Thursday, August 4, 2011

One Night in San Francisco

Last night, I decided to attend a startup event in San Francisco with one of my roommates (whose name I won’t mention). It was about a 50 minute train ride into the city from where I’m staying, and we arrived downtown around 7:30. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some food and drinks for the event, and despite all of my requests for heartier food, my roommate insisted on buying tortilla chips and guacamole. I figured this was a bad idea, considering most of the people at this event were college kids, and I was pretty hungry but it wasn’t worth arguing about. Please keep in mind as you read that I was already hungry at this point in the story.

After walking for almost half an hour, we finally found the place, which was a really awesome, old, 4 story, brick factory building. We walked through the door and I discovered that entrepreneurs are apparently really worried about building fires, because the entire group of 75 to 100 people was crammed into a really small area right by the entrance even though we were in a huge open building.

My roommate and I, carrying our chips, waded through the crowd to the food table, and to our great surprise, it was a table full of uneaten bags of tortilla chips. I think a few expletives were announced, but I will give my roommate some credit. He didn’t buy just any tortilla chips. He went to Whole Foods and bought the fresh overpriced ones. Since he did that, everyone there ate all of our chips first, and then despite buying the only “decent” food, we had only a couple bites of it.

I was in a good mood though, so I didn’t care too much until much later in the night when I got really hungry, and I was focused more on practicing my networking skills. My roommate on the other hand seemed more focused on practicing his womanizing skills. We split up pretty early and every time I looked over at him, he was talking to a different girl. I found this amazing considering there were only about 5 there. My only question was, “Why would you come to an event that you know is going to be a “nerdy sausage fest” (trust me, that’s really the only way to describe it) to meet chicks?” So, while I’m talking to hardcore programmers about their next big iPhone app or social networking site, roommate is talking to “hot” Indian programmer about his hot tub or something. Definitely an effective use of the event, roommate. Way to go.

I didn’t want to pass judgment though, and I let him be until it was time to leave and he wanted to go to a bar with the group of people. I think my exact words were, “Aw hell no.” Then we started walking back towards the train stop, with the intention of getting something to eat. My roommate, however, decided it was a good idea to drink at the networking event with no food in his stomach, and despite not drinking very much, he was moving pretty slow and had to go to the bathroom pretty urgently. Yet, every place we passed as we were walking wasn’t good enough for him to use to relieve himself. Finally, after about 15 minutes of walking past girls in tutus and strange stores, we came across a Shell station, where a homeless man was administering bathroom keys. Obviously this was the best place to go according to my roommate so he went to the bathroom while I was left alone with homeless guy.

At first, I talked to him about where to eat cheap in San Fran, which is really difficult to do. He recommended a donut shop about a block away. Then he asked why I was in California, and I told him I was an Intern from OSU. Then he asked me my major, and I told him I was in engineering. Then he asked me what kind of engineering and I told him aerospace. Then my roommate finally came out of the bathroom. Then he proceeded to go into his theory of Nazi reverse engineering of UFOs in WWII for about ten minutes. And he was serious. So here’s a really great history lesson for those of you that don’t know too much about where all of our technology came from. In brief, the Nazis found a UFO in the Black Forest with a live alien inside, and the alien taught them how to reverse engineer the UFO, which then allowed the Nazis to create their two greatest inventions of WWII: the V1 rocket and the flying saucer. When the great Nazi scientists came to America after WWII, they gave us their plans for the flying saucer, but we didn’t know how to fly it so we crashed it at Roswell. Then we figured out how to make stealth planes. By the way, we taught the Japanese all of our technology but all they can do is make it smaller. This guy should lecture at MIT.

At this point, we basically ran from this guy because he was crazy, and I suggested we go to the donut shop he recommended. But again, the donut shop wasn’t good enough for my pretty boy roommate, so we kept walking towards to the train station. We kept passing all of these great looking restaurants, but they were all closed. Every. Single. One of them. Now it’s around 10:20 and we’re at the train station and we still haven’t eaten. And our train leaves in 20 minutes. I thought I saw a sign for an open place down the road and started walking that way, but yet again, roommate with his fancy phone says we should go to this place that’s in a different direction. I bet you know what happened next. Yeah, it was closed. And I was pissed.

Finally, I was about to kill my roommate, and I stormed off in the direction of the other place I saw. What do you know; it was a donut/sandwich shop that’s open 24/7. Hallelujah. But this is where I was really retarded. My roommate came in and suggested we go to the Irish pub next door to get fish and chips. Why I listened to him, I have no idea. We walked over there only to find out their kitchen was closed. So we walked back to the donut place, and ordered sandwiches. Unfortunately, I think the owner of the shop had some pretty severe OCD, because he would only make our sandwiches if we each alternated telling him one ingredient at a time, and when we switched places at the counter, he freaked out. I legitimately thought he was going to start over. Meanwhile, the train was boarding…

We grabbed our sandwiches to go, and booked it to the train station. Luckily it hadn’t left yet, otherwise I wouldn’t have a roommate anymore. At least I got a good sandwich that satisfied my hunger.

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Carlin with Experiences to Avoid if Possible

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