When I Used to Walk the Streets of SF

Daily Prompt: You’re stranded in a foreign city for a day with no money and no friends. Where do you go; what do you do?

There were days on end I remember not speaking to anyone, roaming the streets of San Francisco on my own. I still have the coat I used to wear – anywhere I went in the city, it was chilly,  the skies grey, overcast – the faint smell of urine, and exhaust permeated air. I wore thick stockings, my black Doc Martens, dark navy blue overcoat and a black sailor cap. It was the early 1990s.

I’d walk down the street, pass the indoor community pool and get on the bus on Geary Boulevard and get off anywhere downtown Market Street. This was my foreign city, and the prompt just reminded me that I figure I’d be no different if I were in an actually city in a foreign land.

Market Street, San Francisco
Market Street, San Francisco (Photo credit: benontherun.com)

Having no money, and no friends didn’t stop me from exploring back then, making small talk with people or checking out shops, was no big deal.

Sure, I guess I’d have to take precaution, being female, and walking somewhere that would bring harm, but I really don’t see any harm in an adventure of any city, locale, foreign or domestic. just browsing and enjoying the sites.

I’d save my transfer ticket and hop on to another bus or underground train and get off at another part of the city and walk around again, entering shops, visiting outdoor markets. It’d be a bonus if some sort of festival were going on in the park. In general, I’d go and people watch, sitting at a bench at a park, or a fountain, etc.

Occasionally, a stranger would come along and strike up conversation, but that wasn’t terribly frightening depending on the light of day, and or location, and proximity to other people. I’d politely bid my farewell, and catch the next bus, going away to somewhere else.

But that was then.  . . .