So it's been quite a while since i write here. The summer passed by so quickly, especially when you'r travelling and spending more money than the total in your previous 25 years of existence. It's been a fantastic summer and I'm recharged to start a new phrase of life in Berkeley.
I arrived in Berkeley a week before Tammy did. We got ourselves a really great apartment on Shattuck Ave, which is walking distance from the BART (the local mass transit train system) and the campus, and we got it at a great price as well, considering that it's a brand new building. Anyway, I didn't get too much done except watching a bunch of movies frokm BlockBuster and attending a few orientation activities as Tammy insisted on getting the furniture until she arrives. So basically I slept in an ampty apartment for about a week, which I guess explains my quick decision to get a home theatre system to hook up to the projector I brought from Singapore so I can start watching some shows to cure my boredom.
Berkeley on first sight isn't really that attractive as a town. But i've come to enjoy the atmosphere unique to this place where the 60's hyppie movement still thrives with the backdrop of possibly the most liberal campus in the States. It's a very different place from Ann Arbor; it certainly lacks the greens and space of Michigan, but what it lack in natural beauty it makes it up with a mirrad of interesting shops and outdoor market, as well as the frequent protests and demonstrations. It also has a ridiculously high density of book shops. The campus intererior is awesome too, albeit small and abit too crowded for the school population. Unfortunately, the EECS building, named Cory Hall, happens to be the ugliest structure in Berkeley and quite possibly an exact replica of the Freeze Building which is now being demolished in Ann Arbor.
Another 2 things that Berkeley pales in comparison to AA is its safety and song-writer scene. Ok, AA is a bubble, probably as safe as Singapore and there're probably very few places in US as safe as AA, but berkeley can a rough time, especially after dark. Fortunately, our apt building is situated on a major road with ample lighting so I hope that'd help. Another thing that bucks me is the lack of open mic or venues for song-writers like me. AA's got the Ark, ample pubs and cafe and school programs for open mics. I've been searching Berkeley for the past 2 weeks for a cafe or pub that regularly hosts small gigs to no avail.