Sunday, January 20th, 2019

So long San Jose/Francisco

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Finally back home after a handover trip. Driving up to San Francisco I realised this was the last time I’d be doing this trip for my old job. A sense of sadness, but to be honest much more of relief !

Stationery

Got the city and headed to the Japanese Stationery Store. I ended up going to my usual place (Maido in Westfield Mall) but was considering a shop in Japantown (abandoned due to lack of time). I smiled at some of the reviews of Maido- great stock but poor and cold service. It’s true- a complete contradiction of normal Japanese service (actually verging on being like a shop in Cambridge, apart from having decent stocks that is !). Stocked up ($350 on goods). I laughed at the dialogue at the till:

Assistant: “Is this all for you ?”
Me: “Yes, I’m not going to be back here and there are no shops in the UK that sell this stuff”
Assistant: “Please come back anytime !”

A Final Pint

Drink in my favourite bar in San Francisco. I never go to Irish pubs, but found somewhere a few years back and have always regularly gone:

San Francisco drinking is always more relaxing. Not having to suffer from ensuring OST. OST = Optimised Stella Time, a phrase I coined when traveling regularly through Hong Kong with colleagues where we wanted to grab a few drinks before the late flight home. The process perfectly optimised of getting from Hong Kong Airport to a bar above the Airport Express in Hong Kong Station that served one of the best pints of Stella in the world. Examples of optimisation include the best immigration queue (by virtue of looking at the passports of people in the queue), buying the train ticket on the Cathay flight, etc.

In Flight Discussion

Flight was full so no upper class travel this time. Actually, for some reason I’m found that I combat jetlag better by not sleeping in a bed on the flight (strange). The benefit of not travelling upper is also being able to chat to people- something that only ever happens in the bar in upper but given you’re 10hrs beside someone in premium you end up chatting to them. This time I was lucky to have a consultant what was at an HIV/AIDS conference. Of course I asked the usual laymen questions about what was going on in that whole area. Interesting to understand how the UK (and people) are handling it and how bad it is in some other countries.

Back to Heathrow

On time for a change ! (not in a holding position). Yes, we landed 15mins ahead of schedule. Of course we had to wait 10mins on the land to find a stand, but at least not flying around London. Bags delayed right until the very end. Fuming throughout the waiting process (I thought someone had removed the priority tags), but later realised they had been subject to a security search in the US. Interesting to wonder if my behaviour at the airport in San Francisco (repacking the bags) was spotted ? Or maybe it was just the strange mix of stuff I had purchased on the trip !

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