I drove Thursday this week, a day after the SF Giant’s World Series Parade attracted record crowds.
The morning was spent driving to and from the airport — I had 4 trips to SFO before noon.
In the afternoon I picked up an impeccably dressed middle-aged guy near Levi’s Plaza. He wore bright white pinstripe pants with a colorful bow-tie, his hair was perfectly gelled on top of a chiseled face.
– “Where are you headed today?” I asked.
– “Take me to Chinatown,” he replied. “I’d like to get some presents for the kids.”
– “Where are you in from?”
– “North Carolina.”
– “Oh I think I was there once for spring break with the family. There’s water near there right?” I can be a real idiot with smalltalk sometimes.
– “Yes, North Carolina is adjacent to the ocean.”
Redirecting the conversation, “Where in Chinatown do you want to go?”
– “Somewhere near the shops with all the knockoff purses and stuff,” he said. I wondered, would he tell the kids that they were knockoffs? Maybe they specifically requested, Dad get us the $10 coach bag!
– “Okay I’ll take you to the entrance close to Union Square so you’re oriented.”
A quick trip up Pine Street had us quickly approaching Grant Ave when he says, “Wait, no this isn’t it I want the other Chinatown.”
– “The other Chinatown?”
– “Yeah the one right across from the water with all the purses and stuff.”
– “Sir, this is Chinatown. ‘Shops across from the water’, sounds like you might mean the Fisherman’s Wharf?”
– “I guess, but there’s all these Chinese shops with cheap purse knockoffs and stuff.”
– “Yeah, I think you’re referring to the Fisherman’s Wharf near the piers. There are a lot of Chinese people that own or work at those shops. There’s a lot of Chinese people here in general.”
– “Oh. That’s probably it.”