Monday, November 24, 2008

roller coaster

I live and work in Mountain View, about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. Mountain View tends to be flat -- you can look down the road and see all of the traffic lights for blocks and blocks ahead of you. Every couple of weeks, I make the pilgrimage up to the city to see friends and hang out with my sister and her family, and it's like a journey to uncharted territory.

San Francisco is hilly. Like, roller coaster hilly. Forget about trying to see the traffic lights five blocks ahead, you might not even be able to see the next traffic light. Getting your car up the hill to the next intersection is an agonizing approximation of the uphill part of a rollercoaster. Adjacent neighborhoods can be on sunny hilltops or fog-filled valleys. A simple drive across town involves so many quick changes in altitude that your ears pop multiple times going up and down all the hills between point A and point B. I'm not kidding. So weird.

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