Moved to San Francisco from San Diego earlier this month, after an 8-hour/500 mile drive – most of it on the straight stretch of the I-5 freeway that is faster but far less impressive than its scenic alternative, the 101. The distance is not the only thing that separates these two cities – they are as different as two cities can be that lie on the Californian coast. San Diego perhaps fits the stereotype one may have about California – sun, sand, beach, and the kind of near-perfect weather that would make your local weatherman or woman break into odes of joy. The place where I moved to in San Francisco is 7 blocks from the ocean. I braved the cold one morning to jog up to the beach. It was like a black-and-white movie shot of a beach with cold winds that make you draw the hood of your sweatshirt over your head, and fog that envelopes the ocean as if in wait for an ominous ancient ship to break through it. The city has other charms though that are good on their promise. There’s the famed Golden Gate Bridge – yes the red one, which is impressive. My favorite is the Golden Gate park – a vast rectangular escape into nature that runs horizontal from west to the middle of the SF bay – akin to Central Park in NY except that this one is not ‘central’. More updates shall follow as I embark on explorations of the city.

Among other interesting developments, a buddy and I will be backpacking in South America – specifically Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. I won’t be carrying my laptop and will not be able to update on the go. If memory and patience hold me good once I get back, I promise detailed posts. I do intend to document some of the pre-trip preps on this blog before I leave Saturday morning, for the benefit of anyone embarking on a similar journey, has an Indian passport and needs to figure out the formalities – a topic on which information on the web is inadequate.