still afraid of the great unwashed

The great unwashed; which is worse, bad smell, or visible dirt? If you ask my son, he would most likely shy away from dirt. I find this slightly amusing because he is a complete slob and avoids cleaning things at all costs.

By comparison, I am turned off by foul odors. I can wipe dirt off something or wash my hands, but if it is stinky, it accosts my senses leaving me helpless to change it. My perception of smell is not great, so it must be pretty bad in order for me to detect it.

Higher concentrations of people (i.e. big city) seem to heighten scents around me. I love visiting different cities, soaking in the sights and fragrances the city offers. I am not usually fearful of others throughout the city. Instead, I look at it as an opportunity for people watching.

down on skid row

I just got back from an excursion that began in Monterey and ended in San Francisco (favorite city in the world thus far) this past weekend. Let me start by saying that it felt great getting out of town and away from life’s pressures for even a couple of days.

Staying the night at the Tenderloin district in San Francisco is not my idea of fun, but the rates were cheap and the room was clean (no visible dirt). Truth be known, I would rather spend extra money shopping or dining than on an opulent hotel room, as it really doesn’t matter where I sleep.

Enduring the surroundings would not a big deal. I could manage it for at least one night anyway. I should have guessed I was wrong when I got into the elevator that smelled slightly of urine. Eww! I held my breath until landing on the third floor and made my way with my giant suitcase to the room.

Luckily, the room didn’t share the same distasteful odor as inside the elevator. With the door shut tight, I might not be so acutely aware of the fetid surroundings. Ya right!

the adventures have only begun

The motel is situated only one mile from one of the best shopping areas in the world; Union Square. Delightedly, with shopping radar intact, I put down the suitcase and set off ready to take on the streets of San Francisco.

shopping in Union Square, San Francisco

After window shopping a couple of hours, I was ravenous. There are some great restaurants located in and around the Tenderloin, so we wound our way back towards the motel and dined at an amazing Turkish restaurant. So far, so good.

The walk back to the room was short and upon reaching the staircase to the third floor, there was a young couple(?) lounging in the stairwell. We skirted around them quickly closing and locking the door to the room.

call it an early night

I had no wish to see if the visitors were still looming outside the room. Realizing I wasn’t in the safest neighborhood, I opted to crash early and get some sleep. It had been a busy day, so I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by not staying out.

Midnight was announced by some random tweaker  yelling outside, “Hey bitch! Come down from the window.” This chant went on for about 20 minutes. Either the “bitch” came down out of the window or he simply gave up. Loud noises were then taken over by sirens, and other passers-by shouting in the street.

When I awoke in the morning, I looked outside the door and there were no people hanging out in the stairwell. It was safe to venture out for breakfast. Robert searched Yelp for a unique eatery and found Brenda’s only two blocks away from where we stayed.

what I will do for a great meal

After crossing the street, we were herded into an enclosed walkway due to construction. Here is the part where fight or flight took over as I quickened my pace. The stench of urine and who knows what else permeated the sidewalk. It was all I could do to not break into a run just to get out of the walkway.

Robert questioned why I became so agitated? To me, it is one thing to stroll in Union Square, but in the hood, I needed to walk with purpose; no ambling allowed! The restaurant was definitely worth the walk through stink. Amazing meals awaited and a full tummy later, the walk seemed to pass more quickly and seemed far less disgusting.

breakfast at Brenda’s in San Francisco

What is the worst you have endured to visit a great venue? Will you only stay at the Four Seasons, or do you slum it in the motor lodges of the world? Share your stories about your most memorable bout with the great unwashed.

4 thoughts on “still afraid of the great unwashed

  1. Shauna says:

    What a lovely motel that must have been! NOT! I don’t stay in many motels or hotels so I want them to be semi clean and well in a semi safe area. single woman and all, Once long time ago I went to Arizona with my now exhusband and I had booked a hotel not knowing much about it.. Big mistake.. we couldnt even shower as there was mold in the shower on the floor of the shower. Not grout that you can’t get the black out of it was the floor of the shower. It was gross and honestly not that cheap. Never again!! We stayed in a not so nice hotel near disneyland a few years back but it was basically clean, mold free.. but it was not in a very good area but way better than the one in arizona. Neither of those hotels will I stay in again tho. lol
    Glad you made the best of the adventure!


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      Shauna, mold is definitely a no-no. Talk about health hazards! I have only stayed in one or two places where I didn’t even want to get out of the car. I feel I’m getting too old for adventures in uncleanliness. Thanks for sharing xoxo


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