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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fog Lines - Four Seasons in Four Blocks

San Francisco Baby!
SAN FRANCISCO - THE 411, THE SKINNY, THE INTEL

I've been talking about living in America since St Patrick was tearing around Ireland after snakes. I grew up reading American books, watching American TV, listening to American music, I culturally binged on the U S of A. It was inevitable a day would come when I called the most talked about country in the world 'home'. In fact, when I first met Dom, while we were both backpacking in Australia, I told him three things...

(1) After Australia, I'm moving to London for a year
(2) After London, I'm moving to New York for a year
(3) After New York, I'm buying property on the moon, on the moon I tell ya

(what a charming conversationalist I was!)

And that my friends is exactly what happened, sort of. Ok, number (3) is made up (nooo!). London became Dublin (cos I nearly died, honestly I nearly did, and it wasn't of mortification!). Dublin finally morphed into London but one year became seven, and New York got a make over and outed itself as San Francisco.

So yes, San Francisco has had the pleasure of our company since this Summer. We've got visas and everything, aren't we great. No working illegally in Irish bars for us, but let's face it, the Irish illegals built America and they added a bit of craic to the culture (no sniggering, you know I mean Irish 'craic'/fun).

It took me a while to get used to the American ways e.g. people still use check books (wow, I wrote 'check' not 'cheque', my transformation to yankeedoodledandy is unstoppable), people are super friendly (I love it, but after the solemnity of London it took me weeks to stop wondering "why are they smiling at me? do I owe them money?"), and the way of life (at least in California) is pretty casual and relaxed (including the public transport timetables). Being Irish I managed to revert to my relaxed roots and finally stop saying "I'm not used to waiting this long for public transport, these heels don't walk themselves to the restaurant". Of course I never said that, you rarely have occasion to justify wearing heels in San Francisco, have you seen the hills!

I must admit this hilly city has vastly invaded space in my heart. Yes the taxi situation is dire (there's about 3 of them in the entire city, or so it feels) but instead of lying down and complaining this city is such a hotbed of inspirational creativity, forward thinking flipping genius and good old fashioned hippy bohemia they have various creative, hi-tech solutions to get around it (download an app, press one button, a towncar arrives in mins, etc).

Gosh, what else...

Brunch is something they are cuckoo-crazy about over here. People queue, yes queue up for fancy twists on bacon and eggs. The Bay area is all about the micro climates, in fact Emma (an ex pat friend over here) astutely pointed out to me "San Francisco has four seasons in four blocks". Yes, the city does get famously foggy but don't pay heed to southern Californians who rumble on about how cold SF is, it's all relative, most days I'm in summer clothes, yes in the evening you need a gansaĆ­, and a scarf, and a hat...ok, ok, it gets cold.

I have so much to say I can't fit it all in this post... Oh, one thing I have to say is that I've started a blog, you know that, that's why you're reading this! Probably like a lot of Irish people, my passion in life is story telling (and writing), it bubbles up and pervades my every day. Since I'm living in one of the worlds creative capitals, why not light up the filaments of fancy thoughts that filter through my noggin. There are a lot of crazy kooks who stand on street corners over here talking backwards in gooblegook, what's stoppin me doing the same thing online ;o)

Keep tuning in for of my version of 'tales of the city'... posts on the election, baseball, American football, dinner parties, camping, hipsters, dive bars, tips on avoiding the hills, sights on a budget... it's allllll ahead...

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4 comments:

  1. I adore you and miss you and this blog makes it feel like you're right here recounting this to me in person! <3 Love it!! Excuse me, but I have years of posts to read... xM

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  2. Fantastic,You've really captured the San Fran vibe here, hanging out for the next post :)

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  3. Love it Sheils!! Perfect way to spend my lunch-time.... Made me laugh and wanna fly!

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  4. Brillo pads Sheils! Classic you #toteshilare!

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