Wednesday, 6 August 2014

USA Day 14. Japancentre

Today was cloudy - the heatwave I've been enjoying is well and truly passing (I'm not sure how I'll handle the UK weather, if it's less than 20 I'm reaching for my jacket and scarf…). 

Today was certainly a mixed bag, aside from the weather it all started off pretty smoothly! I managed to make my way over to Japancentre (despite the map not actually showing it) and when I got there I was greeted by a street fair/thing! Turns out it's an annual event for the area to bring together and appreciate all the different culture in the surrounding area
It was just starting as I got there so I quickly glanced as a few of the stalls before deciding to head into Japancentre itself to look at the shops there for a bit 
Just outside the centre itself 
And this guy was just randomly walking around posing for photos!
Preparing the Korean style BBQ

Inside there were tons of different shops selling all sorts, but what I particularly liked was dotted around the place were little Japanese features

 I think my favourite bit was the name of this store (so childish but I think it's funny)
 and I picked up some Japanese chocolates to try (they were nice but nothing special)
 A random origami sign in the plaza!
 Obviously no market in Japancentre would be complete without a Bonsi tree stall!
 The BBQ was well under way when I went back out!
 And the rest of the market was starting to warm up too!
 I grabbed some mushroom dumplings and sat listening to the live Chinese music for a bit before heading back to explore some more of the stalls
 One of the stalls that I really loved (although it pulled on my heart strings) was the dog adoption one. Since it's based in the area they came our to encourage people to adopt rather than buy puppies, and to push their point they'd brought along a couple of dogs that were in need of a home! They popped little lei around the girls and palm-leave headbands around the boys! 
One even had a little sign saying 'adopt me' which melted me heart. It was adorable seeing the dogs pottering about all dressed up! I definitely wanted to take them all home with me
 After spending a while at the market I decided to head back to the centre, I took a different route back so I could walk through the park and despite the weather it was really pretty 
 Jackson Square
 You can just see the mission in the distance from the park!
 And the giant dome of downtown if you look in the opposite direction!
 It kinda went downhill after I crossed this street. I'd actually walked through this part of the city twice, possibly three times before, and although it was a little run down it was completely safe. I don't know if it was because it was a sunday or what, but today it really didn't feel safe. at all. 

Long story short, I ended up walking past about 20 homeless people who screamed and shouted at me. Just when I got away from them the next block presented another 20+ people hanging around the corner of a liquor store. 2 of the guys started fighting each other, and just further along a man started hitting his wife because she 'shouldn't talk to him like that'. It was really awful and the other side of the road was closed off so I didn't have much choice but to walk past. 

In the space of 10 minutes I was screamed at, spat at, and generally left feeling pretty shaken. 
 I went back to the hostel from there and kind of just retreated into my bed for a bit. Don't worry mum I'm fine! It was just a shock to wind up in that sort of neighbourhood. I made sure I did go out again the same day though. I just forced myself to go out for dinner - nothing fancy but it helped me not feel quite so shaken.
Thought I'd finish this with a picture from the evening when I went to the financial district to eat - it was a really beautiful spot right in the heart of the city and reminded me that I do actually really love San Francisco, I just had a bit of a bumpy afternoon!

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