Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What I miss about San Francisco when I am far away

Obviously the grass is always greener on the other side -  no matter what I do the other side always looks a little bit more spectacular.

Usually when I am in San Francisco I think back to Europe and compare California to Germany. And I can always find factors that I think are way better in Germany than in in the "Golden State": better healthcare, better glazing of windows, lower food prices, less synthetic growth hormones in food, more security, better banking system, better education, better beer ... just to name a few.

Usually I conduct this analysis in the typical rational German way - I notice drawbacks but do not really feel very emotional about them either.

Since the last 6 weeks I have been in Germany and... gosh - I miss a lot about San Francisco and the problem is: I REALLY long for San Francisco in an emotional way and it is actually not just a declarative statement about the shortcomings of the "other side".

So I went ahead and made a list of all the things I am missing while being far away from beloved San Francisco:

  • People in SF seem more optimistic and energetic to me 
  • The intensity of the San Francisco sun (even though fog is expelling the sun frequently in the summer) 
  • A true love for the country - I am not speaking about patriots, but I would love to see more "Heimatliebe" in Germany
  • A stronger idealism and fight for new ideas & innovation (with people building way more appealing websites) 
  • The colorful mix of different cultures and ethnic groups living together on 49 square miles
  • Hearing the cable car roaring and rattling up the hill 
 And then there are some more things I miss in a very practical sense:

  • So many opportunities to be active in and around San Francisco

  • Much lower gasoline prices (although I don't even have a car - but zipcar and on-demand ridesharing lyft get me anywhere in San Francisco) 
  • Open shops on Sundays
  • Wider streets in a very logical structure 
  • a lot more public wifi 
  • Free water refills in restaurants and lots of drinking fountains in public parks 
  • being able to use my credit card everywhere 
  • The genius of integrated closets

And when I had listed the most important factors I miss about San Francisco (and still could go on for hours), I noticed: San Francisco - this is where I belong and stop complaining about "the other side"!