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Thursday, December 20, 2007

First Christmas in San Diego

Carollers at Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park

Wow, I must salute those bloggers who can post daily to improve their site traffic. My gas tank is running low already. So, have to 'tumpang' on Malaysia #1 blogger's vehicle of success. If you go to Kenny Sia's blog, you can see I posted a comment there. At number 5, I might get noticed.

Looking back, I think I made quite a hasty decision of coming to US to work. The money was attractive and the chance to get out of the tiny shoe-box was compelling enough for me not to miss the chance. However, I wasn't prepared for what's to come.

Work like a slave. You work long and late hours until you even forget what day it is. You work till midnight on normal days and till morning during crunch time. Take a few hours of sleep and off you go again. Dinner is provided so you have no excuse to go home to eat. Shower in the gym downstairs. Actually, the quality of dinner was very good. They ordered food from restaurants like Chili's, California Pizza Kitchen, Peking Palace, Old Shanghai City and sushi/sashimi from some Japanese restaurant.

So, when Christmas holidays came, I was very eager to take off. Although that was seven years ago, I still cherish the time my friends from Malaysia and Singapore came to visit me. I rented a Dodge Intrepid (a 5L car) under company name and it was cozy and comfortable for five of us. So comfortable that nobody made any noise when I was pushing 100mph.

When you live around San Diego, some of the travel destinations must include places like Disneyland, Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills/Bel-Air and of course, not-to-be-missed Rodeo Drive in LA, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and show-me-the-money Las Vegas in Nevada and Arizona. Plan your trip early and make sure nobody spends too much time in the toilet and pronto, you're off. Don't be like us, cannot get up and take own sweet time and in the end, only get two rides at Disneyland and worse, stand outside the gate and take picture of Universal Studios globe.

Coming here to eat Malaysian food? Ah, there are a few notable ones like Penang Restaurant, Yazmin (even have Dangdut entertainers) and you can forget the rest (click here for directory). Even some non-Malaysian restaurants will try to cook some Malaysian style dishes. Of course, we tried other food as well. I recall walking into a cowboy-style restaurant in Flagstaff or Williamstown in Arizona when we were visiting Grand Canyon.

In San Diego, you can stroll along Blackbeach to admire natural beauty. Since it is clothing optional, you don't have to strip to enter. However, before your expectations run high, be prepared to see more male nudists than female there. Anyway, the place is called Black beach because of the color of the sand and you don't have to worry about being discriminated for other colors.

Never in a million years did I expect to find myself walking down the streets of Las Vegas with a good old friend from my home country. It felt surreal actually. I guess life offers you many surprises. Every turn you make leads you to a different outcome. Had I not chosen to be here, I would not have had these fascinating encounters. Still, you always lose something in the exchange.


CY said...

suddenly I feel I wanna dedicate that old song that goes something like this:
" so wont u please play a song, a sentimental song for my sentimental friend over there.........." to you.
It was really a good time we had there. Was surprised you remembered so many of the things that happened. One unforgettable event for me was walking empty stomach along one of the famous streets of Hollywood (where the superstars make imprint of their hands or feet on square tiles)chilled to my bones. And that was a couple of hrs after landing for the first time in the land of the melting pot. Remembered my appetite was enormous during my stay there. Thanks to you for the generosity and USA for their super size serving vis-a-vis Malaysian std.

Susu Kacang said...

Land of melting pot no more, it seems. Maybe next year recession. maybe you rap, I don't mind. Unforgettable event? I think I forgot about it, hahaha ;) So when you guys coming again?