Minutes and seconds are passing us by

Time is passing at a breakneck speed.

Today, I’ve been in the States and San Francisco for four weeks, and it feels like I arrived only a few days ago. Anyways, on with the news.

These last few days I’ve been making good progress getting to know my new neighborhood in the Lower Haights. I’ve got a laundry center right around the corner, a „small“ supermarket two streets away and a bunch of restaurants from budget to high-end right nearby. It’s an awesome corner of the city

Well, except for the internet. My house doesn’t have any and while T-Mobile worked well downtown, it’s total crap here. I barely have any connection and Skype especially is suffering from that. Well, according to my emails, I have used up 80% of my bandwidth AGAIN (and its only been 10 days!) so I’m really looking forward to changing providers to Verizon – they at least offer 10GB for 80 bucks with 2GB more for $10. I’ll have to buy THEIR hotspot as well though. What a pain.

Anyways, I’ve been to the small supermarket around the corner. Okay, yeah, you can’t tell but I’m laughing real hard here. What the people here in the States call „small“ is probably around 30% bigger than the largest one I’ve yet seen in Germany. It’s insane. 15 different brands of orange juice, 6 different brands of milk (only talking milk here, NOT low-fat, soy, almond etc. though they also have all of those in a bazillion different variations), vegetables and fruit in a frankly insane variety. Two whole aisles JUST FOR SPICES. I could keep going.

And here’s the kicker: When I arrived in San Francisco, I was quickly convinced that the living expenses would be very high. Okay, admittedly I was in Downtown – but I was quickly proven true. Anyways, the local supermarket is quickly doing its best to convince me otherwise, and the secret is simple. Buying in bulk.
Let me give you a few examples. If I buy chicken breast and only want one half (little less than a pound) I’ll pay around $3, for a grand total of $3.50 per pound, so $7 per kilogram. That’s about as expensive as in Germany. BUT: If I buy at least 1.2 kilograms, I only pay $2 per pound of ORGANIC chicken breast. The same works for almost everything, buying two, three or five of the same product (or sometimes even just the same brand, for example soda or ice cream) can save you up to 50% of the price. I can’t say that I’m unhappy eating flank steak for three days in a row if I only pay 8 bucks for two pounds.

Magic tournaments are going my way too, I’ve placed second twice and won the whole thing once now. Sadly, my local store – Gamescape – is apparently not big enough to qualify for From The Vault products, so I’ll probably be going to San Jose in two weeks to visit the Channel Fireball brick-and-mortar store just so I can buy at least five packs of the „Realms“ product. The math is simple: $35 for one pack of 15 cards on release day. Resale value one or two months later: at least $150. I’ll use one pack for myself, but that’s still $450 profit if all goes well.

I’ll upload some more pictures later and maybe talk a bit more. But now, my new friend Jason has talked me into watching Expendables 2. Could be some brainless fun. Here’s hoping.

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