Everytime I think of California, the dreamy 1965 folk pop hit from the group 'The Mamas and the Papas' starts playing out in my head. Couple of weeks back when I was in this beautiful US state on work I realised that the dreamy number probably will not fit the current scene of the whole place.
Thoughts that are fresh in my mind from my visit include:
1) Everybody seems to be a man or woman with a mission, though in some cases I realised that they did not know what their mission really was.
2) You can sit down in an Indian restaurant and get transported back to India -because you hear Tamil being spoken by a couple in its purest form at the next table. This happened to me when work colleagues invited me out for dinner at the Mynt.
3) I think the whole place is actually swarming with Asians - I could only meet Indians and Chinese most of the time and in most of my meetings.
4) My two German colleagues were happy to be accompanied by an Indian I guess ;-)
5) Breakfasts are huge, by day four I was actually beginning to eat larger breakfast portions than I would normally eat.
6) It is lovely beautiful sunny weather outside, but the air conditioning is always on full blast in the hotel rooms and everywhere you go. So no matter what the weather outside dress in layers at all times. First and immediate step every evening I enter my hotel room was to turn off the AC and force the windows open.
7) I was so happy to see more and more cyclists on the road who were not being threatned to be run over by the huge massive cars. I think their numbers are growing every year I am here.
8) A lot of happy joggers, jogging at insane hours in the morning. Remember I was still on the German timezone.
9) Pizza Antica in the Santana Row area of San Jose serves better pizzas than what I have had even in Italy!! Now how can that happen!
10) First time I was subject to an explosive trace detection test at security - felt quite important as the other travel companions could breeze on through :-)
11) A quick sneak into any shopping window indicated big sales and big discounts- such a bummer that there was hardly any time left to do some serious shopping.
12) Just loved the energy that exuded from the SuccessFactors office that I visited in the South San Franscisco area especially their clear belief in their company values were plastered all over their office walls.
On that note I have to end the post with the lyrics from the lovely old song from Roy Orbison, 'California Blue' which goes something like "One sunny day, I'll get back again. Somehow, someway But I don't know when, California Blue California Blue ". Sometimes you just have to decide which memories and songs associate with a place in your minds eye.