Notes from SF

On a 7 day work-explore week in San Francisco this week. Speaking at a great event out here and feeling privilieged and grateful to my team for being able to be here.

What I done did so far:

  • Flying this way is weird – previous long haul to India and Thailand has taken me into time zones further ahead than GMT – flying into the past, into sunlight all the way as the British day reached 11.30 pm, was quite head-mashing
  • It’s raining and misty here πŸ™‚
  • Walked to Pinecrest Diner and had a fantastic all-American breakfast – sat at the counter, which was fun
  • Then walked up Nob Hill – fucking massively steep in a fun way! – and dropped down into Chinatown, and then looped back to my hotel
  • Did some work, some Skype
  • Then walked up Mission trying to get Mission District – it got a bit rough and suddenly I felt like a proper tourist twat miles out of his depth
  • Ended up around Valencia and near Castro – LOVELY
  • Was hoping to hit La Taqueria but didn’t get that far so serendipitously popped into Super Duper Burger for THEBESTBURGEROFMYLIFE. Photo.
  • Walked back down Market to my hotel – nice couple of miles all in (on top of whatever this morning’s walk was) – with the calories I’m consuming I’m gonna need every bit of that.

Observations from a naive country boy:

  • BRAND USA – at customs they had screens up playing ‘aspirational’ lifestyle videos of cleanly scrubbed people living lives in the great American dreamworld; ambulances and fire engines look like they’ve been designed by toy designers; trucks and vans generally are super designed – this whole country (so far) just feels BRANDED, quite odd and interesting
  • Holy shit the roads are steep – would love to drive down some o’ them πŸ™‚
  • There’s a LOT of homeless people about, much more than I expected – don’t know if this is me unable to filter out a different looking type of homeless person or whether SF actually has a lot of homeless people – wikipedia mention
  • The food is dangerously tasty
  • AUTOS – what’s up with the size of these cars and vans especially?! Monster trucks! One had ‘Fresh Air’ written on it, lulz. It does raise an interesting question though about USA’s ability to adapt in a changing fuel environment, or at least highlight how exaggerated things have been until now
  • Working in a different time zone to your team and clients creates a different kind of productivity – easier, perhaps, to batch tasks and not get sucked into a day of email and meeting zombie-ness
  • Money – all those dollar bills is a bit odd for me, plus it all looks the same, must be hard when one is pissed πŸ™‚

That’s it so far. Fun, different.

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