Stranger in a Same Land

Stranger in a Same Land

Hey Team,

First. Charley hearts Macworld and I’ve had a chance to learn a LOT about podcasting. Unfortunately for me those lessons will probably result in better lives for you guys than for me. Most of the lessons, although great lessons that I hope will help me produce a better podcast, mean more work for my already ridiculously overloaded schedule. (That kind of sounded like whining. Let me clarify) More work or no I’ve VERY excited by the prospect of improving Amtrekker as much as possible.

Okey dokey…here’s the stuff I actually wanted to write about.

I’ve been traveling for a while now (6ish months) and everywhere I go I’m a fish out of water. I never have any concept of which direction I should be heading, what the people are like or how I got SO thoroughly lost in such a short period of time. But apparently things can get even weirder (more weird?).

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to San Francisco. We came here every once in a while when I was little (I grew up about three hours from here) and we came here fairly regularly when I was in college (I went to school about an hour from here) but up until recently San Francisco topped my list for least favorite cities in the country (Raleigh, NC edged it out a couple of months ago). So here I am in this place that I “know” I don’t care for, that is close enough to “home” that I feel like I belong here more so than I have anywhere else I’ve been recently…but everything is wrong.

I’ll try to explain (and probably fail…but come along for the ride anyway). This is the first time I’ve ever been to San Francisco without having to drive or ride in a car through their ridiculous maze of one way streets clearly designed to prevent you from getting anywhere but an over-priced parking garage in the wrong part of the city. And now that I’m taking public transportation (still overpriced) the city doesn’t seem so bad. At the very least I can see what other people enjoy about the city. It does have quite a bit of character and a certain charm that most of those cities-that-exist-to-be-cities lack and I can finally appreciate that.

However, thanks to my mental deficiencies when it comes to a sense of direction I still can’t seem to ever get where I’m going. Anywhere else that I’ve traveled in the last six months this has often turned out to be more of an asset than a liability. It’s a great excuse to start up a conversation with strangers and no one faults a Californian for not knowing his way around Chicago.

But here, in this place that feels so close to home, I have a MUCH harder time convincing myself to ask a stranger for directions. I don’t quite understand the full reasoning of my subconscious on this one…but it’s kind of like my mind keeps trying to tell me that I’m SUPPOSED to know how to get around this place and all of these strangers know that.

Which is dumb because we all know I don’t have a clue.

I’m done.


Just for the record…tomorrow’s my birthday. Just sayin’.


7 Replies to “Stranger in a Same Land”

  1. San Francisco grows on you the more time you spend here. I can honestly say that after 10 years of living here, I truly heart S.F.!

  2. brett….i just realized, you’re almost halfway there!!!! if my calculations are correct, you’ve crossed 24 out of 50 items off your list!! so what are the big plans for a celebratory number 25? we’re on the edge of our seats! way to go amtrekker!!!

  3. oh, and happybirthdaythedaybefore!! (that’s what my mom always used to say to us when we were growing up. and yes–it is, in fact, all one word.)

  4. Yay, you don’t hate SF quite as much! I knew you would come around eventually. : ) Oh, and a very, very happy birthday! (Since it’s past midnight on the east coast I feel like I can say that now.) Have a super-amazingly-fantabulous day!

  5. Do you ever sing yourself that b-day song from alice and wonderland? I sing it to myself every day BUT my birthday. Achem! (throat clearing) ” a very unhappy un-birthday to me. Who me? Yes me…” actually that’s the only part i know, so i pretty much just repeat that over 30 or 40 times.
    Why’s everybody so San Fran focused!? don’t they know there’s birthdaying to be had!?

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