Saturday, May 05, 2007

Jefferson Fellowship: an honesty trip through Silicon Valley

We landed San Jose ten pm last night. I was surprised to find out the weather is sooo cold, probably about 16 degrees C. It was good that I had a sweater with me. Most of the Fellows were freezing.

Saturday is free time so I boarded the Caltrain so San Francisco this morning together with a Japanese journalist friend Nobu Saito. We needed to go because we heard San Francisco is a beautiful city and a SanFo resident agreed to tour us around. The trip took about an hour and a half. We toured the Marina, the Japan town, and its financial district. Indeed, San Francisco is a beautiful city! Not just because of its fine weather, but because of the city's architecture. By 7:30 pm, we were back in San Jose.

I mentioned it was an "honesty" trip because after we bought our round trip ticket (US15 round trip from San Jose to San Francisco), no one really bothered about checking if indeed we had our tickets with us. It was as if they assumed the travellers were honest enough to buy the tickets. A dishonest guy could have actually walked into the train and disembark without paying. Honesty and a lot of entrepreneurial zeal are the things that are making this place the most technologically dynamic place in the world!

As the train runs from San Jose through the Silicon Valley (especially Stanford U, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and San Mateo) all the way to San Francisco, a stranger could only see Suburdia. But behind these suburban landscape dominated by bungalows, low density dwellings and offices, pines, maples, and palms, are an economic dynamism that is unequalled and unrivaled in the world. What explains this thing? That we will soon find out. Oh, I'm so excited! We are going to visit Stanford University and several tech companies. I'll keep you posted.

Got to go! More updates about the Fellowship soon.

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