Sightseeing in San Francisco – Chinatown!
I awoke to overcast skies over San Bruno. We had arranged taxis to take the group from San Bruno to Golden Gate Bridge but for some unknown reason the two cabs were only capable of taking thirteen passengers, not the required fourteen passengers. I quickly made the decision to go into town on the train, leaving the group with Danny on their way to Golden Gate Bridge.
The Caltrain was a five minute walk from the motel and, as expected at 07:30am, it was jam-packed with commuters and their bikes. Standing it was then. Heads cowered over their smartphones, catching up with the news and the rest of the world. I overheard one man nearby, “Facebook…it’s just the same shit, every single day”. I couldn’t agree more. A sign on the train read “You must buy your ticket before boarding the train…maximum fine $250”. Suffice to say, I had not bought a ticket (I didn’t realize your honour) and played over my explanation (stupid British tourist) in my head as I balanced myself whilst the train swayed from side to side.
We were soon at the Caltrain depot in downtown San Francisco. Commuters queued for coffee and dashed towards their onward transport. A homeless man mumbling obscenities wheeled by on a sad-looking mountain bike. Consulting my map, I made my way north through downtown San Francisco past high-rise buildings and smartly-dressed city-workers towards Chinatown.
I had read that a couple of streets in Chinatown had been used in the movies Karate Kid II and Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. As these movies played such integral parts of my youth, I had to see these streets for myself.
I could have been in Beijing, mandarin text hung from every shop and house, an elderly man held the hand of his granddaughter on their morning commute.