Day 2 @ SF – Life is all about the experiences
I had a really good day as a tourist yesterday. I mentioned that I woke up at 7ish am. Which is really unlike me.
I grabbed breakfast at a Yelp-recommended old-style diner:
Then, I did the all-geeks-must-do-while travelling-thing which is to grab a SIM card. I eventually ended up with T-mobile, they had a $50/mth plan which includes data. Yes, it is on Edge for iphones (my friend seems to be able to access 4G on Android) but I don’t *need* fast blazing speeds. I just want to access my email, twitter & gmaps. AT&T had 3G, but it seems like you have to semi-hack it for it to work on a iphone + it is $25 bucks for 100mb. I just wanted to add that the service rendered by the T-mobile guy was one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. I guess Singapore’s service standards suck generally.
I also did the thing all Apple fans must do, visit the mothership – The Apple Store. It was okay, I played with the new MBAs for a while, wondering for a split second if I should impulse buy. The thought of having to carry an additional weight on top of what I already have deterred me though. Perhaps I’ll pick one up at Changi Airport on the way home. Maybe. If my money doesn’t run out. The legendary service provided by the apple store people is true. They’re as helpful and friendly as human beings can get.
I headed of to Westfield, wrote the first blog post you saw yesterday with Westfield’s free wifi. They have free wifi everywhere. Even on the streets. I saw this wifi network named “free the internet” that was unsecured. I didn’t intend to shop, but I saw this $10 maroon (my fave colour) top that I couldn’t resist, then I got another $8 hoodie jacket thing because it is so blardee cold. The highlight was getting a $21 accupressure chinese massage. That was surreal.
I now know why it is easy to get into credit card debt here. Everywhere accepts VISA and it seems to take one second to process a transaction, compared to waiting-forever in Singapore. When I say everywhere, it really means everywhere. Including the massage booth, the street-side coffee kiosk, the old-style diners.
Every second, I couldn’t help keep thinking – life is all about experiences. This is an expensive experience I was very much unwilling to pay for, but I can tell you without a hesitation that it is all worth it. I just kept getting fed with new sights, new thoughts, new feelings. I know, if I really did end up going back penniless, I would still think it is all worth it.
When I was young, as a kid, I would often think that when I grow up, I would be a traveller. I would work a bit, save up for a trip, go on that trip, spend all my money, rinse and repeat. Of course, as age catches up, it seemed like it was impossible. How would I do that when there’s just so many bills to pay, so many responsibilities to keep? It seemed to me I cannot *not* save money.
But somehow the entire act of saving money sucked the life out of me. I became unwilling to part with the money and in the process, I deprived myself of new experiences. It would be nice if I could do both – travel and save money. Yet again, I knew if I had to choose, I would rather live with tons of insecurity than to give up travelling.
I don’t think I can finish the entire world before I am dead and there’s just so much to catch up on.
I met @ruiwen and @ryanlou – both twitter friends and fellow geeks from Singapore. That was the best part of the day. We walked around, sat on the grass in the sunlight, talked about how un-Singapore SF is and how inspiring it is to be here.
We talked about funding, education reform, startups in general, hobbies (or lack of) … @ryanlou rented this humongous jeep and brought us to the Golden Gate Bridge. We were at the viewing point for like 10 minutes because we almost died from the cold. But even for that 10 minutes it was all worth it.
So here I am, 9am in the morning writing this post. In case you wondered, again I had an early sleep last night and I woke up at 7am this morning. My chronic insomnia has magically disappeared. If this pattern is going to carry on for the next couple of months I am here, I really need to seriously consider moving out of Singapore.