day 3 – feeling blessed
I have no idea why but again I became really sleepy at 9ish last night and I woke up this morning like 3ish am, near 4. I had a nightmare that woke me up though, it was pretty scary – hair suffocating my face (ironic considering Ihave not much hair now). It was so vivid that I woke up and slept for another couple of hours with the lights on. Haven’t slept with the lights on for a long, long while.
Anyway, I had another touristy day. It started with a brunch with a couple of friends from Singapore. I went to http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/ which seems to be some kind of a sign. @ruiwen told me about it when I met him on saturday, then @minxuan mentioned it again on a IM conversation later, and coincidentally, the friend that I had to meet arranged to meet me there for brunch. 3 times in the same day. Wow.
It is such a great concept – reforming ex-convicts & troubled people by hiring them to do stuff as well as mentor new people coming into the programme. I can imagine how it feels like to be contributing meaningfully to something on a continued basis. I felt really emotionally while I was there, I observed every staff I could get my eyes on – what is their story? I see strength in their eyes, them being there is already a testament of their determination.
We said we were going to take ex-convicts and ex-addicts and teach them to be teachers, general contractors, and truck drivers. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to take 250 people who had never worked and had no skills and teach them to build a 400,000 square foot complex as our new home on the waterfront. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to partner with colleges and get people who started out functionally illiterate to achieve bachelor of arts degrees. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to run successful restaurants, moving companies, furniture making, and cafés and bookstores without any professional help. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to do all this with no staff, no government funding, and no professionals. They laughed and said it couldn’t be done.
Wow. How powerful is that.
I wished I could actually take a tour in the facility and speak to the people inside. But I honestly have no courage, yet. I don’t want to be asking the wrong questions or implying the wrong feelings. For now, I am just satisfied with having food and coffee there.
I was near the sea and I thought I should do the next touristy thing that came to my mind – Fisherman’s wharf. Having been to other touristy attractions elsewhere, I was skeptical. I don’t typically enjoy being in tourist spots, I like being in local neighbourhoods but hey, I always tell people you can’t go to Australia and not see a kangaroo or a koala. So how can I be at SF and not experience the wharf?
I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the assortment of shops at pier 39, such as these:
And I was very, very enthralled by the Sea Lions. I was wondering if they’re like put there in captivity for a tourist attraction (like how Singapore jails dolphins and exotic animals) but surprisingly they’re there by nature. The community felt so strongly about them that they sacrificed docking areas to let them just be there.
That was not all. Again, I became fascinated by the story of Pier 39. You could see literature such at these (compare the headline with the quote I mentioned above):
Double wow. Similar messages in two different places in one day. I even tried a fortune telling machine and that was my ticket (specially for Julia):
I just feel like the stars are in perfect alignment, if you know what I mean. Everything is so synchronistic that I am in constant awe by just being here.
Last but not least, I really like seeing this:
To be honest, I usually hate uploading pictures when I blog but words do not do enough justice.
The entire day, I felt what the chinese say: ???????????????