The sun was out in the Mission District in San Francisco. I had a cardigan on even though it was an early afternoon in summer, something I’d never have to do in August back home. Inside Alicia’s backpack was a notebook with the addresses of thrift shops we read about in an article online, and most seemed to be in the Mission District. We still had several blocks to walk before we reached the first shop on our list, but the battery level on my iPhone was getting low from taking pictures. On our way to the first thrift shop, we stopped to look at and take pictures of victorian houses with colors or architecture we particularly liked. We noticed the different plants in front of the houses and took pictures of some of those plants. While walking, we found an alleyway covered in murals. We took pictures of the murals and each other posed in front of them. We looked in a bookstore called Alley Cat Books, but not before we took videos of us walking dramatically through the rainbow colored streamers which hung at its entrance. We commented loudly to each other, and laughed as we made our way through the streets and the shops. We also took notice of the native San Franciscans as they passed us by on the street.
Coming towards us as we went opposite directions in a cross walk was a short, stocky elderly lady. She had a scarf tied around her head and she was carrying bags from what looked like her shopping earlier that day. She wore a knee length skirt, thick tights and sturdy, practical shoes. Her body slightly tilted right and then left as she took each step.
Alicia leaned towards me while still looking at the elderly lady. “Oh my God, she’s so cute!”
I gave a slight nod. “She is.”
Seconds later, the lady turned towards Alicia as we both walked by. She yelled in a language we didn’t recognize, her face in a scowl, raising one arm as she spoke.
The woman continued on her way. Alicia and I looked at each other as we kept walking, our eyebrows raised, our mouths hanging open in almost smiles.