City of Hearts

Do people still write songs about places? They make places somewhat romantic and kind of magical don’t you think? And when you actually visit, the songs are in your head accompanying you like an old friend.

It’s been 30 years since I was in San Francisco on a packaged tour and a short stay with relatives. It was a culture shock. The tour didn’t shock because they take you to tourist attractions, souvenir shops and Chinatowns. The eye-opener was the diversity and the liberty of an integrated and yet distinctly open society.

It was the first time I went to a mall when emporiums still existed in Singapore, queued in a cold back alley to get into a club, drank at a gay hangout with the best looking men around, was driven round a hilltop to a valley of lights and crossed magnificent bay bridges. I was dazzled.

I visited the same relatives I stayed with before and we simply continued from where we left off the last time we spent time together. This is the kind of relationships I treasure most in life. It proves that time and distances can never keep people apart when a bond is built from the start and ready to reignite every time we meet.

Has San Francisco changed since people wore flowers in their hair?

One week is too short to figure that out. I should come back again soon but before I go, here’s a song to bring back the old charm of this beautiful city. Enjoy!




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