Friday, December 12, 2014

I've survived the Pineapple Express!

What exactly is the Pineapple Express? Apparently it's a non-technical term for a weather condition, but most recently it's the name of the storm that hit (is still hitting?) California.  Some areas of the state got hit pretty bad.

ABC news - Healdsburg, CA

Mashable - Berkeley, CA

Thankfully here in the city (or at least, the city parts I went through yesterday) there weren't a whole lot of problems. I mean, sure, I woke up at 8:30 to rain, fell asleep at 2am to rain, and woke up at 10:30 to a drizzle still falling. But I didn't run into giant puddles. I didn't see any flooding. It wasn't even raining that hard, traffic was normal. The biggest concern was power, so many districts were out. Except my little corner of the city. Not even for a second to cause blinking clocks. 

Huruta Rain
And yet, school was closed and my teammates complained and wanted to cancel our meeting to finish up final projects. I get it. All the hype made them nervous. And I had forgotten at first, but many people have different expectations of rain.

When I lived in Wellington, it was always long, strong storms with wind so fierce it snapped my umbrella before I walked a block.  In Huruta, it was a few hours of harsh rain that resulted in traffics (human, animal, and car) to stop, muddy rivers, and I used to walk with my umbrella angled into the wind so much it wasn't uncommon for a lot of my body to be out from under it. 

Some of my classmates saw this storm as a lot of rain, even though from my end it was pretty tame.

You always think about cultural differences hanging out with international students, or just ex-pats. But you rarely think of environmental differences aside from 'Norway is cold, so you must be warm here' or 'I can tell you're missing India's weather by your three layers'. But there's other things too, like rain, or even walking speed, crossing streets and taxi desirability that all comes not from the culture you were raised in, but your environment. I need to remember that before rolling my eyes when someone freaks out about what to do with a fridge with no power.

After all, I wasn't always a pro about going three days without electricity. (Thanks for that Huruta.)

SF rain

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


It's a little late to go into details about the holiday and how it was a little weird being back in America and missing people. So I'll just give you a bunch of photos ^_^

This is the boat I spent the holiday on.

We kayaked around the marina and came pretty close to some seals. As in, maybe two paddle lengths.

Dinner! Since it was just two of us (me and roomie) we just grilled turkey parts instead of cooking a full one.