When you spend a lot of time in one location, you start to pick up on the types of people you will run into there. Below are 12 types of people you’ll run into when in Hayward, CA whether you like it or not. Although there are a variety of people here, I have encountered these personally and would be remiss if I claimed that some of these types don’t make up my own family. This should not be interpreted as a cautionary tale or a thorough investigation. This is just what you see when you’re in the 510. These are the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
They were most likely born in the ‘60s and often recount who their neighbors once were. Instead of moving somewhere else, they’ve remained in Hayward their entire life and claim ownership of the streets. The “youngsters” don’t know anything about real struggles according to them and they can be found congregating near liquor stores or Downtown car shows. Although they can appear intimidating, most them will almost always provide correct directions in the city and protection.
The Rep Your Set Crew
Not to be confused with the OG, they tend to congregate around elementary school parks (for whatever reason) and smoke with people who are still in high school. They defend this “turf” and make sure that you see the names tattooed on their arms. A weird connection to street names in Hayward is also apparent. Most of the time they are in their 20s, even late 30s, but they try to hang on to their youth for as long as possible. Maybe 1 in 5 poses an actual threat.
The Clueless Highschooler
Believed to be fully grown at ages 14-18, they can be found walking around the city in search of the nearest mall or fast food joint. Once they start to drive, money gets blown on gas from picking up all their friends. A love/hate relationship with Hayward is present and bolting out is their only goal.
The College Visitor
Once the clueless high school kid, they’ve “expanded their horizons” and return to their hometown with newfound reverie. Everything is claimed to be different even if they’ve only been away at school for a few months. Opened to so many schools of thought not available in Hayward, they return to spread their knowledge. Most of the time the visits stop after the first year of college, but a small percentage ends up back in Hayward for life.
The Hometown Hero
Maybe they never left Hayward because they found a steady job after school and decided to build their life here. You were close in high school, but you went away so you lost touch. Then you run into them at the grocery store, recognize that their face is the same, but the conversations have shifted. They tell you all about their kids or pets while you stand awkwardly in the produce aisle. This is one of the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
You grew up together as well but unlike the hometown hero, this person is always trying to be on your radar. Contact is based around memories of the past and old places that no longer exist in Hayward. They reminisce about the good old days and can’t seem to push past them. On social media they can be found posting the same statuses as ten years ago and they attend all local events. This is one of the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
After surviving life changing circumstances, the once tough guy becomes the most peaceful being. They spread the source of their change through outreach, flyers, and unsolicited invitations. Always meaning well but never quite catching a hint, they often trap you in conversations that never seem to be headed in their intended direction. They look the same as before but are thoroughly different and want Hayward residents to change as well.
The Commute Savior
Seen at what seems like every Hayward BART station, they are the well-dressed brigade. Sometimes they respect the “I’m not interested” but other times they become completely unaware of personal space. Getting caught off guard while waiting for an Uber, they share videos claiming “proof” and send you on your way with watercolor portraits in a brochure. This is one of the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
The Can You Hear Me Now
With so many mobile carriers in Hayward, it is no wonder they end up working as a wireless consultant. Sometimes they offer generous discounts on social media to their friends and other times they claim to be tech gurus. There is a 50% chance they will be incredibly helpful in the store but otherwise they shed their uniforms with haste.
The Parking Lot Perfume Pusher
On your way out of Target or Food Maxx, you will encounter them weaving in and out of parking spaces. With bags in hand, they attempt to rush over to your car door to sell you a perfume you have never heard of. No matter how fast you walk, they seem to be right behind you with sprays ready. This is one of the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
The Soccer Mom
Unlike the put together soccer moms portrayed on SUV commercials, these are the moms brawling at their child’s sporting event. Whether it be youth soccer, little league, or CYO basketball they will be found with the brightly colored signs and pom-poms. They are often voted as Team Mom but can also be found arguing with umpires or referees over missed calls.
The New Year New Me
They can be found posting about meal prep on Instagram and talking selfies at 24 Hour Fitness. You will see them drenched in sweat as you walk into the Wingstop next door to not work out. Whether they stick to the gym routine is a mystery but don’t worry, the cycle always restarts! This is one of the people you will run into in when in Hayward California!
Here’s to hoping I don’t become one of those soccer moms but if I do, you bet I’ll be shouting Hayward at the top of my lungs when in Hayward, California. Let us know if you agree with the above in the comments.
Featured Image: weheartit
Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a Poetry student in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is furthering her involvement in the literary community. In her spare time, she likes to lose her voice at Giants games, read Young Adult novels, make lists, and aims to cross become a writer off it.