26 10 2007

I am halfway through my stay here and time is running fast. I’ve grown to like working here, I like the work atmosphere, it’s simple, it can get busy but you are able to do your work with no dramas at all.

I enjoy the food scene too, if there is even such a term. Foodies will liken this city to heaven with tons of choices, there’s American, Italian, African, Mexican, Japanese and Indian food, all of it good.

The music scene is not bad as well. Last night I even had the chance to see Van Halen in concert with its original vocalist, David Lee Roth. I’ve never had to study a band before actually watching them live but this time I felt I had to, I didn’t want to be a poser banging my head to musicians I knew nothing about. So day 1 was spent reading the wiki page Cads sent me and day two was spent ironing clothes to their you tube videos. The concert itself was OK, though the sound system was deafening and could have used a bit of tweaking. I liked the solos better because I could hear them better. I’m not very technical when it comes to critiquing music but Eddie Van Halen was very remarkable when he did his solo. Fans of the band will probably have more enthusiastic reviews of the concert and the band though, but yes I do recognize how important Eddie’s contribution to the music scene is.

And the best thing about going here is probably that I’m able to spend time with friends I never thought I’d see again.

So tomorrow I fly to Richmond to visit Normie and meet up with Ila and Ryan and then drive to New York.  Then on to Boston the next weekend to visit family and finally see Harvard (I used to dream of taking graduate studies there) and then San Francisco where I’ll spend my birthday and last weekend in the US before I go home.  I’m excited and I know it’ll be tiring but as one of my friends said before, I’ll have enough time to sleep when I die hehe.


My Life in Buffet

23 10 2007

Little by little I’m beginning to realize what my manager meant when he said his time here in the US was a welcome break from everything going on in his life. It is nice to get away from everything, to take a step back and see where your life is heading. Sometimes all you really need is a few quiet weeks to keep still.


If I were to write a story about my stay in Minneapolis so far, it would be called MY LIFE IN BUFFET. It has been one buffet after another which gives me a heavier (pun intended) reason to go to the gym. But I’m certainly not complaining.

Minneapolis is a city worthy of any foodie. It will forever hold the honor of being the city to introduce me to the joy of Indian food. Oh yes, the lunch buffet at Bombay Bistro was a very pleasant surprise, and cheap at $11. I’ve been there twice just this week.

The sushi bar at Ichiban is tasty but I think I’ll stay away from anything with seaweed from now on. And it is a bit steep at $30, but it does come with a free appetizer, drink and dessert and the fun of eyeing your food from several persons down and wishing no one will take it from you. And the resto gets points for using boats to carry the sushi instead of the plain conveyor-belt like contraption.

Last Friday when I finally met up with Consi and got introduced to the love of her life, Mark, and finally saw the famed Mall of America. (It is big and that’s all I can say about it) I got a chance to taste typical American fare again, this time at Ruby Tuesday. Apart from my friends, the salad bar and the strawberry iced tea made the very long wait time worth the hassle and the sirloin steak I ordered is worth a mention but I would have preferred the blue cheese served as a side dish.

While I sound a bit ambivalent about Ruby Tuesday, I’m definitely very happy with the Cheesecake Factory. It is, without a doubt, cheesecake heaven. And because heaven is meant to be shared, we decided to order a different flavor each so we can pass the cakes around the table have each person taste what the other has. I’m known as a sucker for everything sweet so I loved everything but I would probably choose Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake as part of my last meal on earth (putakte ang drama).

So there you have it, my life in buffet…

7 Days Later

15 10 2007

My sleep cycle is beginning to normalize thank goodness. Now I wake up at 5am, as opposed to the ungodly hour of 2am when the whole of Minneapolis is still sleeping. I have started a routine of going to the gym from 630 to 730 in the morning and it has helped heaps in sleeping better and taking away homesickness. My first few days here I was a wreck because I felt disconnected and lonely.

Time is just a concept I know but boy was it a big factor in my initial misery. D has been a great source of support while I was adjusting, even though I nearly drove him over the edge once with homesick drama hehehe. As embarrassing as it is to admit it, but there were nights when I cried like an 8-year-old child longing for home while spending summer away in a strange land.

I’m getting used to living here, Cads has taught me how to take the skyway to and from the office, for the price of a coffee haha. And I’ve also learned to walk quicker now while on the skyway, because I don’t relish seeing dozens of displeased people behind me waiting to overtake my slow pace.

Again, thank goodness for friends.


My foodie side is feeling satisfied as well. The Sunday brunch at the Marquette Hotel is a nice way to spend your last morning of the weekend. Rock bottom is OK as well, D recommended the Titan toothpicks but among the stuff we ordered I found the Tuscan Smoked Chicken most memorable. Lobster ravioli at Maggiano’s is orgasmic and hmm I had walleye fillet at Hell’s Kitchen BUT for some reason, I found the ketchup more worthwhile haha, well the bacon’s good as well.


And I’ve experienced US shopping, which has been raved about by almost everyone I know. I’ve been to Southdale to get some stuff from Victoria’s Secret and to Albertville (their outlet mall) to finish most of my personal and pasalubong shopping since it’s always good to start early. I told myself I’m all shopped out but I’m allowing myself a couple of more trips because I need to take advantage of the zero sales tax on clothes here =)


Yesterday we went to Duluth and blessed with a beautiful sunny day, checked out Lutsen Mountains, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse.


Whew not bad for my first week eh?

Jet Lag

8 10 2007

My greatest wish for tonight is sleep, restful sleep…

I flew in last night and was driven straight to Gerson’s apartment to watch Pacquiao’s match and meet the Pinoy community Minneapolis chapter hehe. As expected there were heaps of food and beer and of course, karaoke! Today I had a very enjoyable brunch with Ila and Ryan and Ryan’s parents and afterwards I went to Target by myself and bought supplies. You can say I’m such a brave child for doing that, if you discount the fact that it was just a block away from my apartment.

Minneapolis is laid-back and D was very accurate when he compared it to Adelaide in terms of having a provincial vibe, it is indeed quiet and… it is quiet. Give me a week to really read this place.

My first night didn’t go so well, I didn’t sleep until 5am and I felt homesick, lonely and displaced. But I am feeling so much better now.

Once again, I feel very very blessed I have friends here. Settling in has been smooth-sailing so far especially since Nikka, Abel and Joey have been taking very good care of me, taking me around the city, giving me local information and introducing me to Cub Foods, where there are produce and real food hooray.

That’s it for now. Sleep beckons. It should by now.