San Francisco in USA(Can you hear me?), Jul 11, 2010

The date was Jul 11th 2010.
I arrived at San Francisco on Jul 9th.
Just 2 days have gone, however, I already wanted to go back to Japan as soon as possible.
This is because it was a tough challenge for those who cannot speak English, like me.
In addition, I traveled alone at that time.

It was neither my first overseas trip nor my first solo trip.
I had been overseas 4 times, so far:Hawaii(1997, with friends), San Francisco(2003, with friends), Hong Kong(2008,2009, alone).

I had my eye on overseas travel as a new hobby.
I felt getting used to travelling alone by 2 times Hong Kong travel.
It depends on how you travel, however, very basic English is enough to travel Hong Kong.
I was looking for a new place to travel alone besides Hong Kong.
I believed it was good for me to travel where I had gone.
It’s weird to travel Hawaii alone.
You can travel with only Japanese in Hawaii.
That’s why I chose San Francisco.
However, it was not so easy.
I was overwhelmed by how much I couldn’t understand what local people talked about.
I hadn’t heard of what native speakers speak until that moment besides CD-ROM.
No matter how well you can hear, voices in CD-ROM are by teachers who speak slowly and clearly.
No wonder I couldn’t hear well.

Speaking is more tough than hearing.
The best I could do was to speak a word.
Speaking a sentence was far beyond my ability.
Moreover, I’m shy and a man of few words.
I sometimes stutter, even though Japanese.
That’s why I didn’t enjoy this travel.

I met the famous bushman at Fisherman’s wharf.
He tried to startle me.
But, I gave him no reaction which made people around there giggle.
I felt depressed like that.

That happened when I took a ride on a cable car.
I grabbed a pole and most part of my body was out of a cable car.
My backpack was sometimes nearly touched to buildings and cars.
The driver said to me, « Watch out your bag!! ».
I understood what she said, but this car was crowded and I had no idea what I should do.
« Can you hear me? » said the driver.
I learned one thing at that time.
No matter how much I cannot figure out, I should do something.
I should say « I have no idea. What should I do? » at that moment.
That’s the way abroad.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

On the next day, I went to fisherman’s wharf to meet the bushman.
He might talk with me and help me break out of my shell.
I searched every street thoroughly, but couldn’t find him.
But, I didn’t regret.
I was able to ask people,
« Do you know the famous bushman? Did you see him today? ».

(It appears that I met the famous bushman at the red circle.)


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