Okay before I start saying anything else, San Francisco is a lovely city. And no, the title is not clickbait (well, maybe it is?), but there is really something I love and hate about this city. I spent my whole day in California Academy of Sciences, took great photos of Golden Gate Bridge and had a great time in Fisherman’s Wharf. Despite staying for only 3 days, some bad things happen, which changed my mind in San Francisco.
In the summer of 2018, I spent 3 months in California under the Work & Travel USA program. This program allows students of tertiary education to travel to the United States to spend their summer working and experiencing the American culture. I was working in Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for 2.5 months before traveling around California and Las Vegas on a 10-days road trip.
San Francisco was my first stop, as I know I definitely have to check out the California Academy of Sciences. Right after the job ends, I departed to the Golden Gate City.
San Francisco First Impression
I have to admit that San Francisco was quite different from what I imagined. I arrived in the USA in San Francisco International Airport but I didn’t really have the chance to see the city. Gotta say that the airport let me down a little bit.
Fast forward to September 2018. The first day in San Francisco was pretty great, we stayed in Oakland because the hotel was cheaper. The next day, we headed to all the must-visit attractions like Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, taking photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, and have lunch in Chinatown.
The Financial District was a little bit like the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, but it was much fancier.
We, of course, enjoyed it all. Our last stop was San Francisco City Hall, where we decided to spend our evening watching the sun sets over the building.
We parked our car in Alamo Square Park and walked all the way there. It seemed safe, as many people are jogging around the park. Didn’t seem like anything could go wrong. That was a HUGE mistake.
Our Car Was Broken In By Car Burglars
Of course, it’s our fault for not checking beforehand, but San Francisco is one of the hottest cities for car burglaries. I’m pretty sure most Americans are aware of this. There were signboards warning us not to leave any belongings in the car seats as well. But we were too excited to even notice.
After 2 hours, we came back to find that our car windows were smashed. My backpack, which I’ve been using since 3 years ago, was stolen. Luckily my passport and digital gadgets were with me. My friend suffered a more disastrous loss, having her laptop and backup phone stolen.
To be honest, we were quite stunned. We definitely never imagined that the security in this city was far worse than our hometown. It’s first-world after all.
We called the police and were asked to file a report to the nearest police station. And this part made me furious as well. This is what happened.
After parking our car, we asked for a form to file a report on the incident. We have to claim our car insurance after all, for repairing the car window. And the attitude of the police officer was OFF THE CHART. Scrolling Facebook while talking, answering questions like we’re interfering his personal business, it just made things worse.
We later realized that accidents like these happen almost every day, and were aware that it’s totally our own fault for not being careful enough.
Check out these 21 amazing things to do in Santa Cruz!
Sometimes Luck Never Leave You Completely
Luckily, my backpack was found, along with my friend’s bag. But as expected, all the valuable things are gone. There weren’t many valuable things in my backpack anyway, but I was glad that I got it back.
Guess where my backpack was found? Inside the garbage in San Francisco State University. A security guard found the backpacks and investigated them inside. Luckily my friend left her paycheck in there and we’re connected through our employer at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
We were at Las Vegas when we received the call, and yea, we had to go all the way back just to retrieve it.
Wrapping It Up
We definitely learned our lesson. These days, I never ever leave my bags on the car seats even though I’m inside my university campus in Malaysia. Phobia, you know? And for those who’re planning a visit to San Francisco, make sure you’re aware of this. Just be extra careful with your belongings at all times. Before you leave, I’m sure you’ll love these 8 unique beaches in California! Until next time!
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