.
For a couple hours I was popping in and out of the stores avoiding the mass-produced keychains, buttons, and t-shirts with “I ❤ San Francisco” on it. Of course I always look for my name on the personalized key chains (still nothing for Nichelle) and try not to cringe anytime I see the all too familiar phrase, “I left my ❤ in San Francisco.” I picked up one of those coffee mugs with an illustration of the Golden Gate Bridge and I wonder, did Tony Bennett really understand how much his song would promote SF to the rest of the world? In reality Tony probably knew as much as Prince did, when he himself produced the song “1999”. To this day I cannot listen to “1999” anymore because of the sheer amount of times it was played around 1998/1999. If someone ever tells me we need to party like it’s 1999..
I might just shiv em.
I didn’t expect it while I held that mug in my hand, but it made me realize there is a world out there that is much greater than the world I have built around me. I look up and suddenly I’m aware of all the different couples picking up the “I ❤ San Francisco” t-shirt excitedly looking for their size, speaking in rapid Korean or searching out for their name on a key chain asking in German their friends’ opinion. It’s important to play tourist every once in awhile because it helps you to get out of your head, to avoid your struggles for a moment. It reminds you of all the cultures that you can experience, the museums you can peruse, and the landscapes to gain inspiration from. It inspires you to travel yourself.
So hopefully one day when I can afford it, I’ll be the one looking for an “I ❤ Shanghai” t-shirt in my size and excitedly finding mugs with the the Eiffel tower on them. And instead of pretending to be a tourist, I’ll actually be one.
But no matter where I am, or who I am with, or what I am looking at, I know I will never be able to find my name on a key chain.
Cause there are some things in life that just don’t change.