By ◆ Juppie on Sunday, March 13, 2011 @ 7:09 PM

I often feel that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some may dispute it, and remind me that I live in the Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the electronic world, not to mention that my neighborhood is one renowned for its school district (and according to my father, who has been to Taiwan, even the people there know that our town is home to excellent schools) and my town is the headquarters of a very famous company. But for me, those are not the things that make a place the place to be.

Only a half-hour's drive away is the city by the bay, the place that Tony Bennett, according to his song's lyrics, left his heart: San Francisco.

Trolley cars and the Golden Gate Bridge have long been symbols of the city. Its population is about 16 times that of my hometown. There are several museums, including the De Young, Legion of Honor, Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum, and more recently, the California Academy of Sciences. The San Francisco Bay has four islands - Alcatraz, Angel Island, Yerba Buena Island, and Treasure Island.

I've been to San Francisco twice in the last couple of months. The first time was to go to De Young to see their exhibit about Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, and other Post-Impressionists. It's typical of my family to visit De Young whenever they have some new exhibit since we have membership at the museum.

That day we'd had a bit of time, and since we'd bothered to drive to SF, I thought that we should go somewhere. So we drove towards the ocean, and we arrived at a beach. If there is one thing about nature that I really love, it has to be the ocean. Even if I hardly ever swim in the ocean (too salty, and I didn't learn to swim until I was about 8 years old), it was always much fun for me as a child to run in and out of the waves, or to just bury my feet into the sand and stand there as the waves tried to tug me away. And I loved to walk along the beach and pick up every pretty little seashell or rock that I came across. My parents always got annoyed, insisting that it was just junk and you could find a bajillion of them on the beach, but still, I loved those little bits and pieces. I'd even bring back Ziploc bags filled with sand if I had visited a particularly beautiful beach. Those were the only things, besides my memories, that I could bring back home with me.

The second time that we went to SF was to see the tulips (Tulipmania at Pier 39, but it's over now). I always insist on seeing some tulips every year - last year I'd planted them in my backyard and I'd visited another high school in my school district which has many tulips. The year before that, I'd gone to Filoli (which I wrote about here). Walking around Pier 39 is pretty much torture for me. There's the smell of food all around, and delicious things to eat like crepes and cookies and "bread bowls" with clam chowder in them. I must say I ate far too much that day, but it was worthwhile just to eat something tasty. One of the people working at (or maybe he owns?) Crepe Cafe was quite friendly, as well. I did hear that there is a crepe place called Bonjour Crepe Company not far from where I live, I figure I that I should pay it a visit sometime soon.

Actually, on the way there we got mixed up about how to get to Pier 39 and took the wrong turn. We ended up driving on the Bay Bridge and onto Treasure Island. I am glad that we'd gotten lost that time because the Bay had looked quite lovely and I got to take a few photos. Remind me and perhaps I will put them up on my DeviantArt.

When we were leaving Pier 39, we saw a crowd of people and went over to join them. They were watching some acrobatic performers. They were quite funny and some of them spoke with accents (I think Australian?). In fact, someone was talking on the cell phone, so one of the guys said, "You've been a great audience so far, except for the lady talking on the cell phone" and then he got her to hand over the cell phone and actually started talking to the person on the other end (the mother of the lady).

And when we were going back to our car, my dad decided to just cross the street because there were no cars, so we followed him. Then suddenly a voice yelled out, "NO JAYWALKING!" It was a man who suddenly lifted a bush away from himself. (He was actually pretending to be a bush, and it was convincing. I hadn't noticed that it was a man in there.) Even more hilarious was when I was looking at a trash can. I noticed that there was a person inside it. o_o;;

San Francisco always seems so lively, and though it is a big city, it also has the natural touch to it with its Golden Gate Park and the lovely bay. And the fresh ocean air does me good; although it's chilly, it seems to alleviate my allergies. (Could just be my imagination, like the placebo effect, but still, that's good, isn't it?)

There's lots of other places in this world that I like very much, and I often spend my time thinking about those places...I feel like I'm constantly caught between here and there. I do love my home, for it holds many precious memories and many people who are dear to me. Indeed, when I expressed that I was restless and desired to leave town, my friends gave an outcry and said I could not leave them. I do wonder now if it is selfish for me because I will be leaving people behind. All I'd ever thought about was that I'd be going to a happier and more beautiful place. But perhaps I already have all the things that should make me happy right here. I don't know anymore.

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