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Joel Kitching Engineer and creative mind

Amazon intern day 8: visitor

May 07 2011

Today I got up, and basically decided that I am definitely going to stay here, since I don’t want to fight with Graebel et al. So that, combined with the fact that my friend Spencer was arriving today to visit, caused me to decide that I should start treating this place like home, cleaning up, and arranging things how I like them for the next four months.

Lazy Saturday morning

I didn’t do terribly much this morning, but I attempted to put up the curtains in my room (since it was so bright this morning, although I failed anyway since the rods were the wrong size), cleaned all the dishes Aboda had left nicely arranged on the dining table, made the bed. Nothing too significant, but I now feel like I am in a much better mindset of living here.

Meeting the visitor!

Spencer’s train was set to arrive in town at around 11:05 AM, so I headed down there via bus (which actually arrived on time!) shortly before that. I found my way over to the sketchy Amtrak station in the sketchy part of town, and waited for a while. The train was fairly late, and I think he must have walked right past me, because I ended up having to go ask the ticket desk to page him (he was waiting outside where I had told him to wait!).

After some confused wandering, we managed to find a bus that took us near my apartment. We relaxed a bit, and later decided to go out to the Chipotle we passed earlier for lunch. Ridiculously good, except I forgot to (read: was too cheap to) add the guacamole!

Canucks at Safeway

After that, we headed back to my place. My friend must have been some kind of sleep deprived—he slept for two or three hours, and I was getting bored, so I went shopping at Safeway for groceries. It was a very strange Safeway compared to the ones in Canada (or even any grocery store in Canada!).

I couldn’t find a very good selection of hashbrowns or butter; the yogurt section was almost entirely composed of small lunch-sized portions; the selection of meats (both uncooked and lunch meat) was terrible, as was the selection of baked goods. (Only later would I find out is that Safeway is kind of the ‘ghetto’ grocery store in the States.)

While shopping, I somehow met a cool guy who said he wanted to retire on Vancouver Island. Also, at the checkout, the cashier guy asked me if I had a Safeway account, and I said yes, and gave him my mom’s home phone number. I waited for a second, wondering if it would work (since it’s a Canadian number), and it did. And then he asked me, “Why aren’t you at home watching the Canucks game?” I was very taken aback! But it turns out he was Canadian, and had moved there for his ex, and was just
staying for a bit before moving back. But it was very nice to hear of something related to home!

Downstairs coffee shop

I returned to my apartment, unpacked some food with Spencer (who had finally woken up), and then the two of us went down to try the coffee shop called Uptown Espresso [Yelp] below my building. It’s a pretty neat place to hang out, although the coffee isn’t great and they don’t appear to have mugs for using in the cafe. Perhaps I’ll bring one next time I visit.

To the club!

Then we scoured the web to find a place that sold hard liquor close-by, failed, and just hung out in my apartment, cooked some food, drank some wine, and then finally headed out to a club in Capitol Hill (the purported gay and/or hipster area of town), called R Place [Yelp. It was a very cool club! There were tons of young people there, and the drinks are ridiculously strong in the States (although they are as ridiculously expensive as in Canada). The place was three floors tall, each one with a separate bar. The top floor was the dancing area, and it was completely packed!

We prowled the club for a while, danced for a while, and then they closed,
so we returned home. I was pretty exhausted, so I collapsed in bed, and apparently said I was hungry, so my friend went and cooked a huge egg-hashbrown-toast snack. I then refused to eat any because there were a few whole peppercorns in there by accident. Sorry, Spencer!