This is the last day of the three-day training in Seattle. The jat lag seemed to disappear from me. Tonight, Robert Scoble invited me to attend the Media Center team geek dinner in the crossroad mall. I was certainly happy to meet the most famous Microsoft blogger there.
When the training finished at around 5:45 pm, it was raining heavily outside. Althought to rent a car at Avis or Hertz nearby was an option, I just didn’t want to bet on my skills of driving in U.S. and the sense of locations. If I did rent a car, by the time I arrive there, everyone may had gone already. I used the King County Metro/Bus Trip Planner, and it gave a good suggestion:
Walk 0.2 mile NW from 1400 6TH AVE to
Depart WESTLAKE STA & BAY D At 05:56 PM On Route MT 229 Overlake Transit Center
Arrive 156 AV NE & NE 8 ST At 06:32 PM
Walk N to 15600 NE 8TH ST
It was a great result. Bingo. But finally, I chose taxi.
The taxi driver didn’t know the address. This was to my surprise. With the help to Robert over mobile, we finally found our way to hiway 520 via I-5 and turn to 405 and took 8th Street exit.
The Ethiopia Taxi Driver
The taxi driver was interesting. He came from Ethiopia. He was obvious excited when he learnt I am from China. He told me there are many Chinese in his country – the plants, the factories – are all opened by people in China. They buy Chinese shoes and clothes everyday. They are building their own road infrustructure like I-5 in his country, and all the technologies, the machinaries and the engineers come from China. It is amazing. I never heard about it before. I doubt there is any people from China go to Ethiopia before… He continued to tell his story in this country. It is quite an eye opener. In my memory, there are always wars there. I asked him about the wars (no offense here), and he acknowledged: Yes. There will always be wars but it is at the border, not the country. Well. How about pay a visit to this mysterious country? He promoted his country and said it is very cheap there. They even have Hilton there. I admit I am still very ignorance for world. I am looking into the details of a trip to Ethiopia.
Road Naming System of Washington State
The address of the destination is:
When we took the 8th Street exit and heading westward, the driver started to look for the 156 Ave. He talked about one hundred and fifty six, while I always look for fifteen thousand and six hundred. Later, I realized that I can find out the Ave name of by removing the two zeros at the end. So it is very sure that 15600 NE 8th Street is at the intersection off 8TH Street NE and 156th Ave. NE. This idea is cool!
Later, I found it works in the downtown seattle too. The address for Sheraton Hotel is
1400 6th Ave.
It can be translated to the corner of 14th Street and the 6th Ave, where the 14th Street is actually the Pike Street. They have this kind of translation on tour map and the number 1400 is on every plate of the street. Cool! I claimed the root of America’s/Greek’s/western culture is systematic thinking and reasoning, or the quatitive thinking, while the root of Chinese/eastern culture is literature or qualitive thinking. This is one good example of the difference.
The geek dinner was not in a restraunat, as I expected. People gathered at the lobby of the mall and sat in the public area. Everyone ordered some fast food and started to talk. I heard some very good idea there and saw a big OEM product there. I got a nice Channel 9 robot todady.
The small Channel 9 Image in coutesy of Channel 9
The talk was simply great. It seems people are so interested in news in China. The contrast of the poor and the rich, the newly built skyscrapers and the nearby farm land is the hot topic there. It is interesting.
P.S. Bank Account
I created my first bank account in U.S. with Bank of America today. I asked for Versatel checking account and just before I sign my name for this account, the grace service lady found my employer is Microsoft and she offered to upgrade my account too FirstChoice Gold Checking, which is the top level account in Bank of America and 3 level higher than Versatel account. It was great. I also ordered my first check book in my life. Since the financial institude took a big jump in the last twenty years, it seems people directly jumped from saving account to credit card. There is almost no personal checking in the history.