San Francisco & Los Angeles, California – 18th State Visit of the United States of America
San Francisco, my visit to 18th State of the United States of America was one of the most important ones and had an extraordinary impact than other state visits, be it personal, official or diplomatic. SF in California was into my bucket list for a long time for various reasons. But never had an option to visit due to my complicated and congested schedules. After becoming Student, I had a surplus of time to explore cities. I had a Public Policy Conference at San Francisco and wanted to use my weekend exploring the city. Luckily, I had a college alumnus and friend who was very welcoming me to San Francisco for a long time, and we were in the same wavelength.
Planned the Conference and a short trip around SF and other areas. Since a long time, he is definitely a well-organised trip planner, and I requested him to make it out for my visit, which was admitted immediately by him. And, I was pretty confident that while roaming with him, I can have surplus Indian cuisine or other safe cuisine based on his style and art of cooking. Finding good restaurants in Boston would be a difficult task and presumed that SF would also be the same.
Starting from landing at SFO Airport, the excitement was at its peak. Little facts that created goosebumps while I landed may extend to a vast list, but landing at the 7th busiest Airport of North America, historical airport of World War I and others were responsible for that goosebumps. Travelled from India extensively for 38 hours with 2 missed connections and landed to breath non-conditioned air. Saw a massive crowd in the Immigration and I was exhausted. After crossing a few minutes, a CBP officer approached me, asking for the passport amidst the vast crowd. I exhibited my usual passport with the Diplomatic one. She pulled me out of the queue and escorted me to a secluded line and cleared my immigration.
Stepped out for AirTrain and in few minutes I arrived at the Rental Car location and got a KIA Soul car for my social purposes. With my Bluetooth Connection, started my music and car with ODO at 10888 miles. First 2 days weren’t were so good as it had the usual works.
The actual break began on the 2nd day with roaming around the Downtown of San Francisco. Aw, what a city. With Indian Driving skills, it is much more adventurous. Did all the Traffic Violations whatever maximum can be done. And it was a coincidence of LGBT Pride Parade and SF was well known for the parade globally. With LGBT openness accounting for 20% and marketing budget accounting 80% the Pride month celebrations were highly potent in San Francisco than Boston or the United Kingdom. Roaming around the city without any Agenda or Purpose just to chill out and experience the nightlife until 4 AM was literally a bliss. The time wasn’t a big deal for me, but for the people along with me, it was an ice-breaker. They would haven’t been in such an alarming position until that time.
Remarkably, these days, I started giving priority for food, and that’s why we live and earn finally. This guy accompanying me was an expert local guide on finding the right restaurants and the right food. Took me to a restaurant called Pakwan, and assured me that I will never be disappointed for sure despite the hardship of finding the parking space at the San Francisco downtown. OMG, he was awesome right on his judgement, it was really a cosy desi feeling restaurant where we were supplied with stumpy food not limiting for Biryani, Chicken and a Chai. The climate needs a special mention over here such romantic it was, and that too after such a big meal experiencing the fragrance of mild blowing wind is indescribable. Would have grounded in the streets of downtown if I had been with some romantic partner. 😀
With the next day being to the parade was able to see some highly open-minded people living in this beautiful world and got a vast KT (Knowledge Transfer) about identifying or determining LGBT people. Wow! It was mind-blowing, and I felt that I deserve to learn more in my life.
Even Indian people have changed a lot and westernised very well in SF. The conversations among people were immeasurable. I overheard a conversation that someone wanted to have a weed and discussion was going on. Being served with International Agencies and Borders, I thought my mind has gone nuts. But when my friend did confirm “Yes, it was weed”, I felt a big OMG! It was really a more in-depth and emotionally intimate conversation.
With much fun in the San Francisco, departed to Los Angeles – Burbank and Long Beach.
It was 350 miles of a long drive with 2 Breaks Enroute, limitless conversations on history, geography, politics, betrayals, sweet moments, astrology, movies, TV shows, technology, diet, kids, job, extended relatives, parents, friends, art, girls, colleges, friends and whatnot. In fact, I time travelled back ageing 13 years from now with the level of conversation and smoothness of the way.
Went around Los Angeles for Dolby Theatre, Long Beach Harbour, Queen Mary Ship, Aquarium and street walks. Most of the homes were very impressive and thought of clicking photos of all the houses, but unfortunately, I learnt to read English while I was a kid, which made me frightened. Yass, I was frightened to read the sign “ARMED RESPONSE“. And, I had lots of commitments to be executed back in India as well as I had the responsibility of taking my friend safe back to Mountain View, so refrained from many pics around those streets.
The Long Beach was entirely unexplored and not as dense as LA. After getting around the local and was into a movie in TCL screen, which was claimed to be 4D by damaging the Sacral Vertebrum of the Spinal Cord decided to return back to SF for flight. While preparing to return explored a few shops which were really amazing and those were new to my eyes. Wouldn’t be appropriate if I could mention it here; instead, one should visit to see and experience them.
Closed my car ODO meter at 12773 miles which count for 1885 miles in 4 days!
Concludingly, I never imagined that my trip to San Francisco would be that much fun, informed and exploratory of such high grade. One thing which I regretted at the end was for carrying much of formal wardrobe than the casuals which made me as an odd man out. Than the location, the partner in crime for getting around was so comfortable, which made me cherish the memories of San Francisco trip.
I wanted to release this article a fortnight ago, but I was very busy with other tasks. Yes, complied this at 34750 feet above sea level and with 523 knots speed on the way to London, United Kingdom.
See you all soon. Coming up!