Friday, May 12, 2006

Do you know the way to San Jose?

One of my favorite things about a blog is that you can meet people (sort of) and peek into the lives of those who live miles away in different cultures. I thought of this as I was leaving snide posts over at bobgirrl's blog. She lives in California, and I can't think of any place more different than that. It also counts as a different country, so I'm doubly exited. Anyway, I was thinking of San Jose, (and Dionne Warwick) where bobgirrl lives, and my first visit there.

I have a childhood friend who had moved to San Jose several years back. We grew up living right across the street from one another. He went west, and in short order became a dot com millionaire. He always was a smart one (the little bastard). Well, one time I had some business in San Francisco and while there I called him up to schedule a dinner of Rice-o-Roni...He was very excited, he was newly married (I was at the wedding) and they had just purchased a house and wanted to show it to me. He picked me up at the hotel and while driving out he talked about the house. He had paid something like $400,000.00 for it and it had been on the market around 7 seconds before he snapped it up. So, here I was, visions of Tara dancing in my head, I mean $400K, this must be some house! So we drive into this neighborhood with all of these tiny box like houses, all built on top of each other, I thought we must be stopping to pick up one of his poor friends. We pull up to one of these tiny, I mean tiny, houses...No yard, none, nadda, nothing. You could actually lean out a window of his house and leave dirty hand prints on your next door neighbors. I know because I did it. They're probably still mad at him. There were, I think about four rooms, little bitty rooms, well, you get the idea. I was just stunned...Culture shock...Where we grew up, where the yards are measured in acres, this house would be too small for the servants...And he was so happy to have gotten it for a paltry $400,000...Well, I smiled and complimented him on the nice door knobs or something, but I just could not believe it. Culture shock...Different places, different countries.

Anyway, he had the last laugh. He became a dot com billionaire and bought an actual glass fronted mansion on a hill overlooking the city...I still think he's a bastard. But I still liked San Jose...A nice place to visit.

Update: You can still see my elegant handprint in San Jose, or, so I am told...When you go to see it, do not ring the doorbell, unless you have an umbrella handy...