Atta Ikede

April 5, 2009

5 more days ..

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:49 am

.. until I leave for Australia! And India! Yup, got my visa for India too so it’s all set.

I don’t know why the Indian visa people made their website so freaking scary. “processing for non-US passports may take significantly longer than 3-5 days”. Blegh. Mine was turned around in a day and saved the shipping charges because their office is down the street from where I work! Although who knows. Maybe my application would have gotten hung up in diplomatic intrigue if I was from Nigeria or Yemen or something like that.

I flew jetBlue to NYC earlier this week. JetBlue flies out of the international terminal here at SFO, and on the way back my plane docked up next to a Qantas plane. I literally pressed my face into the window and oohed and aahed. Yes! That plane is taking me to Sydney on FRIDAY! Muahahaha. You all can writhe in helpless jealousy.

April 3, 2009

1 year! (um, plus 6 weeks)

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 7:29 am

I’ve been here for more than a year.

I really like it here! My TN status got renewed for another 3 years and I can see myself living here happily for 3 more years. After that, who knows.

I’ve been to a lot of different places in the states, and therefore I feel confident advising you that California is definitely the best state to live in. Yes, the state is horribly managed, the jails are apparently exploding with criminals and the taxes are really high, but I’ve now dismissed those as minor issues. And out of all the cities in California, San Francisco has unique appeal. The ocean. The weather. The palm trees. The sunshine. The vegans. And the unique environment created when one 7 mile square city is full of crazy hills and all kinds of characters.  Somehow, this all creates a happy little town!

That being said, I do miss Toronto as a city. It’s a lot bigger than San Francisco, and more dynamic too.  More delicious foods, WAY more multi-cultural, and just more grown up. A lot of the interesting stuff that happens in San Francisco appeals to a juvenile and regressionistic streak in people. Public Pillow fights. Snuggie Parties where people get awards for the “sluttiest” snuggy (scary). A 7 mile trek which people enjoy in the drunken nude or in costumes. In fact, a lot of stuff here involves costumes and highly extraverted public camaraderie. I don’t really understand the appeal of some of those social events, possibly because I don’t like costumes and I don’t like public camaraderie. Haha.

The rabbit wrote about how she feels like despite living down under for a year, she’s very conscious that it’s not home. I totally understand that. I love it here, but this place definitely isn’t my home. I’m not sure how happy I’d be if I didn’t have my dad’s phone calls, PB’s emails and Sylvia’s visits. But luckily I do have those things, so I don’t have to worry about that scenario :)

Sometimes a little distance is good

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:28 am

I had a couple examples recently where me living away from Toronto ended up making me closer to friends and family.

Exactly one month ago, I was in Las Vegas enjoying the hot sun on an outdoor patio at the Palazzo resort with my 2 college housemates. Yup, those two came down from Toronto to meet me there for a 3 day weekend. Casino tourism, wave pool, grand canyon, several glasses of wine, hot tub, long conversations, star gazing, startling confessions, all you can eat Vegas buffet and gigabytes of photos mean it was an excellent trip.  There is undeniable comfort in making the same jokes over and over again and indulging in familiar behaviours, but it was also nice to feel happy to get back to a grey and rainy SF on my own despite feeling a bit emotional when I hugged them goodbye. I was actually happy to see the rain. I like it!

Out of those two, I saw one of them pretty frequently in Toronto and she’s even been here pretty frequently,  but the other one is somebody who is totally wrapped up with commitments in her life and is not somebody I saw very often. I think she only visited me at my place in Toronto a couple times and I only visited her at her place a couple times too.

This vegas trip was basically the first trip we’ve taken together, despite being very close friends. If not for the fact I live out here, and the first girl has a job that brings her out west from time to time, there’s no way the 3 of us would have gotten together, just us, at all this year!!

That was example 1 of distance being good.

The second example was when my parents came to visit early in March. It was such a great visit! Sometimes my parents and I stress each other out, but this time, we totally had a fun time.  It was really nice to come home after work to find them hanging around here, my mom usually bundled up under 3 blankets on the lounge chair (she found SF very cold!) and my dad on the couch with my laptop. Hehe. The best part was that they spent a lot of time in my neighbourhood here, so now when I talk to them, I can tell them I went to Noah’s bagels and they’ll know why the bagels are yummy, or I can tell them I’ve been taking the 41 bus home and taking the stairs up to my place, and they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I was actually kind of lonely when they left! Luckily I had social activities for the next 3 days and so I was totally recovered from the loneliness within a couple days.

Although of course I had lots of fun visits with my parents when I was at home, somehow, on this trip when they visited me, we treated each other like adults who were friends rather than playing the usual roles of parent and child.

That was example 2 of distance being good.

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