I can’t believe we’ve been living in SF for almost a month now; the time has flown by, but at the same time I feel like I’ve got to know the city really well. With every day that passes I feel more at home and love SF a little bit more. (Don’t worry Mum, I will be coming home.)
Before I came I read so many articles about SF, especially those “what you should know before moving to SF” write-ups. They were actually really useful, and gave me a great insight into the city. I thought I’d share my own ideas on the city from a mainly British perspective, so if you’re thinking of visiting, or even moving to the city, have a read 🙂
- People are just as obsessed with the weather in SF as they are in the UK
If you think only British people can harp on about the weather, then you haven’t been to San Francisco. To be fair, the weather here is pretty interesting and can genuinely change multiple times during the day, from cold and foggy in the morning, to bright and sunny in the afternoon and wild and windy in the evening. Carl the Fog, as he’s locally known, even has his own twitter account to update you on his whereabouts. I’ve just about got used to the weather, and have learned two important points; Always carry a layer (a light down jacket that you can stuff in your bag is ideal) and wear sunscreen even when it’s cold and foggy as you will still burn. I have the worst tan lines on my legs to show for it. #capriproblems.
- Hilly is an understatement (but they give you the most amazing views)
I knew SF was hilly, but honestly, it’s a joke. We’re talking hills so steep they have to add steps so you can actually walk up them. And they are relentless, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without tackling them. Forget heels, or even ballet pumps. It’s trainers all the way.
- People are really friendly, but not in a weird way
In the UK (well, at least in London) we’re highly skilled at politely ignoring each other. Whether it’s on the tube, in a queue for coffee or sitting in park, making conversation with strangers is not the done thing. If someone starts talking to you, it’s automatically suspicious. In SF, it’s the norm to strike up a conversation, and I have to say, I love it. As a newcomer to the city the openness of the SF community has been completely humbling, and the friendliness of the people has made it so much easier to settle.
- It’s eye wateringly expensive
If you think London is expensive, think yourself lucky. The rent and general cost of living in SF is extortionate and makes you really question how much you want to live in the city. We’ve come to terms with our hideously expensive rent, mainly because we know it’s shorterm, but living here permanently would bankrupt us.
- Every food trend will be catered for.
SF is a foodie mecca and we haven’t stopped eating since we got here. Every diet is catered for and no eyebrows will be raised if you alter a menu to fit your own dietary requirements. There are so many amazing vegan and vegetarian restaurants, that my husband now actually suggests going to them, which never happened in the UK. Not even once. For the first time in my life, I understand Mexican food and could eat it every single day. I’m turning into a giant burrito.
- Uberpool is as cheap as public transport
I’ve used public transport most days since I’ve been here and it’s fine if you’re not in a rush. It runs to it’s own schedule and is pretty poorly connected which is quite frustrating when you’re used to jumping on the tube. Thankfully, SF is the home of Uber which we’ve used a fair amount too. Uberpool seems to be used much more widely than in the UK and is almost as cheap as public transport, so it’s hard to say no.
- The weirdness becomes normal
I’ve seen some crazy things since I’ve been here, although I’m still awaiting the nudist sighting which I’m told is imminent. As a reserved Brit, it took a few days to adjust to the mayhem but now it seems completely normal. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the one walking around naked… just give me time;)