An Open Letter To The Tourists Of San Francisco
Dear Tourists of San Francisco,
I see you in the diners and the streets, clutching bags of American-made goodies and pouring over pamphlets for ferry rides and novelty expeditions. I watch you walk in and out of trendy seafood restaurants and buying tickets to shows in the evenings. I hear you complain about the homeless and the garbage, feel you look down on the city you’ve traveled so far to see.
That’s not the city you’re experiencing, it’s the basic offerings travel brings all those who venture outside their neighborhood. New things and new tastes, these are guaranteed when you step outside your door, but that’s only the surface of what visiting a new place has to offer.
No amount of money will give you the same sense of adventure you can experience just stopping and taking it all in. There is no tour guide that can express the wonderful insanity of the nude men pacing about Castro between hills the shape of boners under a sheet. The dress you bought for the club you’re visiting tonight won’t leave the same memory as getting lost in a downtown crack alley and finding a dive bar full of rowdy locals watching a 49ers game.
You can’t buy the experience of travel, you have to just let it happpen. Stop working hours you don’t want for money to do things that won’t bring you closer to a place you want to know. Quit wasting the time you have earned here in beautiful controlled environments. You can find what you want in the city without a cent exchanged.
I guess this isn’t even just a letter to you lovely but misguided idealists. This message is to everyone sitting around waiting for that indescribably liberating feeling that getting away offers. Stop relying on money to bring it to you. It will get you close, but it won’t get you all the way. The only way to feel free is to deny the need for anything but yourself and the moment. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, so stop making money the deciding factor on whether or not you reach what you’re looking for.
A surely deranged anarchist,