I had not come to SF for pleasure but for work. I am not particularly fond of flying and I get a jet-lag every time. The flight from Zurich to SF takes 12 hours. Believe it or not but this time I did not have a jet-lag. The reason therefore was the angina, which came along as nasty travel companion. Thanks to the angina I slept for most of the flight, even though we departed in Zurich at 1pm. As a solution for a jet-lag not to be recommended.
I arrived in SF in a better condition than I had left Zurich. I checked in at the hotel, went to an agreed meeting and then straight to sleep. I was surprised by the large number of homeless people as well as by the trade unions. On the stroke of seven in the morning the trade unions started their manifestations. “Union Power, we are the power. Union power, we are the power.” Without end, terribly loud and for hours they chanted under the window of my hotel room, as if I was the one to blame. My alarm clock was set for 8am but I did not need it. I wished that those, who had caused this trouble, would have their bedrooms nearby and not me. And in addition my angina reported back with new strength.
We had agreed an early lunch in Chinatown. The restaurant had been selected upon recommendation of the Swiss travel guide. On the doors of the restaurant was a large official letter.
In short it said that the restaurant had been officially closed due to serious hygiene shortcomings, which might cause health issues. All possible conditions, which one could contract, had been listed. I lost my appetite while reading.
We went to a Chinese restaurant nevertheless. In the restaurant with a long queue were only Chinese people. One did not have to order and a large pot of jasmine tea was put on the table. Then the waiters went up and down the restaurant with the dishes and shouted something in Mandarin. If one wanted a dish, one had to call the waiters. Out of pity they stopped at our table every now and then and showed us what was in the bamboo baskets. Once in a while we nodded without actually knowing what it was and at other times we declined. But fried chicken feet I really had to try.
I had never eaten so authentically Chinese before.
The following morning, with the accuracy of a Swiss watch, the trade unions raised me from sleep. “Union power, we are the power, union power, we are the power.“ At 8am everything was over again. One could set the clock by them.
The best of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? Read more about it next week!