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Showing posts from May, 2008

Visiting the Home Turf

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I have two hours to kill before my flight to Europe. So I thought I could write a vacation anticipation blog entry. 
It's my first visit home in almost two years. Usually when I go home, hardly anything has changed. Which is what I like about it. Although sometimes changes creep in that seem small to people who live there but are huge changes for me. Starbucks started to pop up all over the place in Europe a few years back - followed by CPK, Subway and the like. The Europeans embrace it like they did McDonald's and Burger King. I did not. It's not that I'm against those institutions but when I go back home, I want to see home. Not something I see in America every day. I want the original pizza, the authentic dumpling and the desserts that are specific to each region. I understand that in a globalized world, cross-national changes are inevitable. I just hope that each European city and region can remain true to their roots...
So, we'll see what this trip has in store …

Corporate America

Since moving to the US, I encountered one of the biggest differences in comparison to Europe in the working world. The cliche term 'rat race' fully applies to the corporate engine. 
When I went to university in Los Angeles, I kept hearing 'you will be overworked and underpaid for the first two years.' I always dismissed this remark. Boy, were they right! Sure, there are jobs that give you the big bucks right away (my lawyer friends do pretty well for themselves) but for Joe and Jane Average like me, it's quite difficult to survive. I currently work in the internet business and most of my co-workers came straight out of college. They work 9 hours a day and get paid next to nothing. That's why most of them still need to live with roommates. Having roommates is something that I only associate with going to college back in Europe. There is no one I know back home who has a roommate. Even my boss - who just left the company - had a roommate and she was in her 30s!! F…

A Trip to the Desert - Coachella 2008

For the past nine years or so, there has been a music festival in the desert near Palms Springs called Coachella. (I have no idea where that name comes from). This year, I went for the first time. My friends and I  rented a house about 10 minutes from the festival area - pool and jacuzzi included :).  
The drive from L.A. to the desert took about 3 hours - 2 hours for those with a faster car. The drive is not a scenic by any stretch of the imagination. Bare hills, shopping malls, a giant casino structure, windmills... but oh was it worth it! Most of us shared a room with 2-3 other people. My roommate whacked our other roommate with a pillow when he wouldn't stop snoring... We drank Jack in the jacuzzi and BBQed us some burgers (shrimp for the non-meat eaters like me). It was a blast! 

Over three days, more than 30 bands and DJs perform on 5-6 stages set up on a polo field. Some of the stages where in tents, some outdoors. The tents were all named after deserts - Gobi, Sahara, Mojave…