When I lost my bike key, I went to the campus bike shop to ask them to break my lock. It was a fifteen walk to the place where my bike was locked. To break the awkward silence, I decided to make small talk with the guy assigned to help me.
“Are you a student?” I asked.
“How long have you been working here?”
“Do you like it?”
“As much as I would like any minimum wage job.”
I laughed. He didn’t. It wasn’t a joke. We fell into a silence even more awkward. I suddenly had this uncomfortable feeling of being with someone who doesn’t like me. He hated me. He probably thought that I’d never understand his pain — working a minimum wage job serving privileged kids who would earn five to ten times as much as he does as soon as we graduate. I, together with other Stanford students and graduates, was the reason why the rent went up and drove him out of his house.
Dani went to college in Germany. One day, a visiting American student went to his campus cafeteria for food. He tried to explain to the guy behind the counter his order, in English. The guy behind the counter just looked at him and said in German:
“Wenn ich englisch sprechen würde, würde ich nicht hier hinterm Tresen stehen.”
(If I could speak English, I wouldn’t be working here.)
Today was a hot day in Mountain View. I went to the Starbucks down the street for a cup of salted caramel frappuccino. When my order was being made, I asked the girl if it was possible to make it less sweet. She looked at me like I was one of those pretentious, half-ass health-conscious nuts who order a double whopper mac burger with a diet Coke, and said:
“It has about 30 different kinds of sugar with whole milk and whipped cream.”
I really wasn’t worried about the calories. I just didn’t want my drink to be too sweet.
This post doesn’t have any point. I was just jotting down my thoughts.