When Sheila was in the Midwest every American she met said they’ve never been to California. She wondered why. People all over the world want to see the Golden Gate Bridge. She thought it was painted in gold and was disappointed to see the bridge was red. She wondered why it was not named Red Gate Bridge.
Many Americans from other states are intimidated by California. It is the third largest state after Alaska and Texas and yet it looks quite small in the map due to its long and narrow shape. The climate runs from subarctic in the north to Mediterranean in the south. It lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Nevada Desert, a happy medium between wet and dry.
The celebrities of Los Angeles and the Bohemians of San Francisco made California seem remote for the more conservative people of other states. However, Sheila noted an interesting feature of San Francisco she would love to tell her Midwest friends about.
The red metal STOP signs on the street corners which Sheila used to miss in the Midwest making her passengers scream “Stop!” with their hands flying towards the windshield are, in San Francisco, painted on the asphalt in white. She has to be blind to miss it now.
Sheila wondered why the number 45 was painted on a road. Finally she saw the sign standing at the roadside bearing the same number. It took her two weeks of driving past it to realize it was the speed limit.
A few meters before a stop light the road is painted with SLOW DOWN and the name of the street you are approaching will be on a metal green sign posted at an island so that a driver will be alerted if he intends to turn at the next corner.
The word XING is painted on the asphalt at pedestrian crossings. XING is a Chinese word that means “to walk”.
Sheila’s Midwest American friends have warned her about driving in San Francisco after having seen her miss stop signs and speed limits in Kentucky. How could they guess that San Francisco is Asian driver friendly?