Note: this guest column was written by Alyssa Perry, Mission District ex-pat
Six months ago, I packed my bags and got the fuck outta dodge with a one way ticket to Seoul, South Korea. Sure, I miss lazy days in Dolores Park, PBRs, and a drunken late night burrito from El Farolito. But to be honest though, the change hasn’t been that drastic except maybe for those methamphetine-laced hazy nights at Delirium (drugs are actually illegal here in South Korea…think of it as rehab with booze). I have been lucky enough to be living in a neighborhood which might mirror the Mission (minus the all the yellow people... good thing I fit in).
Exhibit A: Every day that I wake up and walk to the bus stop to go teach English to eager little children (weird, right?), I walk past the street art that is plastered across the walls of my neighborhood’s underpass. It reminds me of wanna-be street artists (think Banksy) that inconspicuously place their shit around the Mission.
Exhibit B: San Francisco is known for its snobbery of cafes and fair trade coffee kiosks. Good thing I didn’t venture far because I can see many kids in their leather jackets lined up outside Standing Coffee kiosk to purchase over-priced, burnt coffee. Or catch a glimpse of the masses at ChansBros on their trust-fund macs writing the next great screenplay about their lives abroad. It is really like being back at Blue Bottle or Ritual, respectively.
Exhibit C: The ultimate desire for a burrito can be found in the land of kimchi. As much as I miss the taquerias and a good Tecate (is there such a thing?), I can grab my fix at Taco Chili Chili. Sure it tastes like a regurgitated Mexican fart, but still it is something I can eat after a soju-induced late night.
Exhibit D: Although I may have left my friends and favorite bar hangouts, it doesn’t seem like there isn’t really a difference in my friends. It’s like they just got different names.
I will admit that I sure do miss the resident homeless man who regularly took a shit on my stoop in SF. But there is one that sits in the famed underpass of my neighborhood. Except it is pretty much 7 degrees Fahrenheit and he hasn’t been there in awhile. Also those wasted days at the 500 Club? Well I head over to the HBC, a local bar, and drink boxed wine. You heard me right. Boxed. Fucking. Wine. Consider it a good day if the drunk Korean owner is there and he whips out his penis in front of the bar (this has been known to happen on several occasions).
So if you are looking for a selfish, holier than thou life journey that allows you to teach the future of the world (since you know Asians will succeed at world domination), I propose to take your fixie, your pretentiousness, and your desire to drink shittier beer than PBR and hop on the next plane to Seoul. Us, former San Franciscans, need you.