Monday, 18 March 2013

Day 2 - Oakland & South City

I speak the lingo now - South San Francisco is referred to as South City by the locals - rolls off the tongue a lot easier.

The complementary breakfast at the hotel is to die for - you even get to make your own waffles ! The day  dawned clear and warm and it was like that until about lunch time.

Observations -
1 - "Fat Americans" does not apply to San Francisco, or maybe it's a California thing. People biking / running everywhere - being fit helps you run away from a potential mugging I guess.

2 - Lots of homeless people in SF that are not hidden away during daylight hours.

3 - The cops sit in their cars all day watching the homeless people.

4 - The wind that picks up at about 5pm cuts right through you.

5 - The people of SF are genuinely friendly and will say "Hello" to you if you look at them.

Ok then. We kicked off the day watching the local Union Pacific switchers doing some switching at South City Yard, which is right beside the Caltrain Station, so no-one can tell you that you're loitering.

We then all jumped on the Caltrain and went into King Street Station, jumped on the MUNI and went down the the pier where we caught the ferry across the estuary to Oakland and the Jack London District.

What a contrast in environments. If SF is like Auckland, then Oakland would be Waiheke Island - quiet and hardly anyone around. Lots of Amtrak trains went through - more than anyone expected so lots of footage taken. One of the few places left in the USA where trains share the street with cars.

Things quietened down by lunch time and a couple of us went back across to SF and I went back to South City to continue filming there. Filming passenger trains doing about 120 km/hr is a bit of a challenge.

Had dinner at Wendy's - ordered a Coke with my meal, they gave me a Dr. Pepper. I took it back and asked for a Coke and they gave me a Dr. Pepper. My mate ordered a Coke and he got a Dr. Pepper. This is where the sudden language barrier kicked in and I just held my nose and drank the darned stuff.... it's vile.

Tomorrow is a free day for everyone to do as they please. I think a drive is in order...

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