That headline should have got me some attention. And some hatred. Not only do San Franciscians cringe when they hear the name “Frisco” but they also loathe the tech industry which they blame for rising rents and the loss of the original vibe of their beloved city. There is some controversy about how much can really be attributed to the rise of the tech industry in SF and how much is just inevitable in an attractive city that refuses to grow vertically and cannot grow horizontally. But I am neither a worker for the tech industry nor am I moving to SF. I am a visiting student researcher living in Berkeley and I apologize for the misleading headline.
After one week I feel myself slowly adjusting to the way things are over here. I still don’t know what to say when somebody asks me “how I do”. How do I do? Why would they want to know? Should I answer honestly and describe the complex feeling of excitement and loneliness that comes with being a long way from home? Should I ask them how they do? But I don’t really care and if I would ask them all back, I would spend most of my days discussing feelings with strangers. Also, I really would like to just be somewhere without being spoken to at all.
In the pamphlet they were handing out at the “Visiting Scholar Meeting” they stated that Americans are more competitive and less cooperative compared to Europeans and I start to think that may be true. There is an overall feeling of competition everywhere which I have to get used to. Also people are either very nice to each other or they are screaming at each other. I have yet to witness something in between.
The Bay Area is known for having a huge number of homeless people roaming the streets. They are so common that people stopped noticing them. You can have your small little family having a small little picnic next to a screaming naked old man who discusses matters of life and death with his god without them even looking up from their plates. It is amazing! What is also amazing is the size of the television you can buy for under $300 (which is roughly the amount you would have to pay for a week of parking next to the university).
Let’s see what next week brings.