I woke up one morning last week to see a palm tree outside my window. “How did this get here? We don’t have these in Rochester. Wait, I think it’s supposed to be winter… Isn’t it?” It took a while for my confusion to wear off, and when it did, I must’ve spent at least another 15 minutes staring.

I have moments like this at least once a day. I’ve just gone and made such a gigantic life change, that even though I’m in my second week here, I’m still taken by surprise when I remember I’m here. But I am here, and in between fits of shock, I’m gradually getting settled.

Apartment hunting in San Francisco was hard work. Really. The market moves crazy fast for what I’m used to, and I very rarely saw an apartment alone. The competition was always either well dressed singles or adorable wholesome families, who looked like they made significantly more money than me. I, meanwhile, has been walking from apartment to apartment all day, at least 5 a day, usually more, and man did I look it. When some picturesque young family applied on the spot, and I had to wait, how could I compete?

I did find something in a week though! Eventually, I found an apartment manager who liked me and my credit score enough to say both “yes, you can apply alone for now” and “yes, you can move in today”. You can imagine how stunned and grateful I was. It’s a smallish 1 bedroom, maybe half the size of the place we had in Rochester (and I readily admit was way more space than we needed). It has a good kitchen with a garbage disposal too, which I wasn’t expecting to be in reach. No dishwasher though. Maybe next year. I have to admit that having less storage space and no dishwasher is forcing me to be more of a grownup than I have been in the past.

My attempts to keep Dean involved in what I do to the apartment before e gets here has consisted mostly of weird text messages that make less sense than I’d like out of context. I might just be driving he crazy. But dammit, I miss him.

It’s a bit frustrating that I can’t seem to get Dean or anyone else on the east coast on the phone for more than a few minutes. Early morning and lunchtime for me, they’re at work. Immediately after work for me, is the perfect time for everyone else, and I’m either on a crowded bus, or starving and seeking dinner. After that is perfect for me, and well, that’s bedtime. Tonight after work I held off on dinner and bus to wander Market St. on the phone, looking for a quiet spot (preferably one with coffee).

First day of work was nice. Quiet yet exhausting. Everyone was in a good mood and shockingly friendly, which strikes me as a good sign. Selfishly, I like that nobody’s overtly miserable. I do feel a bit self conscious here. I need clothes badly, most of the office is sales, and I’m not quite well dressed enough to blend in. (A former coworker used to host these style seminar things once in a while. I only actually showed up once, but now, when I actually really need help? I don’t suppose I can convince her to move to California with me…)

I’m still waking up roughly when I would be in Rochester, which is super early here, and very, very helpful. I started writing this on the bus downtown, and if all goes well, I’ll get in almost half an hour early. (According to HR, I’m supposed to be logging a rather long workday. I guess that’s the price for free health insurance, free food all day and a spiffy view from my desk. Oops. Silly me.)

This business of pretending to be a morning person for a couple weeks has been pretty entertaining. I get to see non-morning people (read: myself) from everyone else’s perspective. Are we always this much fun before we’re fully awake, or does the humor wear off after a while?

So now that I’m here and working, I’m experiencing an age old dilemma: crowded express bus or less crowded local bus? I couldn’t actually get an express bus home a few nights ago, the lines were longer than anything I’ve ever seen for a bus. Ever. All the way down the block, like a good NYC Italian bakery on Christmas morning, and when they get to my stop, they’re usually standing room only. I gave up after half an hour and grabbed a nice empty local bus. But the express is nice when I can get it comfortably.

In the morning, I’ve been grabbing a nice empty local bus. Sure, it takes an extra ten minutes or so, but I’m almost guaranteed a seat. This morning, I used my half hour with a seat to do things like catch up on news and Facebook, read personal emails that accrued overnight, start this post, and so on.