(3/3) Expensive SF

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Jan 12, 2018 01:16
An American man asked us, “You guys come from China?”

I nodded and replied, “Yep, but how did you know that?”

Pointing to my visa card, he explained, “From the Chinese characters… “

After a short while, he continued, “I’m ashamed. SF is so expensive, even more expensive than London.”

My coworker looked at me and whispered in Mandarin, “Why did he say ‘ashamed’?”

Well, though merely a burger or sandwich for $20+ was indeed pricey, it would’ve been no surprise in China if we’d spent 140 rmb (around $20) per person dining out. I replied, in Mandarin as well, “No idea. I don’t read minds. Perhaps he’s proud that he’s able to survive in this expensive city, or he just expressed his concern over SF’s financial unfriendliness towards tourists.”

Knowing that we were going to start our trip on Highway 1, he said that there was a blockade at the Big Sur and told us how to detour around it. He then offered to give us two $2.5s for a streetcar ride to the urban core, where we would pick up our rental car. Startled by his generosity, I didn’t know what to do for a few seconds before peeling a $5 note out of my wallet in return. That guy’s gentlemanship was really impressive, so the reason he’d felt ashamed was probably my second guess: he was thoughtful. As an aside, when we exited, there was a long line outside. It seemed like Americans loved brunch so much.

At the Alamo, we were told that our parking ticket had expired because we should have pulled our car out the previous night, so we ended up paying the car park an extra $40 for the overnight parking. We got pretty annoyed, because in big Chinese cities, parking process at many places had been automated so we hadn’t expected SF, the world’s tech hub, to be so backward in this aspect. Anyway, accidents would happen; our mood turned jolly as soon as we hit the road.

However, still panic-stricken at the thought of exorbitant parking fees in SF, we decided to head straight for the Golden Gate Bridge to spare us rip-offs of the parking meters downtown. In order to save the toll fees, we planned to stop at the south side of the bridge to do sightseeing, but unfortunately we didn’t have the faintest idea that a spaghetti junction was awaiting us ahead, which would later lead us onto the bridge and cost us $10… Haha.

旁边一位美国人问我们:“你们是中国人吗?”

我点点头,答道:“是的,您怎么知道”?

他指着我的信用卡说,“因为你的信用卡上有汉字。”

过了一会儿,他继续说道:“我很羞愧,旧金山太贵了,比伦敦还贵。”

我的同事转头看向我,用中文问道:“他为什么说很羞愧呢?”

虽然一个汉堡或者是一个三明治要20多美元确实贵,但在中国出去吃一顿饭每人花上140人民币也不是新鲜事。我用中文回答道:“我也不知道,也许他自豪能在这座超贵的城市里生存,或许他觉得价格太高了,游客的旅游体验不好”。

得知我们要去自驾加州一号公路,他说big sur封路了,还告诉我们如何绕道。随后,他主动给了两个2.5美元,说是去市中心的轻轨费。他的大方惊讶到了我,我一时不知如何是好,然后赶紧从钱包里抽出一张5美元给他。那位男士很绅士,给我们留下了很深的印象,所以我觉得我之前的第二种猜测是对的,他应该是很体贴的那种。顺便插一句,我们出餐馆的时候,外面排起了长队,看来美国人极爱吃brunch。

在Alamo,工作人员告知我们的停车票已作废,因为我们必须要在前一晚就把车取出来,所以我们最后只好又给停车场付了40美元。我们有点无语,因为在中国的大城市里,很多停车场已经完全自动化了,没料到世界科技中心旧金山在这方面居然如此落后。不管怎样,世事难料,想开了就好,我们一驶出车库,心情变得愉悦起来。

旧金山高额的停车费还是让我们心有余悸,所以我们打算直接去金门大桥,免得在市里停车花钱如流水。我们打算在金门大桥南边停车照相到此一游,但哪知道我们遇到了一个极其复杂的立交桥,直接开到桥上去了,结果又多花了10美元,哈哈。