Friday, November 20, 2009

sha-mayn visit

Sha-mayn was in town last week, visiting from Beijing. I hesitate to write this, because at least one of you will email her, "Why didn't you tell me you were in the Bay Area?"

Anyway, we had dinner at Calafia, the restaurant of chef Charlie from Google. The salmon was very good.

Afterwards we talked at my house for a couple hours. I played with bubble wrap from a package Sha-mayn received. It was even better than the iPhone bubble-wrap application.

Talking to Sha-mayn in person was like eating at Fuki Sushi after a long break. I was struck by how awesome it was.

Sha-mayn was much more cheerful than the current Bay Area vibe. She's naturally positive in general, but I wonder if also Beijing is more optimistic than California right now. Ever since the market crash a year ago, the entire SF area has shifted from Tigger toward Eeyore. I wonder if this is on par with the rest of the US, or if the Bay Area has been hit especially hard with people stressing about personal finances, raising their next round of funding, etc.


Anonymous said...

Great picture! When I first looked at it I thought it's a mirror reflection. :-)

Jeremy said...

Your friend has a big enough smile for the Bay Area.

John said...

I think the proper term often used (at least in the 70s) is that the United States and California is in a "malaise."

With Silicon Valley unemployment at 11.9%, California overall at a post-WW II high of 12.5% - only Michigan (15.1%), Nevada (13%) and Rhode Island (12.9%) have it worse.

The University of California system tuition is being raised 32% for next year. Record state budget deficit of $20 billion. This state, this country is going to hell...

I'm surprised with your technical expertise, language fluency and freedom (no husband, kids, etc.) you haven't set out to Beijing / China yourself! I'm thinking it myself as well.

hmf284 said...

There's perhaps less optimism than at any point since Oct. 02 (S&P hit a multi-year low, tech, in general, was still moribund, the ominous run-up to Iraq, color-coded threat alerts, duct tape) However, in all seriousness, I think the new year will help rally the national mood. (Robert Shiller, the distinguished (& prescient) Yale economist, has a column in today's NYT - "What If a Recovery Is All In Your Head" ).

You have such colorful, funny & super talented friends - & as a long-time reader of your blog, it's always interesting to hear about ones, like Sha-mayn, that you've mentioned for many years.

Anonymous said...

So you get totally engulfed in something specific and pointless like popping bubblewrap bubbles for more than an hour too? Do we have issues? I don't know if normal people do this, but I totally do things like this. I wonder what a psychologist would make of this. Thoughts?

Justin K said...

Yeah, the non-software part of the Bay Area job field is pretty bleak right now. I have quite a few friends who have been unemployed for months.

However the job market for software developers seem to still be pretty robust IMHO.

Seems like a complete 180 from 2001 when there was literally no software jobs.

ArC said...

Anon (of Nov 22), bubble wrap is so fun that there's a toy for that: