First of all, I need to say that the city grew on me, and that my impression got better the more time I spent there. And that I find it as a beautiful city with a lot of diversity.
Before going there I had seen lots of pictures of the streets that is typical for San Fransisco, and the Golden Gate Brigde, Alcatraz and all the seals at Pier 39. But not once have I seen the «bad» part of this city.
I will tell you about all the good, but first I just need to get this off my chest.
My first impression as I got off the bus Thursday morning, it was raining, foggy and a lot more colder than Southern California. Which I don’t mind too much, hence I grew up in that weather. But as I started walking up from Townsend street to 4th street and then 5th street, it was a different world than what I expected.
Garbage on the streets, lots of homeless people, tents that homeless people also slept in, and it smelled like pee under the bridges.
Just before I left, some of my friends in Southern California started talking about the Tenderloin district as well. And after some research, I understood more when they said «Try to stay away from Tenderloin.»
«Nestled near the downtown area, the Tenderloin has historically resisted gentrification, maintaining a seedy character and reputation for crime. Squalid conditions, homelessness, crime, illegal drug trade, prostitution, liquor stores, and strip clubs give the neighborhood a seedy reputation.»
My hostel was close to the Tenderloin district. Which was by the way a very good hostel that I can recommend for sure. Will tell you more about that later. And I had a great time exploring different places in the city that was really beautiful and moments I would not be without.
Until the last day, when I was leaving. It was Sunday morning and I was walking to the bus stop. First I thought I knew where I was going, but ended up in the middle of Tenderloin. And that gave me a whole new set of impressions that I would not be without.
I’ve never seen so many homeless people, standing in line to get food from a shelter. Men with tattoos all over their face wished me good morning, and so did people that woke up in their sleeping bags on the street as I was passing. I witnessed a woman looking for food on the ground and eat some crunches from a bread just off the street.
One woman started following me, claiming I was her daughter. Started talking about crazy things, and I wasn’t really sure what to do at first. So I told her I would prefer to walk alone. She apologised and walked away.
I would never be without these experiences. This is a big part of why I travel, to see all the differences and to learn and grow on everything I see. The diversity of the world.
We are all humans, but sometimes we forget that while we’re judging everyone else, we forget to look at ourselves.
I hope everyone have had a great thanksgiving! I’m very grateful for all of you, and all the experiences I’ve had so far. Happy weekend guys!