We just got back from a week long trip to San Diego. Great city. I suggested to my wife that we should retire there. But, um, the cost of living in San Diego would make for a very short, yet sweet, retirement. You can't get a meal for under $30 unless you hightail it over to Taco Bell. And Kansas City already has tons of those, no new cuisine under the sun there.
The San Diego Zoo is spectacular. I came back with a
sunburned, blistered scalp and the notion that Polar and Grizzly Bears are the friendliest mammals in the world. No wonder they call it a "bear hug." Because that's what these lovable guys want. A hug. The only reason bears maul people? Because instead of offering hugs, people scream. Why can't we all just get along? Oprah would be proud of me. (My wife doesn't share this same outlook, it must be said. She just rolled her eyes in several spectacular orbits).
Speaking of "friendly," San Diego is host to the swellest bunch of homeless people I've ever met. Sure, there was the leather-faced woman who cursed and snapped her teeth at me demonic possession style, but, hey there's always a bad apple in every orchard. Most of them took rejection just fine, offering well wishes afterward. One kindly lady (note: don't go to public parks) handed me a hastily scribbled message--something about demons--offered me a cigarette and told me to vote for Obama. Well...ignoring the fact that Obama can't run again, this homeless woman actually offered me a cancer stick and political and demonic advice! Offering instead of begging! Wow! It is odd...the homeless are not only tolerated in downtown San Diego, but they're practically accepted, a colorful component of the city.
While we're talking "colorful"...San Diego's a real melting pot; many languages, many cultures, many races. The most prevalent? Burgundy red people. I wanted to lather them with sun screen, share the friendliness. Honestly, you'd think the natives would catch on by now that skin cancer's a real thing. Like Global Warming (contrary to what our cab-driver told us). Colorful!
But, alas, every city has a downside. For some reason, couples love to perform very public, ugly and loud break-ups in San Diego. Not only did I witness several throw-downs, I was caught in the middle of a particularly volatile scenario, the angry woman (something about her boyfriend cheating on her) shoving me aside to better attack her boyfriend. On a downtown sidewalk. Excitement!
And I was nearly run down by crazy, death-defying bicyclists. These guys were true magicians, vanishing and reappearing, weaving in and out of crowds at spectacular speeds, mere inches from wasting sidewalk walkers. Danger!
The worst part was our hotel. It overlooked a trolley station. All night long and every fifteen minutes, the train would shwoosh in, blowing the horn. Except the horn sounded more like the bellowing noise made when the "tributes" in The Hunger Games movie died. (I'm in dire need of a vacation from my vacation). No sleep!
The scariest part? On three occasions, a clerk/waitress/pedicab driver told us, "Welcome back." Huh. Never been to San Diego before. You know, San Diego's already sorta' removed from reality as I understand it: the sky's a preternaturally ocean-deep blue; everything's either cement or water (no greenery); the homeless are there to make us feel at home; there're more bars than a prison...it's Disneyland for adults! So I guess it comes as no shock that our doppelgangers are running around, always two steps ahead of us. Twilight Zone time!
Can't wait to go back, armed with sunscreen and ear-plugs.