Wild Young Minds: ''Did anyone ever tell you you look like Cara Delevingne?'' ''No! Never!''

Monday, August 24, 2015

''Did anyone ever tell you you look like Cara Delevingne?'' ''No! Never!''

So many things happening in such short time, I feel that I should write a post at least once a day, but well, that's probably not gonna happen. Not only because there's so much to do in this great state, but also because I still don't have any internet on my laptop. Story of my life, for sure. No internet in Amsterdam, no internet in San Francisco. But fortunately I brought many, many books and I have people around to talk to.

Anyways, today I feel like I should be writing a bit more about the first week, orientation week actually, of uni. Cause that's what I came here for after all! Something I kept forgetting the weeks before I arrived here. But reality is gonna start again and reality is gonna start again soon. Tomorrow... But well, the first week was only an orientation week, So it was not too bad. I met many, many people, heard lots and lots of shitty information that we all know by heart already - I mean, plagiarism, seriously? - and I've experienced that the San Francisco State University campus is not that pretty. 

And not that warm either... Must sound odd for Dutch people, but it's a true fact: it's about 5 degrees colder at campus than in the city. And it's only 20 minutes distance between the two of them. Honestly, I haven't seen any real sun at uni. It's always cloudy. It's a good thing that I live in the center :)

Orientation week was mainly about meeting people from different nationalities and hearing all about Americans and their weird customs. Most of them I already knew, for instance the famous ''Hi! How are you?'' and the over-enthusiasm, but I also found out that Americans give their phone number the minute they meet you. It's not a flirting kind of thing, but it's because they love to meet people (I think) and they are so excited about your life story, that they wanna know all about it in the future. In reality, they never call you back. Or maybe once, if there's a good reason.

So yes, all the information was a bit unnecessary, even though there were some useful things, like the fact that we learned that we have to have a travel permission from SFSU in order to travel outside of the States. Hawaii is a state, so we don't need it for this beautiful island. Some of my new friends are actually going there during Labour Day, but I decided to stay in SF - or go to Santa Cruz or a place closer - because tickets are damn expensive.

Fortunately there was more than just information, for instance a meeting at Dolores Park on Tuesday. I spent a lot of time with the girls from the first house I slept in, but also met many other internationals. To give you an idea: around 50% of the internationals is Asian, but I didn't meet a lot of them. They really do seem to stick together... I did meet a lot of Italians, lovely people. There are many Scandinavians here as well, lots of blonde hair that stands out in the hallways. Lots of Norwegians, lots of Swedes. They seem to get along really well with us Dutchies, and that's a good thing, cause we're with many as well! About 20 I think, which is crazy, right?

Thus, many internationals. But fortunately many people from California as well! On Wednesday we were invited to a fraternity party by a French guy who was very lucky and arranged a place via AirBnb which turned out to become his home for the next half year. It was basically a room filled with smoke, because Americans, or San Franciscans for that matter, smoke A LOT of weed. The smell was quite familiar, because I'm used to walking in the center of Amsterdam and experiencing the same. But the taste is different. I've tried some - yes, mommy and daddy, I did, not that it would really bother you, though! - and it sure is a lot stronger.

People really go crazy when you tell them you're from Amsterdam. ''No way! Are you kidding me? That's so amazing! I'm so excited about this!'' No, I don't mean to make fun of Americans. But they are definitely crazy about Amsterdam. I had to explain that ''No, I don't smoke weed every day'' or ''take magical truffles every week''.

Another thing I found really striking about house parties - I've attended three so far - is that alcohol is such a big deal. Of course, I knew that you had to be 21+ in order to get some, but I did not know they were so strict about it. Lots of people I met at the parties were under 21 - I felt so mature - so they are not allowed to enter most clubs. They either have a fake ID or just stay at home and drink. Which results in lots and lots of liquor bottles and wasted people. 

I do think that many young Americans are not experienced in drinking, and that's the reason they get so super wasted. They never drink during dinner, with their parents or at what we call ''borrels''. Such a difference. I'm very glad that I'm able to buy wine - I pity the prizes though - cause many people here are still 20 and that sure gives you trouble. I was actually thinking about becoming a dealer and make money of buying beers and wine for young people. You know me ;)

One of the house parties we attended was an amazing one. Me and two other Dutch girls joined a couple of American guys in their car to Sebastopol, which is a few hours north from SF. This might sound weird, but we knew one of them, Tynan, because he studied in Amsterdam half a year before. We had good fun listening to hiphop, crossing the GG bridge and looking at all the beautiful vineyards. Nature really does change as soon as you're outside the city. It's gorgeous. So we stayed in Sebastopol for the night, after a lovely evening with interesting conversations, burgers, drinks and a jacuzzi.

On Friday we were back in the city, which was also convenient, because I still had to take care of some things for the apartment. On Saturday I went to the Beat Museum and City Lights Bookstore, but I'll tell you more about that later, when I will - hopefully - know all about the cultural and literary history of San Francisco.

For now, I want to conclude my story with a really sweet compliment I received here in San Francisco. Something I have not heard about 500 times in my life so far. No, I should be grateful, it's a great compliment. ''Did anyone ever tell you you look like that model? The famous one? Cara!'' I've heard it about 25 times so far I think. She must be very popular in the States at the moment.
I actually had a discussion about it with my friend Jordi back home. He thought that Americans would probably not bother too much, because they're used to famous people. He turned out to be wrong. People go crazy about her. And me a bit as well. I still take it as a compliment, definitely, but after hearing it three times in five minutes it makes me feel a bit sad. Why? Because I'm also an individual with my own looks and life story. 

But well, I think that I'm gonna use this in my benefit as well. Next time, my response will be similar to this: ''Ah yeah, she's my cousin! We're super close''.  Who knows, maybe it'll take me some places I've never been, maybe I'll meet some people I otherwise never would've  seen. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. And that sure is a fine thing. 

Love from San Francisco! 

By the way, the photos don't really match the story, but they show my new room! 

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