25.03.2010 14 °C
8th of February
The great thing about being overseas for 5 months is the fact that you can basically spread out where you want to go and when to do it. This was one of those days. The previous week had been on and off with rain and it came to a point where l had to risk getting wet so that l could see some of the neighborhood around where l living.
The place l choose was Berkeley, famous for its eclectic university and its hippie-like stores. Jumping off BART at downtown Berkeley with very little knowledge where everything is wasn't the brightest idea,but l headed east and flukishly stumbled upon the university. I normally study back at UTS, and by no means is it a comparison point for Berkeley, but from what l have seen from UNSW and USYD, Berkeley trumps them both. Basically everywhere you look you can spot green. Be it large eucalypts or grass scattered between the roman style buildings.
Walking around the university grounds l had a real feel for the support, both intellectual and sporting alike that the university aims for. It was a great experience walking around one of the well known American colleges.
Moving on from the campus l headed through the city with no particular direction and ended up at one of Berkeley’s secondary schools. Unknowingly that was a rookie error as within five minutes of walking through the park beside the school a teenage boy came across and asked me for weed. Not wanting to draw attention to myself l left the park to try and find Telegraph Avenue. But first lunch.
After having a bite to eat l ducked in to a fruit juice store to get something to drink. Whilst waiting for my drink l heard a rap tap tap on the window. Not knowing anyone in Berkeley l decided to take any notice of it. But once again somebody started knocking on the window again. This time l turned around to see what was going on. It was a middle aged man looking directly at me waving me over. Slightly confused, l got up and made my way over to him only to hear him mutter “do you have any weed?” Damn that dreadlock stereotype.
Thinking l was heading in the right the direction towards Telegraph Avenue, l ended up in the Ghetto district. The Ghetto district is renowned for its delicious array of ethnic foods. It is a place l definitely want to visit again for dinner that is for sure.
Finally after what has been a strange type of day l managed to get to the top of Telegraph Avenue. The street is definitely clothing orientated but with a slight twist. A lot of the stores and boutiques sell vintage like clothing and hemp made accessories. Not being the most enthusiastic shopper l walked the street to see what all the talk was about and then bailed as due to lack of interest.
Wanting to take full advantage of the day l met Allie at the downtown station and went to dinner at Amanda’s , a small scale organic food restaurant. To finish the night off we headed to a nearby cinema to watch Hurt locker, a film that follows the day to day hardships that American soldiers and in particular an American bomb technician have to go through in Iraq.