California presents so many visual anecdotes: small events that linger long in memory well after the event passes. In no order of power to impress, they include:
- the man living in his car, filled to the ceiling with books. Naturally he’d parked outside a second-hand bookshop
- the elephantine backsides of many of the people. And the style of clothing many young men have adopted: baggy jeans that hang down at the back like a pachyderm’s posterior
- a woman jogger, in winter, sprinting up hill wearing nothing but joggers, bright red ultra-short shorts and a matching sports bra
- traffic jams on the freeways, almost every car occupied by one person
- magnificent stands of eucalyptus gums. The thrive here better than in Australia
- signs in the poorer suburbs in both Spanish and English
- the hundreds of homeless who congregate around Berkeley.