I’ve just returned from a short jaunt to the US in my home state of California. It had been nearly two years since my last trip and it might be something I’d do more often were it not for the fact that no matter how I fly there from Barcelona, I have to connect somewhere and it makes for a godawful amount of time in a plane which coupled with the Air France strike and KLM’s food seeming to be worse than ever, it hurt my soul. This is in addition to the fact that it ain’t cheap.
Talking with friends, everyone was telling me wholeheartedly how much San Francisco (where I’d lived about 15 years prior to moving to Spain) had changed. Sure, things were more expensive (burritos run about $8.50 for the super version at a shitty place) and there were new residential buildings. Neither of these things surprised me given that San Francisco seems to always be getting more expensive and most all of these buildings had been in the planning phase prior to my departure. The skyline is a little lumpier now, but in general, much the same.
In San Francisco, the public transportation is still crap and the city is still filthy, the latter of which being attributed to reducing water for city cleaning due to the drought despite all the city machines filling up at a natural spring that is diverted from flooding in to the Powell Street Bart Station.
Outside of San Francisco little had changed either. The roads of California are still terrible, although the new Bay Bridge is nice. But it was a curious sight to suddenly see all of these Tesla Model S sedans on the road. For those who are unfamiliar, the S is the “affordable” Tesla car starting at $70,000. Pocket changed for a recently enriched nerd at Facebook.
As strange as it sounds, I saw this as positive change. Whereas in the past those with the means would have bought a Porsche or something else of the penis extension car line, they are now buying these fully electric sedans. For me to finally see the day when electric cars are somewhat commonplace and not just some wacky experimental thing driven by my former boss is quite frankly amazing and on a certain level it actually gave me a dose of hope for the future that we can somehow rid ourselves of our portable pollution machines.