People Watching In San Francisco

So I was in The City the other day for a job interview. I have decided that while jobs in The City are preferable since they pay more, it also costs more to get there to interview for a job you may or may not get. Let’s see:

Bridge Toll – $5
Ferry Toll (round trip) – $11.20

So that is a bare minimum of $16.20 just to get there. What about BART? What about it? Let’s see, $7.80 round trip plus $1 for parking for a grand total of $8.80. A savings of $7.40. $37 cheaper per week and $148 cheaper per month. Though if you are making decent money, it’s worth it to have a nice 35 minute ferry ride in comfort, walk 20 minutes to work and drink a beer on the way home as opposed to being shoved into a smelly car, standing the whole way next to people with questionable hygiene.

But that wasn’t it. It was the parking. There wasn’t any. You see, when you need to go into The City mid-day, the BART lots are full and street parking is restricted to two hours. So it’s the ferry. But the ferry lot was full so I park across the street in the “overflow lot” which may or may not have been parking for Togo’s but I took my chances.

Once there, I was dazzled by the wonder that is the Ferry Building and tried to keep myself from buying everything in sight with my near non-existent money. As I started walking down Market towards Montgomery I played “Who Is This?” with the passers-by. I try to imagine based on clothes and look who these people are. What do they do? Are they tourists? Are they bankers? Are they Jason Bourne and his latest exotic but kick-ass female companion on the run from international terrorists?

There were a great many beautiful, willowy Asian women, looking ageless and chic in their designer clothes and perfect matching bags. I felt old and dumpy and mortal by comparison. I found myself trying to look for flaws just to convince myself these lovely creatures were real. Finally found one. On the bottom of one perfect aubergine shoe was a price sticker. Ah HA! I feel better about myself and my old, but Italian, shoes.

There were harried businessmen, some sans jackets, talking on cell phones, yelling into cell phones, playing with cell phones. Hell, you’d think the cell phone was the same as a remote control in front of the television. There were moms herding children, groups of tourists chatting excitedly in languages I did not recognize. I pretended they were from Outer Moldavia, a small country in Europe which sits against the Carpathian Mountains next to Transylvania. Then again, they might have been from Sweden.

I saw a tiny cubbyhole of a sushi roll place that had a line out the door and down the block. The receptionist at the place I was interviewing told me the sushi place just opened a few weeks ago. She said it’s okay but not amazing. I think because it is wee and new and wee all the hipsters are flocking there for the sheer smugness of it.

On my walk back to the Ferry Building I saw a woman, eating a burrito and talking to herself. Nowadays you have to look to make sure she isn’t talking into a Bluetooth but her conversation was a bit into the “crazy, homeless lady or soon to be homeless lady” category. She was saying “Now you hush up because I’z da one that talks to the voices in my heads and not you and you shuts up you voices!” Wow, she told them!

Back at the Ferry Building, I found myself drawn to some of the best chocolate in the world, Recchiuti. To quote Yelper Irene C “This place makes Godiva look like it’s peddling poo… as in, obscenely expensive strawberries covered in poo.” Crude but true. This place is better than Vosges and they are my favs for gourmet chocolate. Tiny, wee bites of heaven these chocolate bits are. Expensive Heaven. It’s the Heaven where near perfect people who take care of lepers go, that Heaven. Heaven also comes with a price. A large price. Yeah, plan on paying about .80 – $1.00 for a piece of chocolate that can range from the size of a nickel to the size of a silver dollar. Everything is by weight. They have such lovely flavors like Lavender Vanilla or Rose Ginger or Lemon Verbena or Bergamot Tea. I am drooling just thinking of them and the $2.85 I spent on 3 wee pieces.

So that makes my grand total of money spent on this job trip $19.05. Oh, I forgot the Starbucks Grande Non-fat, no water, chai that I HAD to have because I did a good job in my interview. Do I count it if it was on a card? I guess I will since the card I used I paid for and wasn’t a gift. Oh, and I bought 2 rolls from Acme Bakery for dinner and breakfast tomorrow as well as an almond croissant. Don’t judge me.

Grand total for my job interview in The City – $30.65. ouch. Hell, just the $16.20 was pricey. I should learn. Every time I think I did a great job, I buy something to celebrate the soon to be happening job with its rain of cash and prizes and I always get the zonk. Every time. Next time I swear, no extras. Just my $16.20 of travel expenses and I can put a power bar in my purse.

Now to make things even better, I got a follow-up email for a job I applied for two weeks ago that I really want! Hopefully the Gods will smile and soon I will be back on the ferry and able to afford the trip. Who knows? I might be riding with the “Young Geeks In Love” again. (check my back blogs) I love people watching in San Francisco.

Posted on January 28, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. That is quite an interview journey! The people watching experience alone hopefully made it worth it, but I hope you did well on your interview too 🙂

    And, I must show my “I don’t live in the big city” card and ask, “What is BART?”

    Christi Corbett
    http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

    • Hi Christi! Glad you liked it. BART is short for Bay Area Rapid Transit and it is the mass transit train that services the East and South Bay sections of the Bay Area. It also goes under the Bay to get to the City. I hear you can get to the airport (SFO) as well but I’ve never taken it that far. Our mass transit is far from perfect, is old and a bit smelly but it’s better than the bus!

  2. I loved your blog post. I people watch in Little Rock, Arkansas and while it is not as glamorous or exciting as San Francisco it is a wonderful past time. I wish you well with the job you desire and thank you for sharing your day with us. I felt like I was there right by your side.

    Cordially,

    Ardee-ann

    • Thanks Ardee-ann! The search goes on and I will keep posting. I think people watching is a great sport no matter where it is but here in the land of fruits and nuts, we grow’m special!

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