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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Bond. Violet Bond.

Bond. Violet Bond.

When I explore a city solo, I feel like James Bond.

Everywhere Bond goes, he gets chased and fired at by top-flight deadly operatives from all over the world. Everywhere I go, I cut corners, leave myself too little time and dress totally inappropriately for the task at hand. The rush of adrenalin is identical!

It was Thursday, the final day of my tag-along impromptu San Francisco trip. I woke up early. But not from the alarm. I was treated to a rousing reveille composed of: 1) my boyfriend hack-gag-gurgling phlegm, 2) splashes of flop sweat brought on by the ridiculously non-breathable comforter and 3) muscle soreness akin to a non-athletic person’s after trying Cross-Fit for the first time.

My flight left at 8p. I wanted to get some activity in during the precious pre-SFO hours. You know I was serious because I didn’t even go to the gym in the morning, as I had the previous days. It was time to work it out on the treadmill of LIFE.

I’d walked nearly 15 miles the previous day, stubbornly defying the kind Muni bus drivers who graciously swung open their doors when they saw me thundering up the city’s gluteally murderous hills.

“I’m … [huff] fine … [violent cough] thanks! [spew of vomit]” came the reply. My 10-year-old Converse low-stars, Uniqlo skinny jeans and costume jewelry were playing against type as workout wear. The next morning, I felt like Robin Williams-as-Genie when he finally popped out of his lamp after 10 millennia. “10,000 years will give you SUCH a crick in the neck!” Or 10,000 kilometers, 10,000 home liberateds, whatever.

Before his adventure, James Bond talks to Q, who outfits him with bleeding-edge gadgetry to fight the as-yet-unimaginable threats outside. As I stroll out of the hotel room in my sequined halter top, my Q (Deepak) physically yanks me back and shoves a t-shirt and Starbucks coupon at me. What’s that? I can’t hear his wardrobe objections over the seemingly amplified grumble of my empty stomach. In the event, I compromise and change into a lingerie top. It doesn’t look any more REI-ready than the halter did for my hike, but mobility is much better and the lace makes for good breathability, so he allows it.

As we know, Bond has to improvise and think creatively to make the most of his limited resources. Similarly, I’d purloined a decorative Granny Smith apple from the check-in bowl downstairs and pressed it into service as an incredibly acidic, sour gorp. Dressed for a key party among the redwoods. Borborygmi barely muffled. I was ready for my Bond-style San Francisco adventure.

I prepared for the day with a hearty breakfast.
I prepared for the day with a hearty breakfast.
While shopping, I learned my dad has entered the dried fruit business.
Apparently my dad is selling dried fruit now.
I was sassed by a lion outside the de Young.
I was sassed by a lion outside the de Young Museum.
But the joke's on him. I texted a photo of his compatriot to my ER doctor sister. She informed me the statues are being ravaged by spirochete bacteria.
But the joke’s on him. I texted a photo of his compatriot to my ER doctor sister. She informed me the statues are being ravaged by spirochete bacteria. Mere months to live before they start losing limbs and noses.
What would a trip to San Francisco be without an unruly mob blocking the entrance to your hotel? In an effort to appease, the administration put out big pots of free Illy coffee for guests. Keep those protests coming, guys! I'm thirsty.
What would a trip to San Francisco be without an unruly mob or picketers blocking the entrance to your hotel? My irritation turned to elation when I saw that as a conciliatory measure, the administration had put out big pots of free Illy coffee for guests. Keep those protests coming, guys!
Made:  a) for them? b) by them? c) of them?  I recommend a rebrand to "Uxori-Oatcakes™."
Made:
a) for them?
b) by them?
c) of them?
I recommend a rebrand to Uxori-Oatcakes™.
San Francisco ... land of the Kaiser Permanente Farmers Market!
San Francisco … land of the Kaiser Permanente Farmers Market!
I got this from an Inner Richmond dim sum purveyor who wears her Yelp-given nickname of "The Dim Sum Nazi" with pride. I've noticed this trend a lot, and I'm disturbed. 1. In this double-dip recession, why is poor customer service worn as a badge of honor? 2. Why are our cultural references nearly 20 years old?  3. Per high school debate, "Genocide Trivialization"!
I got this shrimp bun from an Inner Richmond dim sum purveyor who wears her Yelp-given nickname of “The Dim Sum Nazi” with pride. Re: self-styled mean foodslingers: I’ve noticed this trend a lot, and I’m disturbed.
1. In this double-dip recession, why is poor customer service worn as a badge of honor?
2. Why are our cultural references nearly 20 years old?
3. Per high school debate, “Genocide Trivialization”!
Buy these bruised and battered canned bananas!
Buy these bruised and battered canned bananas!
Upon returning from our trip to Southeast Asia, Deepak and I craved mangosteens. But our casual research determined that they're illegal to ship from Thailand for pesticide reasons. Thus, I snapped this photo and sent it to Deepak so I could get credit for spotting these without actually having to buy them. It will now become Exhibit D in a case the Dept. of Agriculture is building against the New May Wah Supermarket.
Upon returning from our trip to Southeast Asia, Deepak and I craved mangosteens. But our casual research determined that they’re illegal to ship from Thailand for pesticide reasons. Thus, I snapped this photo and sent it to Deepak so I could get credit for spotting these without actually having to buy them. It will now become Exhibit D in a case the Dept. of Agriculture is building against the New May Wah Supermarket.
Doing a little book shopping/burning.
Doing a little book shopping/burning.
I ate late-night Pakistani food with an old college friend.
I ate late-night Pakistani food with an old college friend. This constituted the only meal I bought during the trip.
I got a job here in college one summer! Sadly, upon closer inspection I realized I had been hired at the one in L.A., not this San Francisco flagship. The one in L.A. was in a converted unisex bathroom. One time my boss answered the phone, "Hello? How did you get this number? We're pretty much in the twilight of our years here."
I got a job here in college one summer! Sadly, upon closer inspection I realized I had been hired at the one in L.A., not this San Francisco flagship. The one in L.A. was in a converted unisex bathroom. One time my boss answered the phone, “Hello? How did you get this number? We’re pretty much in the twilight of our years here.”
I promised my boyfriend I would buy one thing while out (rather than just sampling). Promise fulfilled!
I promised my boyfriend I would buy one thing while out (rather than just sampling). Promise fulfilled!
But there were so many samples along the way ...
But there were so many samples along the way …
Lots of figs needed. I had a long walk ahead.
Lots of figs needed. I had a long walk ahead.


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