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May 2008 Archives

May 3, 2008

Day 1

Arrived in California. It's 7 am Saturday morning but of course, we're wide awake thanks to the jetlag. We now need:

an apartment
two cars
US mobile phone numbers
a US bank account
a shaver

Let's see how far we can get in one day. I'm confident at least about the shaver.

(Update: at 3pm: we've got the shaver, a phone number, two bank accounts with credit cards, looked at an apartment and didn't like it. Oh, and a parking fine.)

May 6, 2008

Day 3

We've got an apartment! And what a charming place - pictures as soon as we moved in (this coming weekend). It's one of those places that you never learn about on the web or in newspapers, but only through your friend's friend. In our case, we heard about it through a friend (and future neighbour) of someone we stayed with last february (see an earlier post on this blog about couchsurfing.com) in San Jose.

We think that's not too bad for day 3! We still don't have cars but we're optimistic that we'll be lucky tomorrow.

May 9, 2008

Day 6

Still unlucky with cars. We switched to a long term rental car (for about a month), and our frustration level is getting into areas where we are considering buying a new car. So far, all used car sales people were trying to sell us accident vehicles or otherwise crippled cars. It's not often that people insult your intelligence on such a low level, but these guys made it happen repeatedly.

I had my first day at Stanford. I quite enjoyed it, apart from the fact that I am supposed to work in a cubicule without daylight. I am now looking for a nice place on the campus where I can work and where I can in fact enjoy the spectacularly beautiful scenery of Stanford campus. I hope I'll get a window upgrade soon.

I have briefly considered using public transportation to get to work, but after waiting for about 40 minutes for a bus (on campus at 6 in the evening which I would consider rush hour) that would take me to CalTrain that would take me to San Jose where I would have to take another bus, that idea died a sudden and painless death. Rest in peace.

What else? We bought a sofa bed on which we hope to see many vistors in the coming months. It's extremely comfortable and has enough space for two.

May 15, 2008

Day, uhm, 13?

I completely lost track of how many days have passed since we arrived. I take that as a sign that we have arrived mentally, too. This is - again - just a short update on how things are going:

-We bought a car (a 2001 Honda Civic with a great mpg) three days ago.
-As I am writing this, Rahel is on her first field trip on one of those boats with the deep sea robots that are collecting stuff from the bottom of the ocean. I'm sure she'll write about it soon.
-A record breaking heatwave is predicted to start today. Temperatures should go as high as 100 Fahrenheit (i.e. about 37 Celsius).
-The Bedsofa has arrived and we are now officially accepting applications from prospective visitors ;-)

I need to get a social security number today and I am expecting to stand in line for an entire day, so I'd better get going.

PS There seems to be a problem with commenting. I'll try to fix this as soon as possible. Email always works!

May 28, 2008

Day whatever

Ok, let's stop the day counting. Completely lost track (probably somewhere around 25 or so).

So, we've really settled down. I started working at Stanford, Rahel at MBARI, and so far, we enjoy our jobs a lot. I can't speak for Rahel, of course, but from what she says the MBARI is a great place to work (a little misty at times, however - that's the price you have to pay for having an office right at the beach). Stanford's been great so far. Readers of this blog know that the only thing I didn't like was the cubicle without daylight. I have asked for an alternative, and now, not only do I have a window in my office, but I've got an office for myself! Quite an upgrade.

The apartment we have is quite cute, but it needs some work, and I think we're gonna paint most of the rooms soon. We've had bad luck with IKEA (I always have), and the sofa was broken when it arrived. We're now waiting for an exchange.

The best thing about this place, anyways, are our neighbors. We had a BBQ yesterday (it was a public holiday here in the US) and we had two Swiss visitors from Fribourg, friend's of Nicholas, one of our neighbors. After speaking french with them all evening (Nicholas is a french teacher), he played some Chopin on his Steinway Grand Piano. I wish that every European who I ever heard say that the Americans had less culture than Europeans (unfortunately, that prejudice still exists) had been with us yesterday. Nicholas isn't the only amazing neighbor we have, but let us not bore you with neighborhood stories - we hope you will get to know them personally sooner or later anyways.

Talking about prejudices - here's one I personally had to let go quite quickly: that American beer is bad. It might sound hard to believe, but the beers here are better than almost any beer I had ever had in Europe. My favorite here is a beer that goes by the name of "fat tire". The label says that the beer is named in honor of Jeff's mountain bike trip from brewery to brewery through Europe (Jeff is probably the owner of the company). And on top of that, the brewery is wind powered. You gotta love it.

In good Swiss tradition, let me end this entry with a complaint (talking about prejudice!). Living in San Jose means living next to the airport, no matter in which neighborhood you live. It can get quite loud sometimes, but we already (sort of) got used to it. Given the great things about this place, that's really just a minor issue.

What else? I am going to Berlin for an interview soon - I will also spend a couple of days in Zurich (June 7 -12). Hope to catch up with some of you!

About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to p < 0.05 in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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