The company I work for, Atlassian has a corporate philanthropy policy of pledge 1%. Its a movement they founded inspired by Marc Benioff of Salesforce. We pledge 1% of our profits, equity, product and employee time to not for profit causes. As an employee I’m thankful that the Atlassian Foundation enables me to take 5 days paid leave to volunteer. I wanted to share my experience volunteering and pledging my time to a local community organisation.
Today’s mini-adventure was caused by the Caltrain that stopped running after work from about 5pm. So I waited an hour after work and left at 7pm. I was hoping it would be resolved by then.
I happened to bump into some colleagues from work also waiting at the Caltrain station. After waiting about 20mins, we decided to get an Uber ride back to San Francisco. I had the ride pass discount, so the total cost worked out to be $45 (after the $13 discount was applied). Split 3 ways, it became $15 each. So the $12 ride pass which I bought yesterday has already saved me $14. Winning! There’s still 26 days left. We effectively took a 1 hour road trip. Which is cool when you’re with friends so the ride doesn’t seem as long.
One day I was coming back from Church with my grandma and my mom. We pulled up in our driveway. I got out of the driver’s seat and helped my grandma get out of the car. Our house has set of stairs with 8 steps leading to the house. My mother climbed up the set of stairs first to the house to open the door for us.
Walking for my grandma is difficult and she uses a walking cane now. I helped her up the first couple of steps. Then I doubled back to the car to grab the portable breathing cannister that helps with her breathing. I closed the door and then came back to help my grandma up.
My mom came back from the door and told me me something that I’ll never forget:
Home is discovering the jar of honey from Kangaroo Island you stashed away 5 months ago.
Home is going to Bankstown’s Vietnamese town to satisfy your craving for an avocado milkshake.
Home is going to local Vietnamese bakery to get a Vietnamese pork roll and a bacon & cheese meat pie.
Home is hotly debating with your brother the best place in Sydney for Laksa and pho.
I’ve been slowly chipping away at my setup tasks for the U.S. Its a longish list that seems to never end and only gets bigger. One of the big things was getting my drivers license.
I really wanted to get my license so I can drive in the future. Today I went to the Californian DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and passed my written driving text exam! So I’m 50% of the way there. To do the behind the wheel test you need to do the written test first. Ironically, its not actually written. You stand in front of a touch screen computer and push some buttons.
This morning I was in a rush to get the train to work and I also wanted to grab breakfast on the way. So I stopped by a local cafe next to the train station. I ordered a bagel with cream cheese. I thought that it came with cream cheese already and they could put it in a bag and give it to me. Instead I had to wait a few mins for it to be heated and then I discovered I had to spread it myself. I kept checking the clock, but still made the train and ate my bagel too while waiting.
Today was an unusual day. Its a Wednesday, hump day so its half way through the week. At about 1030am, I decided to get a
covfefe coffee from Dana Street Roasters, my local cafe in Mountain View. When I got home, I decided to do my laundry. Then made dinner, cleaned the stove and vacuumed my room. The reason I say its unusual is that I haven’t done these things in a long time.
I realised on Monday night (Day 88), I hadn’t been home in the evening in a while. When I spoke to my room mate, French, he mentioned that I hadn’t cooked in a while. I haven’t been home in the evening in about 3 weeks. Whilst tonight, I could have gone out to join the Aussies in Tech meetup or met up with a friend, I decided I was going to have a quiet evening on Day 90. Its been a combination of co-workers from Australia being in town, meeting new people, visitors from out of town, and doing stuff.
I have accommodation!
I’m 13 days into landing in the US. Its been an interesting ride to say the least! Most of this covers Day 8 – 10. But hey its my blog and I’m going to reflect on my journey 🙂
On Day 8, I inspected some apartments with a destination services company that my employer had organised. Destination services help you look for housing, area orientation, getting a social security number, drivers license, banking, and more. I had 3 days available for their services. I chose to use them to help me look for accommodation. I did the other things myself as I figured it would be straightforward.