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Bye bye Boston

Finally back in Cali as of last night. It was an extremely long day of traveling. I was so tired when I got home and started feeling really sick. All I wanted to do as soon as I got home was to unpack, shower and go to sleep. Luckily I did my laundry before I left my parent’s house, which saves me the time from doing it back in Cali. I quickly unpacked and put everything in its place so I didn’t have to deal with it today when I get home from work. Smart move on my end. I woke up feeling sick but told myself I have to drag my ass out of bed and into the office. If I worked from home I’d probably be all mopey and sad about being homesick.

Saturday night I had a really hard time sleeping that when I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for my flight I felt like crap. There was a really strange mood around the house as I was getting ready Sunday morning. My dad was really unhappy as well as my mom, but I think my dad took it harder. I remember Saturday night when he sat there watching tv, he stared aimlessly at the tv telling me his chest really hurts because I’m leaving. I felt horrible when he said that to me. I just put on that tough front and told him he’ll be okay and I tried joking around with him. But even then I’m pretty sure he caught on that I was having a hard time hearing those words. On Sunday morning when my parents were driving me to the bus station, it was a very silent car ride. I sat in the back seat noticing my dad’s eyes getting red and watery. He then told me he felt like crying and once again I put on that tough front. I tried not to look into that mirror where I could see his eyes. I either was looking down at my phone or out the window. I tried my hardest to not cry and to continue being strong.

Soon we arrived to the bus station where my parents sat with me waiting for my bus to arrive which was to bring me to the airport. I tried to strike a much more optimistic conversation to lighten up the mood and that helped a bit. Once my bus arrived, I gave my parents a hug and walked onto the bus. I opted for a seat by the window that wasn’t facing them so they wouldn’t see me crying. As soon as I got on the bus I stared out the window silently crying wishing that I didn’t have to go back to Cali. I felt horrible to go back to Cali making my parents feel sad. I know it’s not really my fault, but I can’t help but feel guilty. Throughout my entire trip home I cried silently. I remember every moment at the airport in Boston I felt so unhappy and emotional. The moment the plane took off I felt so heartbroken to leave my home again. The closer I got to Cali I felt worst. I had a stop in Milwaukee, Phoenix and then finally San Jose. When we landed in San Jose I felt the sadness kick into overdrive. I felt so uncomfortable around the surroundings I’ve grown accustomed to during the past year I’ve lived here. I hated everything; from the streets to the people. It was and will never be anything like Boston.

Today is my first day back in the office. I feel okay again to be around my coworkers who welcomed me with opened arms. I guess my work is my safety net out here. That is essentially why I’m even in Cali. This morning when I woke up I felt like I woke up from a long dream of being in Boston. It doesn’t even feel like I ever went back. It’s so strange. I felt so happy again to see my coworkers. Yet once I’m out of the office and back to my place, my mood changes to hating everything again. I become so hateful of everything because of the malicious people I’ve crossed paths with out here. I blame them for making me feel this way and making me fear to come back to this shit hole west coast. One day I’ll go back home for good. For now I have to continue doing what I’m doing. Like my friends have been saying to me, just do what you have to do and then come back.

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Living here in San Jose for over a year now there’s still quite a few places that I have yet checked out. San Jose Museum of Art was one of the few places that I’ve had my eye on to visit. It’s close by to where I live yet I just never made the trip there. My friend from back at home that lives in the East Bay asked if I wanted to go to the museum on Saturday. I decided to take him up on his offer since he has a pass to check out a few museums around the Bay Area for free. I didn’t feel like heading into the city since I already commute quite often into SF. I opted to stay local and to check out SJ Museum of Art.

After we arrived I didn’t realize how small it was. I didn’t think it was going to be huge compared to the Museum of Fine Arts back in Boston, but maybe at least a little bit bigger. A few of things in their collection were okay. I was really intrigued by their “Momentum” exhibit that they had up. There was also a few of Chihuly’s glass sculptures hanging in the lobby which was nice. I’m still bummed out that I missed his exhibit when he came to Boston a few years ago. I’d love to check out his work in Seattle some day though. One of the installations from the “Momentum” exhibit was done by Leo Villareal, who designed the light installation for the Bay Bridge called the Bay Lights. It was really beautiful and clean.

As for my overall thought of this museum, I’ve definitely gone to better ones. I would only come back if there was a really good exhibit happening. Other than that I can do without coming here again. I wish their collection was curated better, which might improve the setting of the museum. I’m just glad I finally got to check it out and cross that off my list of things to do!

http://sjmusart.org/

Ever since I moved to California, I’ve been told many great things for what’s along Highway 1 especially Big Sur. Never wanted to really do the drive alone since it’s definitely a drive I’d prefer to have some company with. Luckily I had friends from Boston visiting last weekend which commenced for a photo adventure. Definitely didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to experience the amazing views. Each stop was gradually breath taking. I suggest anyone to take a day to drive along Highway 1 to really experience the scenic views. Don’t forget to bring some beer, too! We had a beer before we ventured off to enjoy our last stop during this drive. Here’s a list of where we stopped:

– Pescadero State Beach

– Pebble Beach to see the Lone Cypress Tree

– Point Lobos

– Bixby Bridge

– Pfeiffer Falls

My favorite spots were Point Lobos and Pfeiffer Falls. I wouldn’t mind going back to Point Lobos one of these weekends to hike. There was something so calming about this place for me. Luckily we were able to make it to Pfeiffer Falls right in time before the sun set. It was beautiful. I was surprised to see a bridal party just leaving Pfeiffer Falls after their ceremony ended as we were walking onto the trail. Pretty cool idea.

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Thanks again to my friend JP for driving! Of course when we arrived back to San Jose we had to have all you can eat Korean BBQ as well as lots of beer and soju at YakiniQ. Yay! Perfect way to end a great day. Got lots of great pics but still really need to get a better lens!! Had time to make change my wallpaper with all the photos I’ve taken!

Working from home :)

It was a really great time and I was glad to share this experience with friends that’s never gone before. 🙂

Some time last week while I was on the phone with my mom, she had mentioned how I should go buy some moon cake and have a nice dinner since August Moon was approaching. I was looking considering on doing it today since I worked from home and had a bit of spare time to go grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling well all day so that plan didn’t follow through. My landlord’s parents are in town visiting and his mom always kinda scared me. She just looks like a mean old lady, but turns out she’s not haha. I was getting some water in the kitchen and she spoke to me in Mandarin saying they’re going to have dinner tonight because of August Moon. She had to repeat herself in Cantonese since I don’t understand nor do I speak Mandarin. I kindly replied and appreciated the invite and just told her I didn’t want to disrupt their plans, but she kept insisting that I join. I offered to help with prepping the food and cooking, but she said it’s all set and when dinner is ready she’ll let me know. I thought the invite was really sweet that I kinda teared up when I got back into my room. It was just a really nice gesture on her end since I wasn’t looking forward to having the usual “table for one” kinda dinner or any meal by myself.

Afterwards, I grabbed my keys and went out to the Chinese market where they have a deli section and I bought some soy sauce chicken. I didn’t want to sit at this table without having helped with the cooking or anything. I thought this would at least be something than nothing to have offered them. I spoke to my parents and told them I was going to eat dinner with my landlord and etc., and that I had bought some extra food. My parents were joking around how I’m suddenly so polite and well mannered, but they commented saying that I’m a really good girl for doing that. I’m glad that made them happy. After everyone at the table was slowly finishing dinner, I was clearing the table and bringing the dirty dishes to the sink. I was about to wash them and then my landlord’s mom shoved me lol. I told her how I want to clean the dishes since they did all the cooking. We fought over the sink and I eventually gave up and walked away haha. Fiesty old lady, but very sweet as well.

I noticed that when it came to Chinese holidays, my landlord has always been very hospitable and welcoming for me to join them and having dinner together. It’s a really kind gesture and I really appreciate it. I take those little things to heart and I am very grateful to have met such kind people. They make me feel like they’re my little family and home away from home since I don’t have any family here at all. I’m a very lucky girl to know people like them. 🙂

Before and after I moved to Cali, the thought of how I’d handle an earthquake kinda freaked me out. I really don’t know what to do if it happened. Coming from the east coast I know what to do if there’s a snowstorm, hurricane, tornado, etc. An earthquake is something I never learned how to “prep” for. I always joked around with friends saying that when that moment does happen I’ll probably freak out and cry haha, but apparently I didn’t. Well sort of.

I was having trouble sleeping per usual. I decided to take some melatonin to help me sleep and I went to bed early, too. Throughout the night I woke up here and there. Clearly the melatonin didn’t work but I felt a bit blah from it. I remember waking up at around 4AM and my bed was moving. I was sleeping on my side and felt my body lightly swaying back and forth. I was in a daze and felt confused yet scared. I thought it was a dream and still feel a bit groggy from the melatonin, so I tried my hardest to fall back asleep and disregarded the movement in the room.

I woke up this morning to a few text messages from friends back at home asking if I was okay and had mentioned they heard there was an earthquake that occurred near me. I was like “fuckkkk…that shit was an earthquake?!!”. So I wasn’t dreaming after all haha. I replied with letting them know that I was okay and I really appreciated how concerned they were. My mind has been kind of mind boggled all day thinking about the earthquake and how much damage it did to Napa. Luckily it didn’t get too serious here in San Jose. Can’t believe I just fell back asleep like nothing happened haha. I’m just really glad I’m safe.

Today marks one year since I’ve moved to Cali. Crazy how a year has flown by already. Honestly, everyday I feel like I’ve only been here for a couple of months. It’s definitely still an adjustment for me. I miss home every single day. The first six months here was rough. I cried a lot and felt so out of place. The loneliness and silence that you deal with gets to you quite often. This whole experience for me was to take myself out of my comfort zone and to experience what it’d be like to live somewhere where you don’t know anyone. It has been an interesting experience.

More importantly I moved for the sake of my career. I’m in a really great place with my career right now. Recently started a new job and I’m learning more in order for me to grow as a better designer. I’ve definitely become a much more confident designer. It was a struggle finding work out here when i first arrived. Throughout my time here I’ve definitely worked my way up. I worked for shitty people to amazing, big companies. I am very grateful to have those opportunities to have worked for those companies. I’ve never felt such strong motivation for my career before until now. There’s more clarity as to where I see myself in the future as a designer. It’s a very rewarding feeling.

As for how long I plan to stay in Cali, I’m unsure. A year has gone by but that’s still nothing to me. As much as I miss home constantly, I’m in a very happy place with my career. My social life has gotten a tiny bit better, but my friends from home are always still in contact with me which makes me feel better. I’m still trying to develop a core group of friends, but honestly the people here suck. I’ve done a lot of reaching out and I’m just kinda over it. People here are flakey and never come through, which is horrible for me to expect that. Glad I have friends at home that aren’t like that. I’m glad to have at least one great girl friend around (lisalaughs) because “Man Jose” can be a bit much. Plus, every girl always needs to have that down time with their girlfriends! It’s essential.

I’m very thankful again to have such sweet friends who has been with me throughout this experience. I won’t forget about seeing C in September in San Francisco. At that time I wasn’t here in Cali for that long but it was great to hang out with a girl friend. I got to spend Christmas with P (another friend from home who lives semi close by) and catching up and making our silly, gigantic s’mores haha. Then January another close girl friend came to visit me for my birthday. I cried so much because I was so happy for them to have come so far just for my birthday. It was a very sweet gesture. I got to see C again in June which is always a great time. Good food, drinks and company was what I needed during that time when I became unemployed. Having that girl time was very comforting. I’m looking forward to seeing M and her hubby at the end of this month. Can’t wait!!

I’ve looked at plane tickets to travel home but still unsure. Hopefully in November but we shall see. We’re already into half of the year being over and I got to figure out travel plans for home soon. I was all about not visiting home so soon because I felt like I didn’t earn that right to. I’m a very prideful person. I’d be embarrassed to visit home with nothing to show. It was easy to pack my things and leave, but definitely hard to go home. At this point, it’s safe to say I’ve earned that plane ticket home. I’ve been through enough one year without seeing my family and friends. I left my heart back in Boston and I miss how my city made me feel.

Glad to know I survived this one, long, tough year by myself. It still blows my mind that I got into my car and drove across this country. Never gonna do that again haha. Onto year two.

 

Seafood soondubu with yummy sides

Seafood soondubu with yummy sides

These past couple of days I’ve been in the mood to go to the movies by myself. I put on my big girl panties and did that on my birthday this year, which I enjoyed and found it relaxing to go alone. Right now it doesn’t seem like there’s anything too appealing for me to rush to the theater to see by myself. Yesterday I spent a good several hours at this milk tea spot that I like reading away. I lost track of time and it was 8PM. My options were to either A) go home and cook dinner, B) order take out, or C) have a protein shake for dinner. I was really exhausted from my work out earlier that day and just overall tired from the hectic work week. I was craving for soondubu (Korean tofu soup), which I haven’t had since I was back in Boston. I’ve been deprived of Korean food since I’ve moved here actually haha. I just wanted some soup and to call it a day. Turns out there’s a relatively new Korean spot around the corner from the milk tea spot I was at. I looked on Yelp to see if it was worth going and based on the reviews it didn’t seem too bad.

After I stepped in I felt kinda shy and nervous because I’ve never dined alone. I’ve always preferred having company to enjoy a meal or drinks with. I never saw anything wrong with dining by yourself, it’s stupid that some people frown upon it. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the company of great friends back at home whenever we dined out, which was quite often haha. Anyways, I got seated right away in the corner by myself lol. Talk about total loner seat! Their menu didn’t seem too bad, but I just stuck with what I mainly went there for. I was just sitting there texting away to friends while I waited for my meal. The wait for my food didn’t take too long. The service was prompt and the staff was really nice. I really enjoyed the side dishes especially the noodles. Pretty yummy! I ordered the seafood soondubu, which had shrimp and clams in it. This place really hooked you up with lots of clams in this dish haha. They were nice and cracked the egg for me. Overall I really liked it at this place and after awhile I got over the fact that I was sitting by myself. It wasn’t that bad and I kinda enjoyed it. Maybe Sundays will be my newfound days where I dine out alone.

If you’re in San Jose, check out Enjoy Seoul for soondubu! I’m sure there are other places that might be better than this place, but it’s not too shabby!