Tips to Avoid the Tourist Track
-Don’t wear a visible fanny pack. Seriously. We make fun of you guys. At least tuck it under your shirt.
-Don’t call it “Frisco” (or San Fran). SF, San Francisco, and “The City” are all acceptable terms, but no one says “Frisco” except for tourists.
-Don’t be freaked out by strangers talking to you on the street. Whether it’s homeless people asking for change, or canvassers wanting to talk about political issues, this is a normal occurance here. A lot of tourists get really wierded out by it, but it’s just people talking to other people. There’s no need to ignore these guys – if you’re not interested then just smile and say “No, thank you.”
This works the other way, too – as a tourist, you can start conversations with strangers, or just ask for directions, and you’ll usually receive a helpful response.
-Don’t drive a car. There is just no reason to ever drive in San Francisco. Murphy’s Law is in full effect here – everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. You will get stuck in the worst traffic of your life. You will spend an obnoxious amount of money on gas. You will not be able to find a parking spot. ANYWHERE. You might even have things stolen from your car.
Do as the locals do – take the bus.
-Don’t use the cable cars as your primary means on transportation. Yeah, yeah, we get it. Every tourist has to ride them once. But please don’t actually use them as a way to get from Point A to Point B. For god’s sake, take MUNI or BART like the rest of us.
-Don’t talk shit about Awesome American Things, such as football, baseball, big cars, giant cups of coffee, and SuperSize meals of cheeseburgers and fries. You’re in our country, so show a little respect for our culture.
-Don’t be closed-minded. San Francisco is a place of freedom. Don’t be weirded out by gay couples showing affection for each other, people smoking pot, political protests, half-naked men with socks dangling from strategic places, and people speaking their minds. We have everything from the Slut Walk to the Nudist Association to the Leather Alliance. So don’t shy away from it -embrace it!