I'm going to do the best I can to make you feel welcome here in the city. You should start by observing the following common courtesies to the people who actually live, work, and otherwise exist here full time. If you do adhere to these policies, you will have far fewer people telling you how much they hate tourists. You will be the anti-tourism tourist; the one that blends enough into the crowd to avoid the disdain and general irritation that comes from a native or long-term transplant who knows and religiously practices the rules of city etiquette.
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1. This must be your first time in an underground transportation system. You know how I knew? You, and your circle of family/screaming children/drunk frat brothers/and BFFs stood in the center of the escalator, seemingly oblivious not only to the polite requests to step to the side, but the 37 people you abruptly stopped mid-stride in your insistence that "if we ain't standing together, we won't find one another at the bottom". Really, tho, the escalators have singular destinations, and if you are forced to separate, it'll be fairly easy to find the lost lamb again. RULE: Stand on the right, pass on the left.
2. Don't stop in the middle of the sidewalk to study your map. If you are irreparably lost, step out of the flow of pedestrian (and vehicular) traffic as to not interfere with my commute. I actually know where I'm going, and you stopping in front of me only make me want to run into you and be vulgar: I'm a nice person, don't bring that out in me. RULE: Be aware of the very obvious fact that you aren't the only person with somewhere to go, and blocking traffic is just rude.
3. Don't complain loudly to everyone you meet about how expensive everything is. Duh. We already live in the 2nd most expensive city in the US. We know. You should have planned better. RULE: Get over the cost. At least you don't have to pay rent here.
4. The weather here is unpredictable. Unlike SoCal, where the sun is shiny and clouds are rare, we live in a strange weather pattern. Mark Twain said "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Bring a coat, long pants, and warm socks. This is not to say there won't be some great weather, but chances are likely you'll freeze your tush off if you only have flip flops, tank tops, and short shorts (which are, BTW, out of fashion. You look like a whore. just a heads up.) RULE: Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
5. RULE: If your whole family is wearing matching "Alcatraz Swim Team" sweatshirts, people are in fact laughing at you. It's not a coincidence.
6. If you must bring your children here, keep them on a leash, and for God's sake, don't bring them to upscale restaurants. This is a foodie city, and we take these things seriously. The cost of a great dinner out includes ambiance; ambiance does not, and will never involve your screaming children. RULE: Leave the kids at home: This is a grown-up playground.
7. Don't tell homeless people to get a job. If you lived their lives, you'd be sitting on the corner in a drugged out bliss too. You can maintain their dignity, and whatever shred of yours you have left, by walking by without snide comments, being rude, or generally shitty. RULE: You are the guest here, they are the residents. Frankly, they are doing a service in not mugging an asshole like you.
8. There are a lot of famous landmarks in this city that make it a hotbed of tourism. Everyone should check this stuff out once, but this is NOT representative of San Francisco. This is you being fleeced for your money by selling tacky tchotchkies, Alcatraz sweatshirts, and bad food. Do the tourism thing for about two days, then delve into the real world. RULE: Don't base your vacation on a postcard you saw.
9. RULE: The ocean is cold. Don't try to swim.
10. RULE: Fanny packs are a flag to get you mugged. So are camera bags.
These rules could be applied in any major tourist city, and all would be the better for them. Travel smart, stay safe, and get the F out of the way.
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