#whatinnaeworld?! SF 3rd Edition, or “Why Innae is Not Yet an SFer”

You’re never too old to be new.

DANGER! DANGER! This is a warning for all Google Maps public transit route users!

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Yes. That red highlighted route? The one that says it will be so much shorter than the other serpentine routes you usually take? Obviously the right answer. Obviously the one you take on the first day of training for a new job. And being a seasoned rider of MUNI (SF’s public transportation route), I felt confident about all the complex going-ons, such as signaling when to get off, and how to touch the yellow tape or kick the handrails to open the back doors.

Transit world gods, you win.

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You’re looking at the back of a bus that got me to my workplace in a speedy fashion as advertised…

… at the cost of $10 for 3 miles.

Still a noob. Still learning my way around. By the way, what is the neighborhood to the west of NoPa called?

P.S. Googling “Google Maps red bus route San Francisco” doesn’t work. Yes, I tried that.

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#whatinnaeworld?! New York 2nd Edition

In a world where everyone is connected and life is digitized, a simple sign in a New York cafe stirs shock.

Cafe with no computers

Computers be gone!

For an unemployed New Yorker who was looking for a haven to job-search, this was not a pleasant sign. For a coffee drinker who finds herself full through conversation? Well, it left an impression… and a blog post.

Happy #ThrowbackThursday! #tbt

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#whatinnaeworld?! Hartford Edition

It’s been awhile.

Seeing that today is Thursday, this is an appropriate time to #tbt it to a month ago (does that really count?) to a trip to the lovely capital of Connecticut. In the tour given by the illustrious Cary Chow, he made sure to bring me to this very Starbucks because it was sure to be…

closed.

closed.

 

I’m sorry, which Starbucks do you know that closes at 6:30 p.m. on a weeknight?

And remains as shuttered on the weekends?

THEN WELCOMES CUSTOMERS ON CHRISTMAS EVE?

 

Boggling. Welcome to Hartford.

How to Make the Right Decisions

A wise man (also known as a friend of mine) says he faces at least 20 forks in the road each day. How do you decide which direction to take at each crossroads?

 

In his words:

Pick the path that means more for someone else and less of yourself.*

 

This is not to say that you allow yourself to be stomped on, crushed, ignored and forgotten. Rather, if there is a benefit to someone else, it is very likely that should be the choice you make, even if you walk away with no apparent reward.

 

Completely counterintuitive. What about getting ahead, stepping atop others to attain success? I looked at him a bit skeptically across the table.

 

—-

My mother came and sat down on my bed right after I pulled the covers up to my chin. “I have something I want to talk to you about.”

I sat up.

“I’ve been thinking this for awhile. You are too nice.”

“Huh?!” my high school self exclaimed.

“You are too nice,” said my mother. “You will be taken advantage of, if you haven’t already. You need to be more selfish. Your dad and I have discussed this. Stop being so nice.”

I fell back onto the bed in disbelief.

 

As my friend and I unpacked this concept, I realized that my parents and I were both wrong.

 

As painful as it is to admit, there have been too many ulterior motives in my kindnesses. Was I really offering to cook a meal for a family because I genuinely felt the burden of a newborn child? Well, yes and no, because I have never raised an infant. However, there is a tiny corner of Innae realizing there is some social perk to performing this public deed. I will be viewed as altruistic! I will not be wasting my time! I will be considered a great cook! (highly unlikely) And I will feel good about myself!

 

Select service, Ted* urges. Give my time, energy, wisdom, all of it away.

 

He isn’t the only one to say such nonsensical words. Who can forget this?

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

[Mark 12:30-31]

 

‘Tis the season for giving. Time will tell if I’m ready to make it year-round.

 

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*This is paraphrased. Sorry, Ted.

#whatinnaeworld?! New York Edition

I’d like to think after six weeks, I’m a bona fide New Yorker.

This weekend, however, I realized I am far from it.

 

It’s not just because I ended up in a different part of Queens because I forgot the hyphen in the street address (yes, 40-17 Broadway is quite different from 4017. Is that not obvious to you?). It’s not because I still manage to come out of the wrong exit at the 34th Street stop which is always, always, always closed on weekends.

 

Well, maybe it is. However, the realization came when a man offered me candy on the L train.

 

It was a wrapped Starburst. Red. Still in the original row, though the outer packaging was torn open.

... And possibly laced with coke?

so inviting

 

My companion stared at me once he realized it was already in my mouth. “Did you really eat that?” he asked.

“Yup,” I mustered with teeth half-clamped together.

“I would’ve never eaten that.”

 

Still a newb, my friends. Still green. And apparently still in need of reviewing my stranger danger kindergarten education. Oops.

 

P.S. It wasn’t laced with coke.

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#whatinnaeworld?! Bay Area Edition

I thought NYC was exclusive.

 

However, I was awakened to the rarity of certain dim sum options in the Bay Area thanks to two cousins who went to a restaurant and then returned the next day because this dish wasn’t available the first time.

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You’re looking at (what’s left of) 1 of 6 crispy pork belly portions that are served each day at Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae, Calif.

ONE of SIX.

We made sure to come before noon AND tell the primary server we were here to get this particular plate. It was hand-delivered (versus cart-delivered) as a result.

Was it worth two days of dim sum in a row? Go try it.*

Happy eating!

 

 

*Okay, fine, it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Go.