Last Week in Photos

I decided to do the “last week in photos” type of post again because I feel that photos are able to convey, quite adequately, what my words cannot.

(Or maybe I’m too lazy to type it all down, but I’ll never admit to that.)

I love fall colors!

It’s officially fall! I’ve been bundling up and loving it! I seem to be agreeing with the fall weather. I don’t find it too cold, surprisingly. At night though, that’s what the temperature really drops but I don’t need to worry because I’m all warm and toasty inside the house. This weather reminds me of when I was a kid. We used to set the airconditioning at the coldest temp. I’d wake up early in the morning, shivering, and would stay in the bathroom to warm up. But strangely, I liked it. There’s just something about being cold and warm at the same time that appeals to me. Like…the tips of your ears and nose feeling cold, but feeling all toasty because you’re wrapped in a thick, comfortable blanket. Maybe it’s a snuggle-friendly weather sort of thing. Kind of like how rain felt to me, back at home (it only ever drizzles over here, not the whole shebang of rain we have over there).

Spasso’s yummy selections
My spot at Spasso that I never fail to occupy

So remember that delicioso breakfast I showed you in the last post? (I know, I know! I am turning into one of those instagram-your-food fanatics. The only difference is, I don’t have instagram) I figured I’d show you my regular hang out on weekdays. This, my good people, is Spasso. I adore Spasso and have spent every day of the last month here. I’ve always wanted to have a local hangout, someplace that feels like it’s my second home. A place where I can just do my thing, you know? It took me a while to find a place that I feel utterly comfortable in, but it was worth the wait. I love Spasso because it gives off an understated but quirky vibe. The place is not pretentious at all. When you enter, it’s just so chill and welcoming. I love the mismatched decor (and not in a Cafe Juanita I-meant-to-mismatch-it sort of way. It’s like we’ll throw whatever furniture we have together because that’s all we’ve got but hey it seems to be working out!) , high ceiling and natural light. Plus the music is A+. Sometimes it’s world music, or Latin, or indie, or whatever. But whatever Spasso has on seems to be agreeing with my musical tastes. The coffee is comforting, and the food is good. I think I’ve mentioned comforting a number of times already but that’s exactly how this place makes you feel! I’ve studied in here, read books, slept (that cabinet beside my table makes for a great headrest), applied my makeup while drinking my Cafe Mochabianca (I know, I have completely violated the rules of etiquette by not applying my makeup in the bathroom but what can I say? I’m just too comfortable here already!) and have baptized my spot with its first heart-to-heart conversation moment with one of my best friends, Kevin, who also recently just moved here.

Across from my spot

Across from my spot is this other spot that actually doesn’t get filled up very often. Shame, it’s a nice spot. I guess I might bring a group of friends over for coffee and good conversation one day.

THE spot

Now this…this is the creme de la creme of Spasso’s sought-after spots. 3 charming elderly gentlemen who have been coming to Spasso for years have made it a game to see who gets this spot first. One time, they each arrived just a little after the other. One was already sitting down sipping his coffee and reading the paper when the other one came in and  said, “Oh you’re early!” The gentleman sitting down said, “I thought you were going to get it today!” just then, the third gentleman arrived and said, “Looks like I’m late today!” Hahaha. They are so cute. One of them sat beside my spot since the other 2 filled this spot up, and asked me, “Are you getting to be a regular here?” I said, “I think I just might. What about you?” he said, “It’s like my second home!” Today, that same gentleman was there, at the spot. He saw me arrive and said, “Looks like you get to hang out more here today!” (I haven’t kept my regular schedule since last week because I’ve been waking up late) to which I replied, “I know! It turns out I didn’t have to go in to volunteer today cause there was no school. Looks like you got the spot all to yourself!” he said, “I’m about to head out, it’s all yours.” I like my spot just fine though, cause I’m the only one who ever occupies it so it’s all mine. I told him this. He put his hands up in the air in a gesture of, like, I don’t know surrender maybe? He laughed and went on his way. Nice man.

Kevin’s US army kit!

Here’s Kevin, showing off his US army kit. That’s right! One of my best friends is GOING TO THE ARMY. It’s so surreal, but I’m so excited for him (yeah, this was the heart-to-heart I mentioned earlier). It’s so nice to talk about your future plans, and all the new things you’re experiencing and learning about with someone who’s going through more or less the same thing, but who is able to provide you with their own perspective. Kevin leaves for the army about the same time I leave for Grad School. He’ll be training in South Carolina and I’ll be in L.A. but it’s so exciting to meet up after a few months (or years) and talk about everything that’s happened! Lately, my conversations with friends have been of this nature and it’s just so uplifting! We’re all shaping our lives and so far, it’s looking good!

Kevin’s official “reserves” shirt (I think)

You can tell how much he’s loving it. Hahaha! He was hesitant at first, but so far it’s looking like the best decision he’s made since he got here! I’m wishing him all the best!

This church never fails to make my mornings
It’s always something funnier each day

This Presbyterian church is doing it right. HAHAHA!

Waiting for the train

I prefer open-air train stations. I find the underground ones so stuffy and claustrophobic!

African symbols

Today was pretty funny. So I went to Peralta for my volunteer work and it turned out that there was no school! So Ms. Castelo, the principal, let me join an art workshop on African symbolic textiles that the teachers were having. I didn’t get to the hear whole lecture, but I did gather that these symbols represent values that you’d like to live out. You put these values onto a cloth and wear it as a reminder to live them out.  That’s my piece of cloth up there!

Free fairy house!!!
What it looks like inside

Saw this today too, on the street, on the way back from Peralta. Look at that! It even has a little basket! Awwwww! I wonder if any fairies moved in.

My Berkeley School Volunteer ID

This arrived in the mail a few days ago. I don’t really wear it though, cause I’ve been volunteering for a while, so the teachers and kids know my name already. But it’s pretty cool to have this anyway! You’ll notice Peralta elementary isn’t on there. It’s because Peralta, while in the same area as these schools, belongs to the Oakland Unified School District.

Cape Gooseberries

This is probably the prettiest fruit I’ve ever seen. They look and smell great, but I don’t care much for the taste. So, the fruit is encased in a flower-like structure that’s sort of thin. You just peel it off to reveal a perfectly round, bright yellow/orange berry!

Isn’t it so pretty?!
Surprise!

My Kuya says that they’re good on cakes, maybe as a sauce or something. I don’t know, this isn’t a fruit I’ve seen before. If you have any ideas as to what I can make with this fruit, or at least eat it with, do tell me!

So that’s it for now! Happy Friday everyone!

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