Earlier in January my best friend took me to San Francisco for a belated birthday trip. Consider it very belated, my birthday was in October (see: IST). :D
We planned to get dinner at a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant with belly dancers. But we were late (IST :D) and got there just in time for it to turn into a hookah bar. The inside was dark and smoky, and a DJ was playing Iranian music to the side. We were seated a table away from a girl and a few guys who invited us over before we got our hookah. One of the guys, a hulking Tunisian, ended up starting the hookah for our uninitiated selves. Apparently you have to suck on the mouth piece a while before you can get the flavored tobacco to smoke.
Anyways, we watched a bunch of Arabic girls belly dance before heading out with our new acquaintances. A hobo serenaded our walk over to the Ambassador. The line was long and we ended up leaving half the group and backtracking uphill to the Cellar. That's when the neighborhood got dark and creepy. We were glad that we had gotten some of the guys to accompany us. The Cellar (my Yelp review) was a good idea, dark, dingy and full of drunken young people dancing.
When we had said, 'We want to go dancing,' I imagine our escorts expected something entirely different from what typical Indian girls do: the Desi circle. There is no grinding on the back of a girl, and the only contact consists of eyes meeting while you wildly flail your arms and legs around. Most guys would be disappointed, and so our gentlemanly friends disappeared into the crowd after realizing they weren't going to get any action. Which was fine with us, we rocked out, complimented a Michael Jackson impersonator, were scandalized by the behavior of some party goers and of course, we gravitated towards the other Punjabis in the club. We introduced ourselves and spent the rest of the night with the fellows.
There were four guys that walked us back downhill and treated us at Naan & Curry. The food wasn't as good as expected from a SF Indian restaurant but considering it was open at 3 am, I'll let it pass. Instead of hitting the hay at the hotel across the street, one of the guys invited us back to their place to hang out (Retrospection: This is a stupid idea! NEVER go home with guys you don't know!). I'm sure they were expecting more drinking and scandalous fun, but that's not what they got or they didn't push for it. We ended up watching Paheli for a few hours and just chatting about life. It was around 6 am when we decided it was time to go home. The taxis weren't returning calls so they offered to walk us out and drive us back to our car. By then our feet were hurting so they actually let us wait while they brought their car around. It was freezing but we watched the sunrise in San Francisco and got a car tour of the city while it was still quiet on Sunday morning.
1) Don't wear close-toed heels if you plan on hiking for 8 hours around San Francisco (or any big city for that matter)
2) Charge your cell phone!
3) Store taxi numbers.
4) Don't be a skank, otherwise guys will treat you like one.
5) Be nice to hobos. They're cool, if they're not crazy.
6) Avoid the Tenderloin District