Travel Journeys from Australia to San Francisco & Austin

I’m at Brisbane Airport, about to board an Air New Zealand flight to SFO via Auckland.

I’ve been to San Francisco before and I am familiar with the thrum of people navigating busy sidewalks in haste. I’ve sat and watched the art deco and retro cable cars squeal, hiss and clack up the steep hills to the soundtrack of street buskers and homeless people who are in a constant loud and public dialogue with an imaginary nemesis. I’ve clung on to the cold steel pole of a cable car that’s lifted me out of union square and dumped me down at Fisherman’s wharf where I’ve sat and stared out at Alcatraz, wondering if there are really sharks in the bay. I’ve sat on the bay with a bottle of beer in a brown bag (when in Rome) and watched the ever so shy Golden Gate Bridge peak out briefly and intermittently, from the dense grey fog that shrouds it’s giant deep red beams.

One of the giant Golden Gate beams reaches for the sky in a moment of fog-free clarity
One of the giant Golden Gate beams reaches for the sky in a moment of fog-free clarity

I’ve been embraced by strangers who’ve bought me drinks, had bar conversations with some eccentrics about the ‘scene’ in San Francisco – one night this was from the perspective of a 71 year old homophobic retired NFL player who was cornered and expressed his ‘distaste’ with San Francisco’s liberated landscape. I’ve been invited to peoples houses for dinner, and abused by others for stopping to take photos. All in a day of San Francisco.

a 1913 cable car in Union Square
A 1913 cable car in Union Square

My walks around the city are always peppered with stops in to dive bars or sports bars… Seems in San Francisco I’ve had more success in the dive bars where a cynical old bar tender stares you straight in the eye and says “what can I get you?”

Dialogue between a bartender and I on my last trip:

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The most cynical bartender in all of San Francisco

Me: “Do you have a Malbec by the Glass?”

Bartender: “Do you have any money?”

Me: “I do”

Bartender: “I think we can come to an arrangement then…”

Bartender grabs bottle from the shelf tips the bottle upside down and violently fills the glass to the top with a splash and fizz

Bartender: “It’s good to aerate it”

Me: “So it is”

This time I plan to explore more and also head to Austin Texas. Cowboys, Tex-Mex, and Man vs. Food come to mind… But time will see.

Stay tuned to my travel blog through my adventures as I explore the ‘deep south’.

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