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In San Francisco we did a Tastes of the City walking tour through Chinatown. Our guide, Tom, was a little awkward at times – I’m not convinced he was used to having our kind of group on his tour – but what he lacked in public speaking skills was redeemed by the fact that he took us to some pretty cool places. We ate dim sum (“think of it like trying a little bit of lots of things”) and played a singing bowl, and made our own fortune cookies. I can’t tell you what mine says, because I promised to give it to Brad and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for him. But I can tell you that “Lalala – it’s Friday” is potentially a very disappointing fortune, if one doesn’t know to crack the cookie on the right day. Just saying.

The best part was when we went to Uncle Gee’s tea bar and Uncle Gee told us that he could kick all our arses even though he was 83 years old. That’s the kind of greeting everyone wants to hear when they enter a tea shop. Then we tasted tea and learned the following: tea can be a mood stabiliser; tea can be a flower; Uncle Gee doesn’t want to come to your boring alcohol-free party; tea can help you detox; and tea can improve your sex life.

Mostly, on our walking tour, we walked through Chinatown and Tom told us some pretty funny stories, although I’m a little dubious about the truth of some of them. Our favourite was the Halloween story. He said that everyone in San Francisco loves Halloween – it’s a really big deal to get all dressed up and have fun for the day. One year, the San Francisco police department got into it, and they all dressed up in drag.

Hilarious, right?

Well – the mayor was not so impressed. He protested because “the police are representing our community.” And … well, even though he sounds like a stickler, you have to admit that he’s right. The police should set a moral example – even on Halloween. And, as the mayor decreed:

“No one likes an ugly drag queen.”

The following year, the mayor made sure that the police department got a professional stylist to design their costumes, made them wax their legs, do their makeup, and look like respectable drag queens while they were out on the street solving crimes and representing their community.

Standards are important.