Friday, May 16, 2014

Day One

It's been a long, long day. But exciting. I woke up at 3 a.m. (after tossing and turning until about 2 a.m.) so I could take care of some last-minute packing before my early flight to San Francisco. Then I said my goodbyes to Mom, Dad took me to the airport and helped me carry in my massive suitcases, and eight hours later I landed in The City by the Bay. (That includes a layover in Dallas. It's not that long of a plane ride.)

I've taken a photo of these mannequins
every time I've been in the Dallas airport.
They are amazing.
I'm renting a room I found on Airbnb for my first month here. It's great. Amazing, actually. It has a private bathroom, fridge, microwave, big comfy recliner, desk, coffee maker, sliding door that leads to a beautiful garden, and my host family even left some drinks and snacks for me. Oh, AND THERE'S A CAT. And the cat is magnificent and I don't know his (or possibly her) name, but he/she sits outside the screen door by the desk and meows at me and I love him/her. I'll have to ask the family his/her name tomorrow.

A room with a view (of a cat).
I'm homesick, though. I think I got really comfortable in Arkansas and with my parents. Life is safe and predictable there, and I've always been close to my mom and dad. I think when you're little, you tend to look at your parents like they're gods. They feed you, bathe you, protect you, and generally keep you alive (hopefully because they love you and not because they're afraid of child services). Then you usually reach a point in your life when you realize your parents have faults, too, and are only human. That point never happened for me, and I can't decide if that's unhealthy or not. My parents are just really fucking awesome and I feel bad leaving them. But my mom always says she and my dad raised me and my sister to follow our own paths instead of trying to make us follow some other plans they'd created for us. And that they'd be supporting us wherever we end up. I also know they're proud of us because, well, they posted it on Facebook today. (Like I mentioned before, my parents are really fucking awesome.)

Back to today. After a couple hours of resting after my flights, I decided it was time to venture out into the neighborhood to keep my mind busy and stave off the homesickness. So I walked to Walgreens. And by "walked," I mean "hiked a bunch of hills that were probably equal in elevation to the cliffs of Everest." I'd heard San Fran was hilly, but it's, like, really fuckin' hilly. And I wouldn't consider myself out of shape, either. I do pilates and all that Wii Fit crap. But today I felt like an ant trying to scale Jay Leno's chin. And somehow I walked uphill to the store AND uphill on the way back to the house?? I am going to have an ass of steel pretty soon.

Turned around and took this after walking up.
Somehow I walked UP these stairs again on the
way back.
Also, there are dogs everywhere. Everyone has a dog. And the dogs even went into the stores, which was weird and made me cringe because I'm a germaphobe and I'm not sure that's super hygienic. I dunno, maybe dogs are clean. I don't know a lot about them. I like my friends' dogs and wouldn't mind them walking around stores, but I don't know where these strange dogs have been. I did see a lot of their poop outside today and I can pretty much guarantee that stuff isn't hygienic at least.

Super cute mouth muffle I wore during my flights
because I'm a germaphobe and also it is kawaii
and I was pretending to be a j-pop or k-pop star.
Tomorrow, I'll be figuring out the public transit system. I got a Clipper card, which sounds like some sort of punch card you'd get at a shitty salon, but I guess it's for public transportation here. Oh, and the first episode of the podcast me and my friend, Sam, are doing came out today! You can listen for free on SoundCloud or iTunes.

More adventures to come, I'm sure!

-joe