First Impressions of San Francisco & Sapient
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This page catalogs some of our first impressions, having just arrived in San Francisco, as well as first impressions of Sapient, garnered as Chad went through bootcamp. It's kind of cool to look back on this and think how our perceptions have changed in the time we've been here.

San Francisco

The differences
This place is weird. Everyone drives on the wrong side of the road and when they turn you feel queasy and disorientated. You may make a right turn on any red robot. Pedestrians have right of way. When a robot goes orange you stop because when the one side goes red, the other goes green immediately.

The City
In a word beautiful. Tulips everywhere, flowers growing in pots on the streets (and no one picks them!!). Green, green, green, clean and very EXPENSIVE.


The old and the new in San Francisco

The city has an amazing mixture of old and new architecture. The photo above shows just one example of this. The church on the right was built over 80 years ago and is currently being renovated. On the left, the Marriot hotel, a modern glass and steel behemoth. Pretty damn cool!

Raw Fish
And we all thought Chad doesn't eat prawns but I'll tell you he does eat them raw !!! Chad loved the sushi, Linda tried but in the end settled for the cooked stuff. However the raw Monk fish liver was just too much for both of us. A really cool desert was the fruit ice-cream wrapped in raw rice dough. Weird.

Shopping
The bread in SF is amazing. There is literally a bakery on every street. The local specialty is (hold on to your false teeth) sour-dough bread. Our first shopping experience was horrific, for example $4.99 for 250g of Rice Crispies, due to the fact that we had to shop in small delis. It's weird to walk into a food store and see hard alcohol being sold next to the cheese and yogurt. However, we have found a supermarket chain by the name of Safeway and we will see what their prices are like.

Dinge hier is maar vrek duur, behalwe CD's en elektriese toebehore. Microgolwe begin by $80 en die heel groot duures is maar $150. Die gemiddelde brood kos so $3 en ons verlang erenstig na 'n bekostigbare skaap tjoppie. In hierdie geweste begin die skaap vleis by $9,99 per pond, lyk vir my ons sal maar al ons vleislus tande moet trek. Chad smag al na 'n stukkie biltong en as jy my vra gaan Suid-Afrika ons gouer sien as wat ons gedink het.

Hier kan jy letterlik alles kry!!!! Vanaf 'n handgemaakte "pug" sjokolade na sagte speel teddiebere van oor die 2 meter. Leggo is redelik goedkoop, die heel groot stelle kos so $110 (R550) wat aansienlik goedkoper is as in SA. Hulle speelgoed winkels is oorweldigend, vier na vyf verdiepings met 'n verskeidenheid van goed wat jou sal stomslaan. "Educational" speelgoed is veral populêr.

The Homeless
There are many homeless in San Fran, who live on the streets. They seem well educated and sit and read thick novels while begging for money! Many of them have pets, dogs and cats, who seem to be better fed then their owners!


Catching the afternoon sun (Photo: Phillip Greenspun)

Sapient
An excerpt from an e-mail sent out by Linda:
   Some news about Sapient. Man are these guys weird, and you know what, Chad fits right in. Not only are a few taking leave to go to the jazz festival in New Orleans, but they have stress toys. Sapient has expanded and now occupies two floors, which is great for war games. Yep, they relieve stress by running around shooting each other (and their bosses) with toy guns, playing mini basketball and scheduling shoot-ups with their clients. They had a office meeting, where amongst others one of the vice presidents was nominated king of the day, he dressed funny and gave every one unusual orders, for example, everyone who sang YMCA with all the relevant moves got an extra casual day. And all this time we thought Sapient was normalů

Yep, that's Sapient all right. This is not your typical Corporate American company. Firstly, only half of the office personell are native born Americans, the rest come from all over, Asia, India and now South Africa! The people are all bright, which makes for a very stimulating atmosphere.And here, being called a geek is a compliment! The job itself is interesting, and every member of a project team is expected to be able to handle a million and one things. To sum it up in a totally Californian way, Sapient is like way cool, dude!

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