Day 11: On a Mission

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! There hasn’t been anything to differentiate the days of the week since I got here. I’ve never been one to live for the weekend; I try to live for every day.

I’ll most likely end up saying this again, but I meant to post sooner. At the hostel it was difficult to find privacy to gather my thoughts. And summarizing everything can be a challenging task, so sometimes I put it off.

I had a great time at the hostel up until the one week mark, then it went downhill fast. The roommates I had for the first week were cool, quiet, and we got along pretty well. Unfortunately, those roommates moved on and I wound up with two older gentlemen who were both snoring quite loudly. I woke up feeling frustrated for the first time since I arrived out here and knew I didn’t want to stay much longer. It was also hard to form any type of schedule because of all the shared utilities. I just skipped the free breakfast for a few days and ate my own food because it was like a feeding frenzy if you got to the kitchen at a bad time. I didn’t feel like wrestling anyone for a cup of coffee. Not again. I was bound to get burned. (*pun)

A day later, I received the final impetus to find another place. I had been at the hostel common room job and sublet searching most of the day, when late afternoon a busload of middle-schoolers showed up. There were literally at least 30 12-year-olds running around and yelling for several hours. It was extremely loud inside and I feared for my safety. I like kids in small numbers, but being attacked by a pack of middle-schoolers is probably my worst nightmare.

After going to see two other rooms for rent, one south of the city and one across the bay in Berkeley, I have concluded that I want to be close to the city, in the city, at least while I’m looking for a job. I need to be able to get everywhere fast and have lots of public transportation options so I can meet people. It would be too similar to home, too easy for me to settle in, and too hard to meet new people if I lived further from the city.

I wound up having luck finding sublets on Craigslist because they are often affordable, short-term, and people usually want to rent them out quickly. Long story short, I am subletting a room in the Mission District in a household of other young, fun-loving people until May 17th, possibly longer, which is good because it gives me some stability and privacy to focus on my job search and explore the Mission District, which I haven’t done much of yet.

I was reminded of how tough it can be say goodbye, even when you can see it coming. Some people let go easily, others hold on more tightly. I think it’s just engrained in our nature, our personalities to be one or the other. It is good for my soul though; it is good practice to say goodbye and not hold on too tightly, to go against my nature. I’ve said hello and goodbye to so many people and places in the past 11 days, it’s sort of wild. It was a pretty cool moment when my Korean friend, Sang Ook, and I walked our German friend, Maik, down to the subway, shook hands, and waved goodbye.

In just a few days we had done a lot of sightseeing together and became friends. It is fascinating to meet people who are so different than I am, but actually very similar. The conversations we had were not dissimilar to those that I have had with my American friends. Cultural and language barriers can all be overcome rather easily when there isn’t bigotry, hated, racism, you-name-it, present. Just a couple of guys escaping the weight of the world by exploring it. Even if it’s only for a short time…