Arrival in San Francisco – 7.12.2006

I’ve now arrived in San Francisco, California! My head is spinning though from the adjustment and I just hope I can survive here. For the most part, everyone is very friendly and intelligent but there is a lot of ghetto trash. When they make comments it’s extremely hard for me to not throw them into oncoming traffic. I’m not used to this. These fat people asking for change is terribly different from those without limbs in Cambodia or Vietnam who look like they will die the next day. The homeless here drink Starbucks coffee and look so damn fat it makes me want to kick them.

Enough of the negativity. It’s 2am and I cannot sleep. I’m very depressed having left my beloved Saigon. Like a snail out of it’s shell I feel a bit vulnerable to the bad elements of the city. I’m not scared of them at all but when they make comments it’s hard to restrain myself.

I have to put that out of my mind though because it just makes things worse. This is what happens when you change entire cultures. It’s no walk in the park! But I know I can survive here because if I didn’t it would make me feel weak and I hate that feeling worse than anything. I just have to deal with this for a year or two but will constantly be looking for a way back to Asia. It will be good to see my family and the gf needs to experience what it is like in America. I just hope I can provide an experience she will enjoy and shield her from the bad elements. These bad people should be grateful they can live in America and not be shot in the head like they would be in many governments of the world.

As you can tell the adjustment is horrible. I need to get some sleep.


As you may know, I’m currently in San Francisco and for the first time in two years, find myself again doing the job search which has been interesting to say the least. Craig’s List is an excellent resource of information as employers can post vacant positions in the Jobs section.

However, given my background in languages, I’ve found many a trend among them to overuse exciting adjectives in order to create excitement about the postion or applicant being sought. It’s entirely different from my experiences in other countries which simply state the job profile as well as requirements.

Another aspect is the way America has changed the names of various positions to make them sound more glamourous.

Let’s take a look at the difference.


Job – Sales Manager for domestic division in the Playstation department.
Requirements – College degree, English ability.

On Craig’s List

Job – Sales Engineer Expert Guru for dynamic internationally recognized computer gaming industry company.
Requirements – We are seeking a proactive, detail-orientied energetic superhuman who is a logical thinker, motivated, and a self-starter! If you are ready to make 100k a year and control your own destiny this job is for you!

In Japan, it’s much more straightforward and the requirements can be quantified quite easily. I wonder how employers quantify if someone is “proactive” or a “logical thinker?”

Perhaps some would administer a simple test:

1. You have three dollars and are hungry. Which option is best for you?

a. Buy a hot dog and coke for exactly three dollars.
b. Fold the dollars into airplanes and fly them from your top floor apartment.
c. Sit, concentrate and try to create a hotdog with your mind

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/