Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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The concierge in my hotel in Berkeley is very strange in that he manages to be both very helpful and unhelpful.

He was very helpful in finding a post office. That said the post office is just one block away from the hotel. But it is not along the main road. So apparently all the other people working in shops I asked before didn't know about it, just mumbling something about the next post office being far away. Probably a sign for them not living where they work. Which in turn can be a sing for them not being able to afford to live there.

Intermission / Rant: With all the beggars around here and also some people going on about people being homeless 'by choice' to protest against capitalism or such thing and other people saying that some beggars actually 'earn' (see below) a lot of money by begging, the following came to my mind: You often hear people say that something is wrong with the welfare state if living on benefits can give you more money than working. Why don't you ever hear people complaining about the state of the job market if people can get more money by begging than by working?

Gratuitous extra rant on the word 'earn': It's used too frequently these days and even more so here in the U.S. Just for those who didn't notice: Getting money isn't the same as earning money. Being a fat-ass CEO means you'll get a lot of money, not that you earned it. Equally 'earn money by selling your CDs' is a silly statement.

But back to that concierge guy. I needed information about how I can get to the airport on Saturday morning. The bart station is right outside, so I guessed this is the kind of thing concierges know. As there don't seem to be direct trains to the airport in the morning, I just wanted to make sure how the connections work and how much time I'll need. Bottom line: He tried to be very helpful and dispensed a lot of wrong information, by claiming there are direct trains and they need half an hour, whereas in the real world, there is no direct train at the time and the journey takes about an hour.

March 27, 2004, 17:50

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