Thursday, October 15, 2009

San Franciscans, a funny lot

I do like living here a lot. The main academic hospital in the city doesn't have air conditioning. People wear winter coats in July. And I know it comes as a shock, but people here have foibles.
- One day of rain is the end of the earth. A few hours of legitimately hard rain (2.76 inches of rain in a day, which actually was twice the usual rainfall for October) led to widespread civic dysfunction. It was all anybody could talk about. I'll give them that -- talking about fog vs no fog is the only outlet for the natural human tendency to talk about the weather. I guess cities deal with different things. It would have been the equivalent of 15 inches of rain in Houston, but Houston shuts down with 1/8" of ice or snow. And Baltimore, god love it, gets 10 inches of rain and snow and ice and can also deal with neither.
- Putting a barely noticeable S-curve in a bridge leads to 50% delay in traffic and frequent wrecks which can shut down the city for close to 6 hours.
- People are very, very proud of their commute, their dogs, and their marijuana smoking.
- The most aggressive people on the road are the pedestrians, followed by the bicyclists. A pedestrian will think nothing of standing in front of a MUNI light rail train and yell at the driver.
- Fire engine red hair, chunky glasses, a lip ring, and a low cut t-shirt to show off shoulder and back tattoos is appropriate work attire for health care professionals and exotic dancers alike, where it would be for neither anywhere else in the world.

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