Sunday, November 18, 2007

Santa Clara, CA

35 hours after leaving home in Cape Town I arrived at Greenpoint Apartments in Santa Clara, the place where I will be staying for the next three months.

This was my first time flying Lufthansa. I was immediately put off by the lack of personal TVs for the on-board entertainment. We ended up having a measly two movies shown and they were both shown in the second half of both flights, when I was hoping to get in some sleep. Nevertheless, they were the first airline I've been on that hasn't been stingy with drinks. They go around several times and are easy about people asking for drinks at any time.

Thankfully I had only one stop-over, although it was at my least favourite airport. Frankfurt's airport has the worst signage of any airport I have been to and the shopping is terrible -- at least in terminal 1 which I was in. At least they had a small number of these wonderful reclined chairs (simple ones with no mechanical parts) and I was lucky to find a single free one, which helped ease the 4 hour wait for the next plane. During the second flight (both were about 11-12 hours each) I had a nice New Zealand couple sitting next to me and they were very chatty.

The immigration process went fairly quickly, which I found surprising due to the large size of San Francisco airport. This is my third time in the US -- for my first flight to New York the immigration queue was very long and we had to wait over an hour. There was a 10 minute and an hour long train I had to catch. The second one runs hourly, so I was lucky to arrive at the platform not so long before the train arrived. I ended up getting to the apartment just before 16:00.

Checking in required a fair amount of paper work -- something I have gotten unfortunately used to over the past two weeks! When I eventually got through all that I finally got to see my apartment. I'll post pictures shortly, but in brief it's reasonable and has everything I need from it. By coincidence or what I do not know, a friend Chris de Kadt who was doing a six month internship finished up just last week. So he passed on all his furniture, his bike and some other stuff.

I had to go out and buy a few things for the apartment. I only went out and bought the essentials and I'll get the rest of the stuff later when I know where the places are and have more time. I skipped supper as I wasn't all that hungry.

So, tomorrow I start my second real job. Will Nvidia meet, will it pass the coolness of Google? I'll soon find out!

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