We thank God when we feel good and we blame ourselves when things don’t go well. We find fault with ourselves but don’t blame him or even others. What is this – too much self-analysis or what? Jordan, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Peru, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Lebanon – these are the list of countries from where the Uber drivers all came from who gave me rides. There was that girl who seemed in vain avoiding eye-contact all the time and the nice guy from don’t know where who was part-timing while looking after his three children. The guy from Ivory Coast had his children back home studying there as it was too expensive too put them through to college here in the US. His older son was an MBA in Paris and here he was Ubering. The part-time broker who drove a Chevy Volt apart from a Tesla and a S500 was a computer-science graduate. He knew a bit of Philadelphia as he had grown up there. Many people from many places – that’s the beauty of America. But elsewhere people are fighting while trying to assert their identities or religion or culture or lands or whatever – what a pity. Here the same people co-exist without any issues.
The weather in the Bay area has been surprising chilly. I was taken aback that the south can be cooler than the north and forgetting my jacket didn’t help. So I had to go out to dinner and lunch all suited up – looked nice anyway. Surprisingly people around here aren’t all that informal – maybe because it is a business district. Got too busy during these four weeks – just had time to exchange text with a couple of good old friends. Wish I had some easy time to have visited the Golden Gate bridge. I would have loved to stand on top and watch the water way deep down and think why and how so many people think of suicide on that bridge. Just pondering their state of mind standing at the same spots should give some perspective of those poor souls I guess. But that wasn’t to be.
All these four weeks there was a lot of time for listening to some good music – both on the plane and in the bathroom. Hope my neighbours didn’t hear the high sound drift of Sonu and Rajkumar as they walked by. The Courtyard has a Starbucks in its lobby, but there is a Starbucks right opposite the hotel. The young girl, the first two weeks, was ultra sweet – always had a smile on her face and was quick. The older lady who replaced her the next two was way too slow. So I would walk up to the Starbucks opposite for breakfast and get it back despite the morning rush of 10+ people in the line. By that time, I was sure the old lady would have finished the three that would have been ahead of me at the Courtyard. In addition to a few minutes of walk and fresh air, I saved about 15-2-% premium prices at the hotel.
It is surprising that when we are at home, we eat much healthy food but while travelling, it gets a bit awry. I watched extra how much I eat as the food at dinner is the regular fare at Indian restaurants – creamy and a bit loaded with fat for my taste. So the only way to cut down is to order less or eat less. If I order less and keep the tab less than $15, I feel like a cheapo to a few servers. But generally the prices are such that you end up paying around $25 including tips for a drink, bread and side dish. Curry Up Now in San Mateo and Peacock in Belmont were good ones of all those placed I ate at. Rest were mediocre. The Dosa republic was repulsive to me for they had dosas of all kind made of different meats. Dosa is not a meat dish – whoever got the idea just doesn’t know what good dosa is I bet. Apparently Dosa republic showed up as closed the very next week when I offered to take my colleague for dinner there. Bombay Garden in San Mateo was the worst of the lot with really stale food – there were very few people in that busy part of the downtown, that says something.
The four weeks accomplished a lot for me – can’t say much about work as I don’t do that. Hopefully this work sets us up for much more in the near future. Can’t wait to start on this exciting journey ahead. The first many months at my new job was lots of bench time, but that is changing. When I was on bench, I ended up doing a lot of sharing myself and felt like a fool sometimes. One thing I have learnt the past few months is unconditional liking has its drawbacks.