Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Experiences in SF

It hasn't been a week of classes yet and I'm already feeling sleep deprived. Luckily, I am sitting at home in Oakland right now and caught up on sleep. I thought I'd catch up on some blog writing as well.

I spent last Friday afternoon in SF with Erika, Javi, and Mike. Erika was on her way to camping in Yosemite and decided to spend a few days in SF as well. That afternoon was definitely a memorable experience. So much random-ness. By the time I met up with her, it was late afternoon, nearly time for Javi to get off of work.

Erika wanted to go to the Presidio but it's a bit far and I didn't think there would be very much to do there. So we went to Japantown instead. I have only been there once before and didn't get a chance to walk around. We walked around in the shopping areas, gawking at the extremely expensive prices. Who would pay $15 for a pencil?!

We made Javi meet us in Japantown so that we can head to a food truck festival that Javi found out about. We were walking to the bus stop when we literally ran into a couple of people who were looking confused at a sign. The sign was advertising for an event that was happening inside the glass doors of the building. The couple told us that the event was free but "no what they thought it was going to be" because there was music and alcohol inside. I think all I heard was "free" and at this point Javi spotted the cupcakes. There were 5 or 6 layers of mini-cupcakes and he really wanted some. So we walked in, pass the people who were trying to get us to register, and went up to the cupcakes table. There were a lot awkward people milling around, not sure if they are supposed to eat the cupcakes. Erika grabbed a plate and started to take the cupcakes and other pastries. So naturally, everyone else started eating too. Only takes one person to initiate these things, I guess. All the pastries were really, really good.

We went upstairs to check out the rest of the building. We really had no clue what was going on at this point. We hung out a bit on the stairwell of the 3rd floor because we wanted to check out the store but they didn't allow food inside. Once we got inside though, we found a very strange store. The employees were dressed up like anime characters and they carried very eccentric looking clothing. This store has no store front and you really won't know about its existence unless you entered from downstairs and made your way up these backstairs. We were wondering how this store gets its business when we realized that their customers must do all their clothes shopping at that store. (The other customers were dressed as goth and other related things.)

We went back down stairs to find free alcohol sampling and even more food. There were noodles, kimchi watermelon, and egg rolls. There was a long line for registration and we had no reason to register but then I spotted the Pocky sticks in the goodie bags. So we got in line and got handed a bag of random stuff include a stress ball, two CDs, some flyers, a bottle of Red Bull, and a bottle opener. We ate more cupcakes and head out after stuffing ourselves. Extremely random and awkward event. I don't think anyone knew what they were supposed to be doing at this event. There was even dance music playing in the background. We saw the flyer for the event but it was really not helpful.

We finally headed out to meet up with Mike, who was coming from Berkeley to meet us for dinner. Erika and Mike wanted Afghan food so they picked a place to meet up. Javi and I tagged along, not knowing what to expect. We finally got to the place and Mike already got a table. He greeted us with "omg Erika, this is just like the place in Cambridge!" Apparently both of them love this Afghan place in East Cambridge (http://www.helmandrestaurant.com/). They spent some time being really amazed that they were able to find the exact same place in SF, across the country. The menu, the decor, even the cups were exactly the same. We found out from the waitress that this was indeed the same place.

We ordered food and a pumpkin appetizer. They served the appetizer with bread and three sauces. I saw staring at these three sauces and had a strange feeling I saw them before. I dug into the candied pumpkin appetizer and definitely had a deja vu moment. Mike was saying something about the Cambridge place being close to the Galleria and I suddenly remembered going to a restaurant with Mahalia, Stella, and John O. I realized I had also been to the place in Cambridge! Such a strange evening. The food was really good. I ordered the first thing on the menu and I thought that was much better than what I had ordered back in Cambridge. I have a feeling I'll be back at this place sometime soon because I told Mahalia and now she's really interested in going.

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