There are things they don't tell you before you move to San Francisco. Most people, like I did, ask how scary are earthquakes, and they tell you, "Eh, not so bad." The one that hit the other morning was 4.0, and I am not kidding when I said it was pants-shitting scary. I absolutely would have shit the bed if I hadn't dropped heat minutes earlier.
Oh, and the place smells like shit. This is not a euphemism for anything; the drought has meant that the sewer system gets no runoff water to lube the pipes, and the crap starts clogging the system and you can smell it walking to work from the subway. And the poopiest part of the city? Where I work in the Financial District. Yay, we're number One... at smelling like number Two.
And then there's the homeless problem, which probably isn't helping matters with the poop smell.
Oh, and it turns out that mentally ill people regularly fling themselves in front of subway trains to commit suicide.
My boss sent me an email with a link to the story and the message, "You may want to take the ferry tonight." There's a seven dollar ferry that is the only other mass transit option to get from the East Bay to the city or back.
An obviously mentally ill person or severely depressed person, who to my knowledge has never been identified, threw himself in front of a train and shut down the subway for five hours while they cleaned up the mess.
It really got to me. I felt like a seizure was coming on. I'd read the tweets on the #BART feed on Twitter, people complaining about how they were being inconvenienced by this selfish person who, I guess, they were upset that he didn't die in private rather than what happened.
I just get really upset about how mental illness and depression is treated by people who have no clue what they are talking about. Yes, I have depresson, yes, I am treating it, but medication just helps, it doesn't cure it. It's always there. Waiting for a chance.
It got me pretty down that people here were so into themselves that they would ridicule this guy who was obviously disturbed and could have probably been saved with a health care system that actually works rather than dumping mentally ill people on the streets. Talk about selfish.
Also an amazing amount of people smoke here.