amw (amw) wrote,

finally a moment to write

This week has been a lot busier than i expected it to be. I mean, i knew it was going to be work, but i guess somehow i didn't click that it was going to be pretty much 24/7. When you wake up in the morning in an airbnb with a bunch of work guys, where you all have your work laptops, and that is pretty much your only entertainment... But it's actually been really great to hang out and work side-by-side with our California-based colleagues. It's also been great visiting some of our customers in their offices to get a better understanding of what they are looking for from our product. We did a ton of brainstorming about how to position ourselves for the future, which is important given we sell a B2B solution to some of the hippest start-ups in San Fran.

The sharing a home thing hasn't been too awful yet. I managed to end up in the house with none of the more highly strung people, so it's been pretty chill (aside from the constantly feeling like i am working thing). The worst parts have been when the whole company tried to organize to do shit together, everyone ends up having meta-conversations about taking a cab or if there is vegetarian options or bla bla and you waste hours faffing about. Our most successful social things have been in groups of 5 or so where it's easier to come to a consensus. I've even had a couple of moments where i could go off on my own, though never really for long enough that it feels like my own vacation.

But i had my Sunday and Friday. Sunday night we ended up on a residential street corner trying to catch a glimpse of the blood moon, which was a hilarious excursion. We ended up at a blues/jazz bar right on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. The guys went home at a respectable hour, which is when i moved to the bar and proceeded to drop into every watering hole on the way back to Alamo Square, where our airbnb was. Monday was rough, but then, when is it not? Today was even rougher. I slept pretty much the entire way through, after walking several miles to a tiki bar downtown, which sucked, and then came all the way back to this end of town, where i got gradually drunker until i ended up sharing beers around a ghettoblaster with a bunch of homeless guys. I guess i can check passing out on the sidewalk in the Haight Ashbury off my San Francisco bucket list. Very, very fun night.

We also did some company things like a roadtrip to Santa Cruz. That was full of feels. The last time i was there was with T, probably 10 years ago. A lot of memories in that town, and on the drive back through the south bay. In some ways it was good to be there with work guys, because i didn't have any space to ponder alone. We also biked over the Golden Gate, which was insanely great. Then we biked to Folsom St to catch the end of the fair, where a colleague was flogged. One of our clients was in the heart of the Mission so we got a burrito there. I mean, as a company, we "did" a pretty good chunk of San Fran, considering it was mostly a business trip.

One thing that has been tough, though, is dealing with all the money here. I feel very, very awkward around this crowd of rich, upper-middle-class tech industry/hipster thing that pretty much makes up the clientele of every joint in the city. It is worse when contrasted with the homeless, or with the working-class types commuting in from halfway across the state. Honestly, the only people i have met here who i have had a decent conversation with are homeless, drug dealers and a hip local couple i met at a taqueria who reminded me oddly of T & C. Most everyone is so vapid and pretentious it drives me nuts. At certain points this week i really wanted to punch everyone i met in the face. Fucking gluten free, local, organic, grain-fed, over-priced fucking Jesus Christ just give me a goddamn taco and a beer for a price normal people can afford. The split between the rich and the poor is very, very noticeable and i hate that the reason i am here is contributing to it.

Tomorrow we are breaking off into three cars for our grand road trip to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Death Valley. In all honesty, i only really want to see Death Valley, since i love the desert and didn't get to see enough of it when i was in Vegas. I am a little worried that spending so much time in a hotel or cabin in the countryside is going to make it tough to escape the work guys. Even just those little escapes like i can do here, hour-long side-trip to find a diner or taqueria that isn't pretentious, that's not going to be an option in the country where i need a car to get anywhere. I am not sure if it is even viable to hitchhike in America. I would like to see Reno. I dunno. I love the countryside, but i really love bars and diners and antique shops and strangers too. It seems like a waste to get a week in the heart of the American West and then spend it all looking at trees. But we'll see how it goes. So far this trip has surprised me.

It's sad i didn't get to catch up with T, though. Hmm. Maybe i need a real vacation on my own time down here sometime.
Tags: career, travel

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