Someone in the "City by the Bay" has been getting good use out of a pair of my pants, and one of my dress shirts.
I assume they are, at least, since they broke into my hotel room in San Francisco last week, and stole only those two items.
Honestly, I've traveled enough at this point that I have had the opportunity to be a part of a wide range of experiences, but even this is new for me. I was on my fourth day in San Francisco when it happened.
Not only did the person take a set of my clothes -- while they were in my room, they also left their eyeglasses, their size 16 pants, two thick pullovers, a wool hat, a mostly unfinished drink from McDonald's, a cigarette butt, and a black plastic bag filled with God only knows what.
They also took a shower in my room's bathroom, used both towels, and every hand towel and wash cloth provided for the room. They also "used" the bed. I say "used," because someone had clearly been in the bed, but I do not know if they slept in it -- or what.
The streets around the hotel where I was staying, were active working grounds for hookers, after all. I even saw one in a skimpy school-girl outfit negotiating a transaction with a potential client a couple of blocks over from the hotel. Another hooker, in a black leather biker jacket, and black fishnet stockings, tried to start a conversation with me, but I kept moving right on past her.
I was pretty sure any conversation I had with her would end with her rattling off prices for various sexual acts. I would rather not take home the gift that keeps on painfully giving, from my trip to San Francisco.
Then again, it could have just as easily been a homeless person who got into my room, because the city, particularly the area around my hotel, was populated with a lot of homeless panhandlers.
But, on the other hand, it could have just been some random, sketchy person. I encountered one such person, who was trying to sell me a porn DVD (without the DVD case, of course) and a used web cam, only half a block from my hotel. It was in front of the adult novelty shop that was previously located across the street from my hotel.
I, of course, got moved to another room immediately after complaining about it to hotel staff. I could not take the risk that the person, who already got into my room once that day, was not going to come back in the middle of the night.
Sadly, the response I got the next morning when I complained further was, "Wow, that's odd. We usually only see that happen in empty rooms that no one is staying in."
So, apparently, this hotel (which I am not naming to protect some semblance of dignity for the owners) has a regular problem with people breaking into its rooms.
All in all, I was not overly impressed with San Francisco, because I found it to be much dirtier than I ever would have expected -- even in the touristy areas.
But, to each his own, and I will admit that there are a lot of sites to see in the town. Admittedly, it does get nicer the farther north you go in the city.
All I am going to say about lodgings, however, is never, ever stay in any San Francisco hotel that is south of California Street.
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.