Only in San Francisco!

Enjoy the latest story from the blog,
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

It was early morning in Fisherman’s Wharf.  While waiting at a street corner, a strange sight grabbed our attention. A lady was walking backward, ever so casually, at a pace somewhere between not too fast and not too slow.

I quickly reminded the kids and myself not to snicker when she neared. We missed the “walk” sign because although we faced it, we concentrated on our peripheral vision. She passed us, backside first. Our eyes shifted to the other peripheral. Now, we could see this lady’s front side as she faced us walking away. She kept a steady pace, looking in our direction, totally without expression. And we looked in her direction, no longer coy, with wonderment written all over our faces. Straight-faced, she crossed a street as if she had eyes in the back of her head. We were mesmerized. How could she see where she was going? Why was she doing this? She seemed so at ease, as if this was her daily routine. It probably was. We held a downright stare until she finally turned a corner. We looked away, scratched our heads, and wondered out loud what the heck just happened.

Mixed in our visits to the usual tourist attractions – Alcatraz, Chinatown, wild sea lions at Pier 39, Little Italy, and Lombard Street – we got in line to do that thing you feel you must do because you’re in San Francisco: ride a trolley. We waited in the trolley line for a very long time. It was near the bay and chilly. The park next door had a lot of people chilling out. Then, I noticed a smell wafting in the air. It made me think back to my college days. So, we passed the time talking about hippies while we watched them dancing and singing around a man strumming an acoustic guitar.

Later in the afternoon, while resting in a park, I remembered a documentary – The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I convinced my family to walk up to COIT Tower on Telegraph Hill to find this fascinating flock of wild parrots living there. It was a steep, long walk, but we got there! By the way, the views of the street-laced hills were incredible. So, apparently was my lung capacity.

A group of college students were lying in the grass by COIT Tower. I approached them, thinking they were locals and could direct me. As I stood over them, they casually looked up at me as if to say, what’s up with this dude? That’s when I asked where I could find the parrots flying around.

Our awkward exchange made me think they might have had a hippie discussion of their own after I left, especially as I backpedaled away, not unlike the lady at the crosswalk.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun! 

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“Wrong Turns Write Life”