It was time to check out the city of San Jose. From where Tommy lived, it was about a 20 minute walk to the city center. From the outskirts I was walking through the different circles of city and found this part that was so charming with its wooden houses in different colours and shapes.
Suburbia spit me out at the city centre where I found a bit of everything – big modern buildings, cute pedestrian zones, a spacious university campus, too many homeless people. And when I say too many, I mean that I was quite shocked – one of the wealthiest states of the USA and there is a homeless person every three metres in the little park at the inner city.
I had always been very easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger and really loved to do it while travelling. Only I had found that I never took pictures of these encounters because I didn’t feel comfortable to. This I wanted to change and San Jose was the first place to take this into practice.
And what beautiful people I found.
There was this young woman. She was outside of the museum of art with a group of kids. She was mentoring the kids during a holiday thing where they experienced, practiced and tried out art.
There were Antso and Nick in the elements store. We had a good chat and a good laugh.
And then there was Bob. I meet many during my travels and every encounter is special, still some a bit more than others. Bob owns Circle-A – a skateboard store in downtown San Jose. I have no clue (or very little) about skateboarding but I love seeing and hearing people that are passionate about what they do. We talked about life and work and skateboarding. He told me about his plans to put a little cafe into his store. I hope he made it.
When Tommy and me left San Jose for good some time later I called Bob and we gave him left over foods and household stuff. I love giving things to others instead of throwing them away.
When Bob first appeared on my blog (as I am rewriting this from the future) we exhanged emails and pictures. I learned that the cafe was still waiting for city permits. Some months later I found out that – through a misunderstanding – I had given Tommy’s favourite mug to Bob and this awesome guy send it to Florida. I hope the cafe is in place by now and that many enjoy a great mug of coffee in Bob’s awesome store with him.
In 2015 Tommy (my then boyfriend) was doing a three months internship in silicon valley and I visited for three weeks. So on the 21st of July in 2015 I arrived in San Jose, California. I was excited to get to know the westcoast and California, especially after having had my fair share of Florida. California gave me hope for more progressiveness and just something new.
Tommy was renting an apparment with two friends 20 minutes walking distance from the city centre of San Jose. As the guys were only there for those three month life was simple with campingfurniture.
On my first day I explored the surrounding area and found a park with some very charming inhabitants. There were some ground squirrels – funny, fast fellows, a park worker who was very friendly and helpful, gigantic pine cones and a guy who was walking his belgian malinois. We talked life and politics. He was supporting Bernie Sanders (at the time still in the game for the presidency).
Not very surprising but still said the draught was visible everywhere.
On this same day Tommy and me went to a nearby park and went on an evening hike. Including a peaceful and colourful sunset.