October 14, 2005

The F Line

The F Line up to the Castro from Montgomery just after morning rush hour, a lovely twenty or thirty minute ride, one of the treats of the City (I take the Metro underground when I'm in a hurry). There's no more than a dozen riders in the tram (a lovingly-restored old 60's SF model), and the driver -- a large Latino-looking guy with an unplaceable accent -- shouts out the next stop each time. "Third Up! Third Up!" ... "Se'en Up! Se'en Up!", and, at Powell, "Powell Up! Powell Up! Macy's, Cable Cars, Union Square... tooooouuuuuuuurist heaven!". He's been carrying on a conversation with an amused middle-aged English tourist couple sitting near him, offering them bits of folklore about this or that around us; they get off at Powell, thanking him cheerily. At about Guererro the driver starts talking loudly and heatedly into a cell phone in Spanish about someone selling a car, but still manages to announce each stop and wave cheerfully and say "See you next time!" to everyone who gets off.


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