I returned from the Patagonia to San Francisco a few days ago to work on my AI for cancer drug discovery startup, for which we’re currently fundraising.
I’ve had a bit of a culture shock coming back to San Francisco. Everyone speaks English and not Spanish here (although out of habit I speak in Spanish at the Mexican restaurants and supermarkets). Prices are substantially higher - I paid more in dollars for the CalTrain than I did in pesos for the trains in Argentina. Hitchhiking doesn’t seem to be in style here like it is in the Patagonia. The streets are relatively clean and not lined with dog poop; likewise, the night sky is relatively foggy and not lined with stars. Cafes are lined with engineers with the latest Apple products and business people conducting business-y meetings, rather than people meeting for coffee. I saw a dishwasher, piano, and clothing drier for the first time in months. Stores close early here. There are grocery delivery services - here supermarkets are not within a blocks reach as they are in South America. The first world is dominated by a services economy, not agriculture/produce. Cars here are not only automatic transmission, but also many are electric. Prices also go
The sun goes down at 5PM and not at 10PM. The winter in San Francisco feels exactly like the summer. The mountains have large amounts of houses rather than snow.
People in the Bay Area don’t seem to instantly talk about their personal lives upon meeting them. In fact, people don’t seem to be talking about very much at all. Instead of opening up about how they actually are doing, San Franciscans seem to talk about their jobs.
Similarly, it feels impossible to have a dissenting opinion here to the consensus. Most seem to speak as if they are brilliant yet it seems that very few of them are. It appears much of the magic of Silicon Valley has unfortunately, already left.
Of course, I’m as happy in San Francisco as I was in Argentina - it’s just different. A few years ago Silicon Valley really called my attention, now I feel the lifestyle and interactions I’m more interested in lean more towards those I experienced in Argentina.
I’m especially looking to meet introspective, curious, and kind people on my journey. If you know or are one of these, reach out at ronnyb - at - jhu - dot - edu.
This update was written Dec 14th, 2017.