Pumpkin pie, beer, trying to nap in the conference room and tiny spiders that scare Americans.
Carlos took me out and showed me San Francisco.
The whole area was absolutely beautiful – so many houses with so much character. (Victorian style in particular.)
We stopped for what Carlos (who likes to spend his weekends being professionally finicky, or in his words, “classy”,) called “proper Mexican”. What we had in the office for lunch on Friday was apparently not his idea of a good meal.
It was good – I actually tried two different sauces/salsas for the tortilla chips – the first was green, a little spicy, but manageable. (I have NO tolerance for hot/spicy food.) The second was red and burned me horribly but at least I tried it.
We went on to meet Walter at a coffee shop and I attempted to explain to him how boomerangs work.
It was a nice little place and did a really good hot chocolate – although the pot smell in the bathroom was a bit overpowering.
Come dinner time we went to a lovely Greek place – “Pera”. (I’ve just been corrected by Walter, who also greatly enjoys being finicky. He tells me it is actually “Greek, Mediterranean and Turkish.”)
This is where I got to meet Ivan, who Carlos explained to me was the architect of flash video. Unlike Carlos and Walter he did not reach for his phone every 2 minutes and said quite a lot of insightful things. (Walter kept saying “Mufasa!”, which I did not consider as insightful.)
It was a fantastic day and getting to talk to Carlos one on one always ends up being educational, even if he does sometimes make no sense
Eric took me to a pumpkin festival which was really awesome – I ate my first piece of pumpkin pie (it was GREAT!) and my first corn dog, which was also great although I could tell how terribly unhealthy it was from the first bite.
He took me to several places but in order to keep this a readable length I will give you just the highlights;
A bunch of odd fruits and vegetables along with some really, really interesting drinks that I might have been game to try if not for the questionable sugar content. Very interesting to see.
Winchester Mystery House
Crazy. If you don’t know what this is, look it up. The whole thing was really, really interesting and even though I am not normally someone who goes for this kind of thing it was great fun. (Although Eric and I couldn’t resist pointing out the “modern” things around the house which seemed out of place. Like fire extinguishers, some lights and, for some reason, a projector.)
At one point there was a spider (tiny by Australian standards) above me on the wall. People seemed to think it was “huge” and panicked. I told them funnel webs (an Australian spider) can bite through leather. Yeah.
The food was surprisingly good, the restaurant itself as full of stereotypes as I had imagined – but I was somewhat disappointed to see that they did not have proper Australian beers. They listed only two, Fosters (who drinks that?) and James Boag. I was desperately hoping for Coopers (it’s certainly “beer weather” here right now) but in the end settled for a certainly-not-Australian Michelob, which was good. (Although the waiter seemed somewhat putout by the fact I ignored the glass that he brought over with the bottle.)
It was another great day, very long, very busy but very cool.
That’s it for the weekend.
Today, Monday, I have not done anything exciting or typically American, yet. I do have some Mike’s Hard Lemonade back in my fridge which I plan on trying tonight – that is something I’ve wanted to try for several years now.
My only gripe is that I am constantly carded here – I understand the drinking age is 21 and not 18, but come on! Josh from the office looks like a child, (I like to tell him this every day,) but has only been carded once.
For some reason some places also insist on seeing my passport rather than my Australian ID, which is somewhat of a pain because naturally I don’t like that coming out of it’s secure spot in my bag.
I will blog again soon – in the meantime stay tuned on Twitter for random updates straight from the Ansca office
PS – For those not following me on Twitter, I took a cat nap in the conference room today, it was surprisingly pleasant. I guess I needed it after eating a whole pizza for lunch.