Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Day I Took A Day Trip To SF

What do I like about San Francisco? Everything! The people, the food, the weather... It's very lovely here. This is where everything and anything goes and people down really think too much about it.

Homeless people? Check.
Crazy evangelicals? Check.
I love the hobos. They're really quite harmless actually (unless they actually come up to you and start screaming jibberish with a bloody mouth, that's when you should run in the opposite direction; it happened to me yesterday).

One thing you need to know about California is that public transport here is nothing like what we get in Singapore. It's definitely light-years behind our EZ-Link and one-bus-every-5-minutes system. There's a reason to that though.

It has been rumored that during the fundamental development years of public transport, car companies bribed the government to keep it a "car culture" here. So maybe that's why most people here have to drive to get around (and also why cars are so cheap compared to what we get in Singapore).

Yesterday was the first time I took public transport in the US. My friend Ben drove me and his cousins to the nearest BART station (the Bay Area equivalent of the MRT), where we boarded a train to San Francisco. As you can see in the photo on the right, the ticketing machine is not so different from Singapore. The only difference is that if you don't have exact change for the tickets, it'll dispense a card with the extra credit that you can save for use on a subsequent trip.

Here are some photos before, during and right after the train ride.

video
And here's a short tour of the SF ferry terminal (I apologize for looking so haggard).

Here's where we went for lunch. When we arrived, there was already a snaking long queue outside the diner. According to my very reliable sources (ie Ben and his cousin Marcus), this is the go-to place for burgers at the ferry terminal.

And I was not disappointed. After queueing up for nearly 20 minutes under the hot, hot sun (yes it's actually hot in the day when you're under the sun), I was finally able to order my brunch which was a huge meal consisting of:

1) Wisonsin Sourdough - With grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheddar cheese, mayo & BBQ sauce on grilled Model Bakery sourdough

2) Garlic Fries - fries tossed in garlic butter & parsley

3) A giant chocolate milkshake

With my orders taken, I paid and was given this peculiar looking device. Call me a FOB (fresh-off-the-board), but I really haven't seen anything like this before. I only found out later that it works like a pager and is used in most major self-service restaurants in the US. This is how it works: When your order is ready, the device lights up and vibrates, and you'll just have to go over to the counter to collect your food.

Here's my lunch (or at least a semblance of it). Unbelievably delicious. On a side note: My appetite has become insanely huge since I got here. I think the weather may have something to do with it. The cold weather + my metabolic rate = nightmare for my waistline. Thank goodness I brought my running shoes here. I've never enjoyed running more!

After lunch, we walked around quite a lot to walk off our very heavy lunch. It's almost dinnertime here so I'll let the rest of my photos do the talking. Enjoy!


















PS: Guess who I bumped into at a random Urban Outfitters outlet?



MJ!!!!!! :D (We didn't take a photo together, so I'm using a really old, pre-makeover photo when we first got into the Top 24. Haha...)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Day My New Room Became Habitable

<==== En route to LA!
Well, I'm actually back in Cupertino. Hehe. My short trip down south was really fun though, mainly because I got to catch up with old friends and managed to get quite a lot of the necessary stuff that I'll need for my stay in the US i.e. a study table, side-table (to be put next to my bed), study lamp, chair. Check out my Tweets from the past week for more details ;)


So this is how my room looked like after I moved all my junk into it (before I set-up / arranged / beautified everything). It was a great mess, and you know how much I don't like untidy stuff. So the boxes were opened, the furniture was assembled, and the bedsheets were changed. With help from Huaxia and Tao Tao, my room was transformed into someplace habitable. Ah.




And this is what it looks like now. Nice? :)

Now, let me take you guys on a short tour of the apartment!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Day I Land In The US

HEY Y'ALL!!!

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After a long, dreary and dramatic flight from Singapore to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to San Francisco, I'm in the US! In all honesty, I don't enjoy long haul flights. This particular trip was no different. In fact, it was slightly less enjoyable due to a couple of factors:


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WARNING: PICTURES BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING FOR SOME READERS



1) Disgusting Lavatories

I only use the loo twice on my trip, once from SG to HK, and another time from HK to SF. The very first time I stepped into the cubicle, I was greeted with the what I can only describe as a scene from a nightmare. I shall let the pictures do the talking.

Choked Toilet Bowl
There are visible signs in place reminding users NOT to throw anything into the toilet bowl, but people still insist on doing it. It's either stupidity, or plain apathy. No prizes for guessing what's what.

Choked Bin
The disposal bins were NOT full but some buggers just didn't want to push it in. Why, people, why.....?

Choked Sink
Toothpicks. In. The. Sink. UGH.


2) Business Class Drama

There was a journalist from the Business Times who was supposed to be flying in the SIA Business Class (see the alliteration I did there?) but due to some major screw-up in Hong Kong, his seat was usurped by a non-Singaporean couple who had apparently only targeted him and begged him to give up his seat to them FOUR TIMES just because they said that they couldn't sit apart. How in the world is it possible to oversell Business Class tickets? That, I will never know.

Needless to say, the poor man had to fly no matter what (he had an important conference in SF), hence he was placed next to my mother and I for the HK-SF leg because that was the only seat left. FYI, we were sitting in the Economy section (about a $5-6K difference in ticket price compared to Business). Needless to say, the chief air-steward was incredibly apologetic and came over to our seats countless times to ensure that the said journalist would not spontaneously combust out of frustration and anger due to the unjust treatment.

Therefore, my sleep (which totaled to about three hours) had been constantly interrupted, no thanks to the air-steward. Oh, did I also mention that our HK-SF flight was delayed for about 30 minutes because of said couple? They were the last to board and yet had the cheek to saunter onto the plane ala VIPs. Bloody hell. Karma will not be kind on them. Just wait and see.


In other news...

I GOTS BYE-BYE GIFTS!!!

Stitch &amp; Flowers
Parker Pen
Crucifix

I got a couple of really nice farewell gifts prior to departure! My friends are so sweet la. Many thanks to Dennis as well as Jerome, Claudia & family. I really appreciate it. *big hugs*


Stay tuned for more updates!


Lotsa Love xx :)
JJap