The move happened. Finally. It’s been a crazy month (maybe a crazy month and a half), but I’m a resident of Palo Alto now, as opposed to Bangalore. Here are my first impressions. Maybe it’s not totally accurate to say ‘first impressions’, but I’ll get into that later in this post.
First thing you need to know about Palo Alto is that the population is ridiculously smart. I’m serious. Apparently it’s one of the most educated cities in the world. Whaddya Know?
Part of it is Stanford (I’ve seen the campus- it’s gorgeous. Plus, it’s right across the road). Stanford is the most selective university in the US (yep, it beat Harvard and MIT out). And is arguably, better than Ivy League.
So we have thousands of insanely intelligent students doing their bachelors, masters and doctorates. And then we have the Professors who teach them. Woah, right?
The other part of it is that this is ,very simply, where the Silicon Valley began. First there was HP and AOL (I think Yahoo was here too, at one point). Then there was Apple and Facebook. San Francisco, Cupertino, Sunnyvale- they all became techie hubs much later. So, of course, we have a bunch of super-smart (smart, not just intelligent) coders and software architects here.
And it’s not just enough for the people here to be intellectually brilliant. Nope. Palo Alto is pretty much a biking city. Or a jogging city. Or a flat out, how-are-you-running-that-fast-that-long-without-sounding-like-you’ve-lost-a-lung? city. So, we have a bunch of healthy and fit people here too. As if that’s not enough, they’re nice too.
It’s all very intimidating…If I’m not careful, I’ll get an inferiority complex.
But honestly, I sort of love being here. I’ve gotten used to the weather (which while technically not cold, felt freezing to me after coming from hot summer Bangalore). I’ve gotten used to people smiling at me as they pass by on the streets. I’ve gotten used to all the greenery around (even in the middle of a draught, Palo Alto is gorgeous). I’ve gotten used to heated swimming pools.
I used to live in the area about 6 years ago (not in Palo Alto), so it’s not all completely new to me.
Confession: I used to use ‘hella’ all the time.
And some things are different- not bad, just different. But, I think I’m excited about living here.
By the way, a lot of World After and End of Days (from the Angelfall series) takes part in Palo Alto. And yes, I’m majorly stoked that I’m living in a place where one of my favorite books was set.