Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Worlds, One Francisco






With its Soweto-like living conditions and Swedish level cost of living, modern day San Francisco is a curious place. On one hand there is the decaying infrastructure and the complete absence of a social safety net for its many impoverished and insane citizens. On the other are wealthy Silicon Valley nerds who drive up rental prices and bring their dogs to work after receiving a corporate shuttle ride from the city to their coding farms in the soulless suburbs of Cupertino, Mountain View, and Palo Alto.


These two segments of society collide with predictably unsavoury results, one left behind and the other pushing ahead. Newcomers to the city such as myself are left hovering somewhere between these two worlds, working in one but living in the other. 

****

Either you have money, or you have time. Then you move to San Francisco... and you have neither!
~ Remark by a Spanish friend of mine who recently moved to the Bay Area to attend a short term study program

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Talk to Me

Female coworker: This guy never talks to me.

Another coworker: Really?

Me: No, that's not true. I said goodbye once.

Female coworker: That is true. He did say goodbye once, but that was right after I had asked him to have a one hour conversation with me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The USS Midway


Decommissioned in 1992, the USS Midway now calls San Diego home. Once the world’s largest ship and now its most visited naval ship museum, the USS Midway is so large that it cannot make it through the Panama Canal (imagine a Texan trying to squeeze into a standard size airplane seat). In service for an astonishing 47 years, it played key roles in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf War, upholding the American ideals of strength, freedom, and peace across the globe. 


Interestingly enough, the USS Midway was also summoned to Korea to provide a show of strength during Operation Paul Bunyan. After the axe-murder incident where North Koreans offed several American soldiers using said instrument when they were trying to chop down a tree in the DMZ that obscured the view between watch posts, an overwhelming show of force was demonstrated by the United States. The Midway stood guard while the tree was successfully cut down 3 days after the initial incident. 


Entering service two years after the end of World War II, the ship is named after the pivotal Battle of Midway.  Several hours to a day can be spent exploring the many decks of the vessel, home to 225,000 seamen over its decades of service. Elderly volunteers explain the inner workings of the engine and boiler rooms. Aircraft adorn the entire stretch of the almost 1000 foot long flight deck, along with Chinese tourists taking silly photos. 

 

*****

Sign on, young man, and sail with me. The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free. Heed my call, Come to the sea. Come Sail with me. ― John Paul Jones

Monday, November 10, 2014

Roaches to Riches

Friend: Did you find a place to stay yet?

Me: Yes, but it's in the Tenderloin.

Friend: When is your housewarming party?

Me: The place is so small that no one else will fit inside.

Friend: Really? So your parents won't visit?

Me: Then I'll have to sleep on the floor... with the roaches.

Friend: What bs. You can complain to the city if you have roaches. You do realize that?

Me: I only complain about the decrepit state of America in general.

Friend: Haha, then go back to Canada... or Korea. If you are not one of those people looking to go from roaches to riches then America is not for you!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Beets Me

Two American girls came and sat at my table at a mall food court while I was in the process of consuming a chicken burrito.

Girl #1: Are beets vegetables?
Girl #2: Yes.
Girl #1: Oh, I didn't know that. Anyways, I'm thinking of stopping being a vegetarian. I'm feeling tired a lot these days.
Girl #2: That's why I quit being a vegetarian. My energy levels were sooo low and I was craving meat all the time. If your body craves something that badly you should just eat it. I mean it craves it for a reason, right?
Girl #1: Yeah, that's right.