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San Francisco Scenes, Part 1

Sometimes, San Francisco really frustrates me; other times, it surprises and amuses me. Two instances:

Story #1
A couple of months ago, I was walking with my brother to buy groceries on Masonic. We were laughing about something else when suddenly we heard a skateboarder coming down Masonic, down the hill from Trader Joe’s. The guy was carrying a bag of groceries and trying to balance himself on his skateboard (a mighty feat) when he got distracted with a Jaguar on the road. We didn’t realize until he started speaking that he was really a pirate in disguise.


He looks at the Jaguar, and suddenly, he falls off his skateboard. My brother and I stand in shock as we both are afraid he might get run over. Traffic stops.

The skateboarder then picks himself up from the road.

“Yargh…ye bastard!”

He notices that his skateboard went flying across the road.

“Yargh…me skateboard!”

And then he hurls himself across traffic to retrieve his skateboard, as if nothing happened and that it was all normal to him.

Story #2
Today at work, I noticed across Market Street there was a guy with an easel and he looked like he was painting/sketching a man in a wheelchair a few feet away. I pointed out the scene to my co-workers and immediately felt curious about the situation; the artist looked deep in thought, as if studying his subject and making sure he was accurate with his depictions.

Well, a co-worker went to investigate the scene, and sadly, it wasn’t as poignant as it appeared from our office: the artist was drawing something abstract, and the man in the wheelchair? He wasn’t the subject; it was merely a coincidence that they were both in close proximity.

Still, the scene struck me as something unique for the city; we have street artists, sure, but this guy was really, well, taking the term in a different way. He was dismantling his easel and work by the time I left work; I wanted to catch a glimpse of his progress, but I decided it was best to let it go.

mistake Work Diaries

Mistakes and questions.

Mistakes. How big can one be before one decides, “Maybe it’s too late”? How big or little can one be before the boss thinks “Oh, she’s not too bright”?

Making mistakes in any situation is a given, as nobody is perfect. But how come I feel that every time a mistake is committed, my intelligence is being questioned? How come I am expected to know certain things that were never taught to me before?

Perhaps I have led a sheltered life even up until last year. So how do I become un-sheltered?

time Work Diaries

The freedom that comes.

I find that whenever I get to go home early from work (around 1 or 2 pm), I become so excited now. Just knowing that I have the rest of the day to myself makes me ten times happier….probably because it seems that lately I really lack a lot of time to myself. No real free time–the past two weeks or so I feel like all I do is work all day, come home, cook dinner, shower, and then go to bed. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. I have been putting off a lot of things lately because of such a rushed routine.

I realize that probably once I find a real 9-5 job that things won’t be much different than they are right now. Granted, if I find myself working at an office again, I won’t be using as much physical muscle then. I’ll be using more of my intellect, which I guess will be a needed change.

customers Hot Dog Days rant Work Diaries

Customer Stories.

We seem to get the most interesting characters at the hot dog stand. People who think they’re funny, people who think they’re going to one-up us by threatening this or that (small threats, mind you).

Yesterday, after the whole homeless guy incident, we got this customer who seemed to be giving me and my co-worker “eyes” (checking us out). The guy orders a jumbo hot dog, and I serve it to him. Then, he complains about the fact that there’s this “strand of something” on his jumbo, and my co-worker and I notice that it’s just a piece of sauerkraut (pickled cabbage). So my co-worker just plainly states to the guy, “It’s just a piece of sauerkraut, it won’t kill you.” And the guy complains more, saying he wanted a different jumbo hot dog. Sigh.

I guess he thought we were being smart to him, because then he asked for our names and our manager’s contact information. My co-worker luckily was acting fast and just gave the guy our manager’s email address..really, come on, that’s ridiculous. You’re going to go complain to our manager about a piece of sauerkraut on your hot dog? I can understand a strand of hair…sure. But sauerkraut is EDIBLE. Gee whiz, the guy needs to get a life.

Today, I was giving breaks, and while I was at one of the “slower” carts, I was approached by this guy who was trying to be funny but failed miserably. All he wanted was a soda, which costs $1.50, so I told him the price. He began looking through his wallet, then he decided to pull out that joke. “I’ll give you $1.37…and a cigarette butt!” I didn’t laugh, didn’t do anything, just looked at him like he was nuts. Then he tried the joke again, this time with other objects (a piece of string, etc.). I still didn’t laugh, and he kind of gave up on the joke…but not before he said to me, “You have to admit that was pretty funny!”

Did you see me laughing? No. It wasn’t funny dude, sorry.

Hot Dog Days My San Francisco Chronicles race rant Work Diaries

Ni hao, Hot Dog Vendor!

I find it rather offensive when non-Chinese people try to speak “Chinese” to me. Once, I had a customer walk up with his young son (!) and say to me “Ni Hao”. I looked at them with a glare, feeling offended first by his horrible accent, and second, by the fact that he even had the nerve to say such a thing to me. What if I weren’t Chinese? And why exactly was it necessary to “speak Chinese” to a girl working at a hot dog stand? I would be a little less offended and would understand if I were a server at a Chinese restaurant; but come on, a hot dog stand. From my accent, I’m sure the guy could tell I spoke perfectly fine English and that I didn’t need him to “impress” me with his “Chinese”.

Another time, I was giving another customer his drink and his change, and he said to me afterwards “Dou jie/Shi Shi Ni”, which means “Thank you” in Cantonese/Mandarin. I thought the guy was okay up until that point, but immediately I felt offended once again.

You know, I would feel “impressed” if I were in China and they were doing this to me. But I am in AMERICA. I know that many San Franciscans are actually Chinese, and a lot of them are immigrants from China, so they speak little English/more Cantonese/Mandarin. I can understand that–that’s why Chinatown seems so foreign of a place to outsiders since the majority of the businesses are run only in Cantonese.

But hello–it’s just really dumb and ignorant when guys like those (mentioned above) try to “speak Chinese” to someone who is obviously not an immigrant AND can speak English. I’m not dissing on my people in Chinatown, but really, what the hell. Next time someone tries to speak Chinese to me that way, they’re going to be in for a bad surprise.