Jason Becker

A Tail of Two Breakfasts

We went back into Hong Kong City from the Island side this morning to go for “Hong Kong French toast” which Elsa had been excited about. First stop was Australia Dairy Company. It was quite busy, everything moved fast, and the English menu was a bit of a dud. We ordered the breakfast set, which came with a delicious macaroni soup with ham. It was a very clean flavor that was somehow both simple and complex. The toast was delicious, as was my fried egg and milk tea. Unfortunately, we did not have French toast. It was absent from the English menus and everything moved too fast.

But not to worry! We headed around the corner to another dairy company afterwards. This one was run by all women instead of men, and there we found French toast and toast with peanut butter. It was delicious, although we actually preferred the savory breakfast in the end.

A Rainy Morning in Hong Kong

I walked around this morning to get Elsa some allergy medication— she appears to be allergic to Hong Kong. After that, the rain started as we ate dim sum in a tiny local shop we found on a blog. The food was just ok. The two best dishes were shaomai and Singapore noodles, and overall our feeling was we’ve had equally good versions of everything we ate in the US.

The rain caused us to seek the insides and leave Hong Kong Island for indoor shopping and walking on the Kowloon side. We ate some pan-fried xiaolongbao that were delicious (not pictured) I think I can officially say I prefer the pork and truffle to the “plain” pork. Also, definitely a snob for these little soup moursels, and possibly already deciding that Taiwanese food is >> Cantonese.

The final noodles in Taipei.

I don’t recommend The Fifth Season; I proselytize.

Select Sights From A Free Walking Tour

Food Day 3

藍家割包: Guanaco! Gontran Cherrier.

Taipei’s MRT is the most impressive subway system I’ve used as a tourist. Super easy, fast, and clean, very accessible to tourists who don’t speak Mandarin, and there are stops exactly where you’d want to go. Oh, and it’s very cheap.

A stroll through National Taiwan University

National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學).

Hazy Day From Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Food Court (台北101美食街).

Day 2 Food

Lee’s recommendation of shaved ice was spot on, as was Elsa’s insistence we eat bao.

Hiking The Elephant Trail

Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道).

It was a tough 20 mins up the steps this afternoon. We had already walked about 5 miles before attempting the trek. The view was definitely worth it, but we were so knocked out when we got to the bottom we ate a delicious scallion pancakes, hopped on the MRT, and fell asleep at 7pm for the rest of the night.

I snapped a shot of the city from ZhongXiao Fuxing from the Brown line, an elevated MRT that we may just take through the city later just to watch Taipei go by.

Taipei Day 2

Taipei 101, more walking around the city, a short hike, and total collapse. We missed the night markets because we were just too tired.

First Day in Taipei

Pictures from our first day Taipei, which involved napping, beef noodles, napping, walking through some residential neighborhoods, Chiang Kai-shek changing of the guards, napping, Shilin Night Market, and now sleep.

6:20am in Tapei. Devices are recharging and we have chosen our noddle place for lunch. And I have a TV in the tub. Time to catch up on lost sleep from 16hr flight.

Vacation mode activated.

I hope my mild panic about taking a long vacation is understood entirely as fomo and not as mistrust.

Things I did not do today:

  • prep at all for international travel coming up
  • attend 50% of the meetings I was supposed to go to
  • get my life together.

Things I did do today:

  • write a lot of SQL

I’m pretty ok with this.

Finding Places

About 6 or 7 years ago, Elsa and I visited San Francisco. I think we were there for a conference, but all I remember is wandering the city and that it was the last time I saw our mutual friend Winnie, whom I miss.

Elsa was trying to solve my usual hangry when she pointed out a café across the street and suggested I pop in. She accidentally led me to wander into the attached bookstore, Borderlands Books.

I have long loved sci-fi/fantasy, and it has always made me feel cast out of the mainstream. I never felt different as a nine year old for loving Star Wars, but reading A Wrinkle in Time, The Golden Compass, and The Dark is Rising all before the release of the first Harry Potter book meant I was a true nerd. It didn’t matter that I played sports or that I wasn’t introverted or that I had no social anxiety to speak of. I read a lot, and it was mostly SFF, and that meant I was doomed to the sidelines.

Even in my mid-20s, Borderlands felt affirming.

My friends are not SFF nerds. I don’t have a book club, I don’t go to conventions, I don’t have a fandom, I don’t play TCGs, and I don’t feel connected to the stereotypical nerd community. I still needed Borderlands, or maybe, of course I needed Borderlands.

Working at a startup means tiny effort can have a huge impact on you, your company, and most importantly, your customers’ success. Sometimes it means doing everything well and tackling something hard but finding only anguish and failure.

Training as a scientist prepared me well.

As much as I hate Excel, let me remind you that every day you talk to someone who has never used a Pivot Table and you can save that countless hours by teaching them your black magic. 🧙🏻‍♂️🔮

Find you a job that goes from demoing with potential vendor and client partners, figuring out product strategy for the rest of the year, reviewing release plans for the quarter, helping individual employees grow in their career, and optimizing a database view in the same day.