sweet endings

So today marks my last day as an intern at a startup in San Francisco. And I’m not talking about a company like Uber or something that was once a startup but now is a full-fledged behemoth. I’m talking about less than seven employees, 14 hour work days, free catered lunches, unlimited access to snacks, launching a beta product, unlaunching a product…i.e. an actual startup.

Yeah, I actually lived the trope! Well, the 14 hour work days were only when we were in beta-launch so I’m dramatizing a little. But still, this was my first real work experience, and I think some final remarks are necessary.

Let’s start with today. To commemorate my last day at work, my bosses took me out to lunch, my choice of cuisine. When I asked for Japanese, my boss suggested The House— (which is actually Asian American fusion, but a place I’ve been wanting to try for a while). Normally we all eat the catered food in the office for lunch, but for once, on my last day, we stepped outside the office and experienced mid-day sun.

I had seen a few Instagram shots of the place as well as Yelp hype, but The House exceeded my expectation. I had one of their daily specials– Big Eye Tuna and Hamachi Sashimi, served with rice and roasted cauliflower. The fish was fresh and delicious, and everything was beautifully presented. The prices were quite reasonable for what it was too– not saying it was cheap (it wasn’t) but it was good value.

Oh, but the desserts.

My boss recommended their desserts, and I am not one to refuse sweets so I happily complied. We each got one dessert and shared.

From left to right: Chocolate truffle cake with coffee ice cream, mango tapioca pudding, and coconut creme brulee with passionfruit glaze.
From left to right: Chocolate truffle cake with coffee ice cream, mango tapioca pudding, and coconut creme brulee with passionfruit glaze. Sorry for the bad picture, I was so excited to eat it!

I ordered their coconut crème brûlée, partly because I absolutely love crème brûlée, but also because it came with a passionfruit puree !!! And passionfruit is one of my favorite fruits in desserts, like, ever.

I’m actually not a big fan of coconut and was relying on the passionfruit to make it yummy, but I was pleasantly surprised that the dessert wasn’t very coconut-y at all and instead mildly fragrant of coconut. But the passionfruit puree, which was more like a glaze, made the crème brûlée heavenly. The tanginess of the passionfruit and the creamyness of the custard was perfection.

A pretty sweet ending to my internship, if I say so myself hehehe.

I walk by this park every time I go to work. I was pleasantly surprised come spring that these little flowers bloomed.
I walk by this park every time I go to work. I was  surprised come spring that these little flowers bloomed.

My internship was a really informative experience. I’m not going to lie, sometimes the workload was intense, but ultimately I’m glad I went out of my comfort zone to do it. I come from a very academic family and neither of my parents have any experience outside of academia, so I’m glad I got to experience working in the industry.

I might even miss this view.
I might even miss this view.

The one thing that was really tiring, but also eye-opening was the commute. Commuting during rush hours from Berkeley to the San Francisco Financial District is not for the faint of heart. Door-to-door, my commute was a little over an hour of standing and walking. Sometimes trains going out from Embarcadero were so full I couldn’t even board them to get back home. But I feel ridiculous even complaining about my commute experience because I realized: working-age people do this everyday, and lots of people have even longer commutes.

I’m grateful I’m going home for the summer. The commute from my home to Caltech is a leisurely 15 minute walk.

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