Monday, August 30, 2010

Jörg was visiting me last week...

...and he took some nice pics. Check them out here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Empathic Civilisation

There is no such thing as Germany - it's fiction.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The Tenderloin where I live is a great place to be. Why? Because it is centrally located, there is so much going on: many galleries, pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants..., many of my friends live just around the corner... and it is real. Compared to the story book reality that you get when you only stroll around other parts of San Francisco and towns like Stanford or Palo Alto life happens here.

What also makes it real are the crazy, prostitutes and homeless in the streets. I remember that I noticed the high amount of crazy and drugged people when I was living in DC but San Francisco is the Mekka of the homeless because of its mild weather conditions. They are hard to ignore due to the smell and their constant begging. When I was looking for an aquarium store last week I was actually so much in my own world that I actually handed a dollar to a girl. She looked older than she probably was, worn out, maybe a Prostitute, definitely on drugs and I just handed her a dollar... Oops.

Some beggars try to be funny by creating signs like "Why lie? I need a drink". At first it makes you smile. But then...? Tourist guide books advise you not to give any money to the homeless but rather donate it to organisations. Big organisations with a huge overhead that seem not to be able to handle the situation in San Francisco. I don't know if that's the right answer. I sometimes give away doggy bags whenever I am not able to finish my food in the restaurants.

I had a weird encounter at Walgreens (= German DM or Budni) a couple of weeks ago. A guy came to talk to me while I was looking for toiletteries. He complimented my braided hair from the other end of the aisle. I thanked him friendlily. He also came over to ask me if he could introduce himself to me. Well, I am trying not to be German here, so why not go with the flow? His hands were pretty dirty and I was about to learn why. He was apparently a famous DJ from Vegas who came to San Francisco and ended up camping in the parks. He continued to complain about the American Dream for a minute before he changed the topic abruptly. He told me was interested in Adult Dancing and Sex and then asked for my phone number. WTF. I shook my head and turned to the check-out. Crazy things can happen on a Saturday morning in the Tenderloin.

Medicine for Melancholy

Yesterday I watched my friend Barry's movie. And you should, too. It's about the real San Francisco. And it's about boy meets girl - so whoever liked Garden State or 500 days of Summer should watch it, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear German Government,... could do something useful for once and issue another ID for me. There are a couple of bars and clubs in San Francisco that would not accept it. First of all, do not laminate the thing - this makes it even more suspicious. Actually, a plastic card would be nice. This way, I would not have to argue with bouncers all the time.

Thank you and Prost, yours sincerely,


Dear Bouncers,

"we do not accept those because it is a law" is no valid argument. Do I really look under 21? And no, I did not laminate my ID. That's just the way it looks like. Are you sure that you do not want to make some money selling drinks to me and my friends?

Maybe think about it next time.



Being Faculty... a master's student is great. I have my own office and have a Faculty card. I also use it to get student discounts.

Rosi and Einstein

and suddenly they were 3.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Twit Network

San Francisco weather

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
--Mark Twain

It is the coldest July in SF since 1971.
-- Tuan

It is sunny - it is just so freaking cold. But hey, I lived in London last summer...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Tuan had a surprise for me today: Flummi - my new flatmate.

He is tiny and really shy. I guess he is just not used to my taste in music, yet. The poor thing was starving for the first 24 hours because I did not have any fishfood. But he is a tough guy, he survived. The food I bought is apparently not gluten free, but I hope he will be fine. I am raising him bilingually, so he will be very smart when I have to give him away in two months. I am not sure what to do with him then. Nate does not want him - so anyone interested, please, let me know.

Wrong place. Right time.

So on Sunday at 8 pm I went to Jack in the Box on Geary @ Mason to get some fries. And one day later, I read this: "Five held in connection with tourist's death". Read more.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Networking in the US works differently than in Europe. It's a little bit like speed dating. You meet random people, talk to them for 2 minutes, exchange business cards and then talk to the next person. The next day you have a lot of these business cards and don't remember all the matching faces... So you log into LinkedIn and investigate their background and add them to your network.

I went to a Young Professional Networking event shortly after I arrived in San Francisco. The hosts could not really tell us why they were hosting this event and what kind of clients they were looking for. Also, I kind of had the feeling that most of the guys were here for two non-professional reasons: drinks and girls.

A week later I went to the launch party of a German research institute. The location was really beautiful and people enjoyed food and drinks. And then a power point marathon started that gave fun insights into consumers' psyches but was rather tiring for the mainly American audience. I happened to meet a girl from Berlin who I immediately liked cause she had this refreshingly straightforward humor.

Yesterday I went to another event in Stanford. The host was a new Stanford professor who invited his friends for wine and cheese and gave out magical African berries that affect your taste buds and make everything taste sweet. The first person I met was from my hometown, Münster. His fiancée is writing her phd on my master's thesis' topic. People were mostly teccies. When I told one of the guys who was working for a VC that I am living in the Tenderloin, he told me that he got beaten up one night at a bar in the TL and had to get four stitches...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Glutenfrei in San Francisco

Nach ein paar Erkundungsspaziergängen, habe ich meine glutenfreien Futternäpfe gefunden. In San Francisco weiß jeder (Kellner), was Gluten ist und ist in der Lage, einen gut zu beraten. Ein Grund, hier zu bleiben...

Mehr koennt ihr auf lesen.

Sunday, August 01, 2010