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Joel Kitching Engineer and creative mind

Amazon intern day 2: exploration

May 01 2011

I woke up very early, at around 8 AM, unable to pretend to sleep any longer. I took a shower in my new bathroom, and messed around on my computer for a bit. My parents finally woke up and got ready at their hotel, and came over to my apartment at around 10 AM.

We decided to head over to this restaurant called Lola for breakfast. I had found the place on Yelp based on its high user ratings, and we were certainly not let down. Wonderful donuts with marscapone, eggs benny with a hollandaise sauce to die for, and a sausage filled with so much flavour that one wonders why all other sausages, well, suck so much. The meal did come with an appropriate price tag, though!

Exploring the area

After that, we walked over to Amazon’s headquarters, and found the building where I am to report tomorrow morning, at 550 Terry Ave North. The route from my apartment only took fifteen minutes to walk, which would be wonderful if I end up staying there! We wandered around the campus a bit, confused about which buildings belonged to Amazon and which didn’t.

I’ll hold final judgement for my first day, but based on some photos that I had seen, I sort of preferred the unique look of the former headquarters at the PacMed Center on Beacon Hill, over the modern face of the new buildings in South Lake Union. Although I did enjoy the cute “Welcome Amazonians!” sign in the lobby.

After looking around the area a bit, we headed back to my place, and en route, stopped by an extremely expensive grocery store called Whole Foods which only had “organic” things, so of course they can charge double the usual price. (I later discovered that Amazon employees consist of quite a captive audience in the South Lake Union area, and so Whole Foods, as well as the numerous restaurants in the area, enjoy booming business.) I bought barely anything, since I again didn’t want to add too much to my burden which would have to be relocated if I decide to move.

We got back to my apartment, I unpacked the food, and then we went out for a short drive around town, and again were painfully reminded that Seattle is an extremely difficult city to navigate by vehicle! To get back to my apartment, we literally had to circle the city in five different ways, and exercise our brains in travelling down one-way streets and taking only right or left turns. Finally we made it, I said goodbye to my dad and step-mom, and they were off, returning to Vancouver.

All alone

It certainly is a different feeling being in a different city, but being in a different city effectively all alone is another sentiment altogether. I went back up to my apartment, napped, sat around for a while, and had some left-overs from yesterday’s dinner.

Finally, I decided that I had better enjoy some of the last rays of sunshine of the day, so I headed out with no concrete plan, and basically wandered the city, from Belltown in the north, all they way to some sketchier parts of town near the International Village area in the south, and then back again.

From walking around and seeing people out and about, I was surprised at how much more of a black population there is here when compared to Vancouver, a mere 200 kilometres up north.

How do I meet people?

I returned to my apartment, sat around chatting with people online for a while, and tried to figure out ways I could meet people in a new city. Things I came up with: take an improv class; take a yoga class; find a sport to start playing; see if I can hang out with any co-workers. A fairly small list.

Monday after work, I’m planning on meeting up with a friend who lives somewhere in the area, so perhaps she could introduce me to some people my age too.

I then read some of my book (normally unheard of), and headed to bed.