Fish, touring about San F, and thoughts

by Gilbert Keith

The last two days have been rather exciting. On Saturday, EPGY took us to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and yesterday, I went browsing about San Fran with Mr. Prashant Prabu. I thoroughly enjoyed both these outings, and I am not sure I can describe all my feelings about them in the next hour or so. So, here’s how it goes.

Staurday morning was rather hectic. I had laundry to do (within a span of 1 hour 30 minutes) and I was supposed to be ready to leave for Monterey Bay Aquarium by 8:30 in the morning. In this chaos, I didn’t get my laundry done and I was afraid I’d be cold by the ocean in Monterey. Well, turns out that it was rather beneficial: the new clothing style is rather pimp (link 1 link 2). Anyway, we left Theta at ~8:35 and picked up box lunches. Of course, it wasn’t hard to predict that the box contained a turkey sandwich; an apple; a bottle of water; some chips; a sachet of mayonnaise; a sachet of mustard; a packet with plastic knife, a spoon and a fork and a bag of chips. Hehe. Our journey there was rather long. On our way there we saw Lion King. I thought it was funny to watch it once again after about 10 years (although I don’t quite remember seeing it then), and Daniel kept referring to some interesting themes in the movie; eg, Scar and his army of Hyenas was very much like Nazi Germany (which is quite true). We got to Monterey at about 11:00. I had expected it to be quite a large aquarium but it was rather small; my problem is that I haven’t really seen many large aquaria before and I don’t really know how big a large aquarium is. Anyway, as soon as we entered, we saw the jellyfish and other such “simple forms of life”. It was rather awesome to watch them floating around in the blue water. I got some pictures of these jellyfish but they weren’t very good, because I was experimenting with the camera settings in the low light and was having a bad time with the flash simultaneously. Anyway, I saw the various fish with Daniel and both of us enjoyed. I saw a variety of huge fish in a big tank: hammerheads, barracudas, giant tuna, etc. There were a lot of exhibits on coral and kelp, and it was rather interesting to see the variety of life present in the small tanks. There were lots of fish, insects, small plants, all living together in harmony. I got good pictures of these, because there was adeqaute lighting, so it was fun.

We went around the aquarium for about 2:30 hours and had been through all the exhibits. After that, we decided to take a walk around the vibrant town of Monterey, the hometown of John Steinbeck (although I didn’t see/hear a single reference to this author other than the one that emanated from my own tongue.) We asked around for some good restaurant and found out that the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was one of the best restaurants to enjoy seafood. So, we went there and had a tonne of seafood: Shrimp, calamari, etc; what more can one ask? Then, we came back onto the bus and started our journey back. We saw Alladin on the way back. I didn’t really want to see the movie, but I decided to watch it because I hadn’t seen Aladdin before and I had heard that it was a really good movie. Well, I thought the movie was ok, but I wasn’t happy with they way things are depicted in the movie. The movie is too “white” and the arab culture is represented very stereotypically. Oh well. We came back to the dorm at around 5:30 and I was dead tired by then. I did play some frisbee for about two hours and I was utterly exhausted by the night.

Yesterday was even better. I had a nice sleep and felt rejuvenated. I was excited for the awesome San Francisco trip with Mr. Prashant Prabu. He came to the dorm at about 11:30 and we left soon thereafter. We had some food at Sarvanaa Bhavan, and damn it was good Indian food; in fact, it was the best food I have had in the last three weeks now! I had Medu wada and Rava Masala Dosa and it was slurpin’ delicious. After this scrumptious meal we left for Downtown San Francisco. On the way, I saw the offices of various computer industry giants, like Oracle, Palm, Google, etc. I felt stupid for not having realised that I am attending an institution whose students, both past and present, have changed, even revolutionised the lives of lots of people. I mean, we all know that companies like Google and Yahoo, that were the works of students at Stanford are an important part of our lives. But, I never actually realised how influential this university, its staff and students are. Well, If I do attend Stanford, I will make sure that I leave my mark in the world.

Anyway, we reached downtown San Fracisco at about 2:00, and we decided to take the Trolley to tour the town. It was AWESOME. I got to stand on the side rails, and thus, I got take some awesome pictures. I felt like I was standing up on a car and taking pictures. If you want to check all of them then go to the Album “August 6 – Present”. After taking the trolley, we took a long walk around the Fishermen’s Wharf and Crissy Fields, etc. It was so windy that I felt extremely cold. The wierd thing was that several people were running on the trail half-naked (well, you know what I mean) and a lot of people were going wind surfing; I felt inadequate among them. Maybe I should have worn a sweatshirt. We then took a cab back to where we had parked. It was fun moving around the ups and downs of San Francisco streets; our driver was fast and I could feel tingling in my stomach when we were going downhill. After we got off the cab, we browsed around the downtown some more. I went to the Mac Store in San Francisco and that store was both big and awesome. Well, it wasn’t any more different from other mac stores, like those in Minneapolis, but you know, it just felt cool. We had dinner at Mel’s Drive-in. This wasn’t really a drive in, but it was styled after a 50s style drive in thing. The menu had typical American food, the waiters were dressed like they used to back in the old days, so it was cool. The shakes there were sweet and delicious. Mmm…..

So, that was how I spent my two days. They went by rather well.. Yesterday and today haven’t been too great. The food has been ‘typically’ bad and tasteless. Damn, I’m longing to go back home and have some good food. The classes have been going rather well and we are working with the Poincare and the Klein models of Hyperbolic geometry which work within Euclidean geometry, so it’s interesting to see how one exists in the other, although the are almost *exactly* the opposites of each other. hehe.

Anyway, I leave in a few days… and although I feel like I’ll miss EPGY, I also feel happy that I’m heading back having made new friends and learnt so much during this month. Good times!

Will blog later,

Gautam

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