Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The First Big Trip to San Jose and Beyond

We went on a trip to Ikea in East Palo Alto, to get the rest of our house stuff, on Sunday. We took the light rail (lucky Brendan gets a free pass from IBM) to San Jose, and a bus from there to Ikea. Which is huge, and I liked it. You go around the top floor in the "showroom" - basically a whole pile of made-up rooms and furniture, and in some cases whole apartments worth, right down to the cutlery and picture frames, so you can see what it looks like. Everything has a little tag and numbers - you go downstairs when you're finished and take a big flat trolley and try and weave your way through the warehouse to pick up your couch in a box, and find the pretty chairs you liked. And fight other people for the last one. (Kidding!) Then you discover there are no chairs and everything you need to make the couch is there: pillows, mattress, couch cover - but no frame. So you rush upstairs and ask the couch department when the frame will arrive, and they say six weeks. Instead, you decide to get another couch. You look longingly past the small dingy couches and at the pretty black leather ones, but remember you can't really take it home with you anyway. And get the smallest couch there is.

So today our couches and coffee table and table arrived, and Brendan and I played with the Ikea lego. They are very pretty (the couches not so much - grey-blue.) And now our house looks a bit more like a house.

Things we learned this weekend:

  1. San Jose's streets are lined with trees. Where does all the water come from to keep them all?
  2. Light rail is called "light" cos it's small and travels along the streets next to the cars with no barriers. The heavy rail is called the "CalTrain" and has two stories, kinda like Sydney's.
  3. San Jose seems full of people with hoodies. What is it with the hoodies?
  4. Pita Pit is a yummy alternative to Subway and they have feta cheese.
  5. Many many streets are named after tech people - it's as if the computer geeks designed a city. Streets like "Woz Drive" after the co-founder of Apple, and "Java Drive". Traveling around is like playing a who's who of tech companies.
  6. Station names are funny. I can see how America gets place names like "Beaver" - a sample of stops on our train included "Great America" and my favourite, "Lick Mill".
  7. Ikea is like adult lego - but you can only make one thing, and you get to keep it afterwards.
  8. If it's not in stock at Ikea, on the ground floor, then it's not in stock, no matter how many people you get to look for it.
  9. Sometimes the difference between a safe area of town and an unsafe area of town is an overbridge.
  10. Weird people travel on buses late at night.
  11. People can run faster than the light rail (or at least two kiwis can).
  12. Having no car is a PAIN.
  13. Delivery people do not have a sound knowledge of world geography.

2 comments:

Geoffrey said...

dont weird people travel on buses and trains at night anywhere?

Tina said...

Yeah, but its made worse in America cos only the poorer people travel on the bus in general, apparently.