Continuing on a theme of minor revelations, one of the things that we really don’t understand about San Francisco, is why on sunny weekend and bank holiday afternoons, half of the city drives to the scrubby patch of grass verge opposite the supermarket, parks up, and then sits next to their cars with the radios on, taking mate (the equivalent of afternoon tea if you’re English) and breathing in exhaust fumes. Admittedly San Francisco does lack weekend entertainment, but there are nicer venues than the main road passing the supermarket, and if you’re going in the car anyway, you can find tranquil little villages and not-unpleasant countryside within a few kilometres.
So today, passing this spectacle on our way back into San Francisco from the Scout leaders’ weekend, I made the most of having two Argentineans in the car and I asked them.
“It’s not about being in a nice place” They said (clearly not!) “It’s about being seen”. Oh. You know what? If that was me, being seen would be exactly what I was afraid of; that my friends and neighbours would clock me parked up along the dual carriageway, and ask themselves “What sort of a dozy pillock thinks that that is a good spot for a picnic?” It may be that we aren’t yet fully culturally adapted. On the other hand, there may be some aspects of culture to which one might want to avoid adapting. Note to self; don’t try this on the M25.