Saturday, September 22, 2007

Drive-in drop-off

In UCSD, the main library has drive-in boxes into which you can drop-off your books when you want to return them. I got use to the notion of drive-in ATM, but this really made me laugh. It is actually not a bad idea if you think about it, because there is not enough parking space on the campus, so if you drive to school just to return books, it certainly saves you 30 minutes of walking from a distant out-of-campus parking lot.


As you probably know, there is no VAT tax in the US, but there is sales tax. But the prices you see at the selves do not include it, which unfortunately means that you do not know how much you will pay at the counter.Unsurprisingly, there is some research out there showing that including the tax in the price posted on the shelve would decrease your consumption of that good.

First rain

So it actually rains in San Diego. First time since April, it rained. There was a LOT of talking about it, everybody got very excited etc. Yet, these 2.0mm were not worth it. Now, it is 9am, and the sun is shinning.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I sometimes make myself a sandwich for lunch - just bread, butter, cheese and tomatoes. All kinds of cheese I had so far were great. But I was really surprised when I check the contents - each slice (!) contains 25% of recommended daily intake of fat! You cannot possibly expect me to have just one slice of cheese for a lunch (three are more like it), so I get 75% just for lunch. And that does not include bread and butter.
PS: The candidate for funniest label on the food is "99% fat free". You could also call butter 18% fat free.

Flat tire

So I had my first flat tire in the US. It came as expected, in the middle of the trip to school. I walked the rest (about 5km) and changed not just the inner tube (literal translation "soul" in Czech), but also the tire itself. Hope it will take some time before it happens again!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Today is the official beginning of my stay in SD, because the Orientation for International Students was today. The only interesting thing was that it was almost impossible to find white students there, so I felt kind of isolated. Most students come from China, South Korea and India. For lunch, we had a bbq ($7), which was great. Hamburger was quite thick, but tasty, there was some vegetables etc. Since I did not carry my computer to school today, I could bring a camera, so you can find some pictures here. The usual way I take to school was closed, so I used the main road, but it was OK, because the bike lane is wide and cars drive reasonably safe. The pictures are thus not from my typical route, but they show school and overview from cliff near the school.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Beach

Today, I spent some more time at the beach and in the ocean. The waves were quite high, so it was quite difficult to swim near the shore. But as you get further into the ocean, the waves become manageable and it is possible to swim - you just move up and down a lot. It is quite unnerving feeling that the next thing in front of you is Japan, which is about 9000km far away. Of course, there is a bay watch, and the chopper above you to keep you save. Still, you never know.


With my non-European swimming dress (which means shorts that dry fast), I went to the beach. There were quite strong waves, so I couldn't (did not know how to) swim, but playing with the waves and water was fun. Even for Saturday, there was not that many people, which was great. When I was leaving, I was really surprised to find a (working!) fresh water shower (and clean toilets), of course for free.It's probably paid by those who came buy car and pay the parking fee ($8, re-entry possible but not guaranteed). And yes, there was a Bay watch (and it was a girl).


When I was packing for the US, I was quite efficient - I throw the oldest cloths away, left at home those of "middle age" and took only the new ones. So I needed to buy some more here. Fortunately, my landlady was so kind that she took me to an outlet, where for about $150 (3000CZK) I was able to buy couple of shorts, some T-shirts, swimming suit, socks and pair of sneakers. Given that (almost) each of these things ALONE would cost me somewhere between $50-$100 and that they are "branded" (nike, Adidas, Reebook, Ralph Lauren etc.) it was a good bargain.