Geertjan's Blog

  • May 7, 2006

First Day in the USA

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I arrived in San Francisco this morning. Wow. My first day in the USA. At passport control, they grilled me (a little bit). First, the general question: What am I going to do here? So I told the guy about JavaOne conference. Then he went through my passport, looked some things up on his computer, then asked me, "So do you work for this JavaOne?" I said that I didn't, I work for Sun Microsystems, and that I am here to represent them at JavaOne. Then he asked me where the conference was being held ("San Francisco", was my answer), then he asked me where exactly it was going to be held ("Moscone Center", I said), then he wanted to see my business card ("I am too low on the totem pole to have one of those," I said, then I showed him my Sun badge). He seemed satisfied, took my finger prints, attached a piece of paper to my passport, and then waved me through. I thought his questions were comfortingly probing. (If he had waved me through with only vague questions, I would have been a bit concerned.)

Then my manager Dave Lindt was waiting for me outside the sliding doors, and we spent some time catching up over tapas in west San Francisco somewhere. The weather here is amazing. Must be at least 25'C. Fantastic. Many things here were very familiar (when I saw my first "black and white", I thought of "CHiPS", for example).

And now I am in Santa Clara, staying in a very comfortable place: the Sierra Suites, which is literally a stone's throw away from the Santa Clara campus. Tomorrow I'll be attending my first Tango docs meeting (at 9.30 in the morning, instead of 9 hours later at 18.30 in Prague) in the flesh with the other Tango docs writers. That'll be interesting.

By the way, if you want to read some really good summaries about NetBeans Day in Johannesburg (which was two days ago, on Friday), check out Evan Summers's blog:

I'll be in Santa Clara until the start of JavaOne next week. If anyone would like to meet up and chat, please let me know.

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Comments ( 9 )
  • Roumen Sunday, May 7, 2006
    Hi Geertjan, Sun badge is key at the homeland security. Mostly it helps you to get fast through, just show the badge first next time :)
  • Rory Monday, May 8, 2006
    I was in LA last September, and i got the same thing at security, makes you feel safe though, although i got the feeling the guard really didn't like english people. We were also stopped at baggage collection, and asked the exact location of our hotel, which i didn't know.
    I know what you mean about CHiPs, i thought that too :) Also, it kind of felt like being in a movie, it was surreal just walking down the streets. Have fun.
  • Rich Unger Monday, May 8, 2006
    You won't be at the menlo park office at all, will you? I work 2 blocks from there.
  • Geertjan Monday, May 8, 2006
    Hi Roumen, yes the power of the Sun badge is amazing! :-)

    Hi Rory, "surreal" is the right word... this morning I walked to work and saw a yellow school bus (just like in "Forrest Gump" and MANY other movies, sitcoms, etc.). It was a really freaky experience.

    Hi Rich, coming Thursday and Friday I'll be at Menlo Park. Let's have lunch on one of those days! Would be great to meet you.

  • Alexis MP Monday, May 8, 2006
    ...Sierra Suites, which is literally a stone's throw away from the Santa Clara campus

    Good, so you have no risk of walking a marathon ;-)

    I will also be in MPK on Th and Friday....
  • David E. Vannucci Tuesday, May 9, 2006
    I think that the wrapping service is free because in the past things have "dissapeared" out of peoples bags. Call me cynical but thats how I see it.
    Thanks for sending me the CD, I look forward to getting it. I am downloading lots of stuff since I want to see what the fuss is about glassfish for myself. It was very exciting to hear about all the new java developments.
    Ps. You should not put such hard maths questions in your robot filter :D
  • Geertjan Tuesday, May 9, 2006
    Hi Alexis, yes, no marathon walks for me! I hope we meet each other on Thursday or Friday, I'ms ure we will.

    Hi David, "wrapping service"? You mean the CD I sent you? That "service" is only there because I made it so. I just gathered the addresses of as many people as wanted a CD and then sent them a CD when I got back to Prague. Please let me know if you receive it (you'll find that you'll get more than just a CD!) Definitely try out Glassfish (yesterday I was told by the Glassfish team lead that there are plans to make it even faster). Sorry about the hard maths questions... I find them quite tough sometimes as well!

  • Shane Tuesday, May 9, 2006
    Hi Geertjan, welcome to the U.S.! Having moved here from Canada about 10 years ago, I have accumulated a good amount of stories regarding border crossings. :) Hopefully I'll get the chance to meet up with you at JavaONE (or maybe run into you before then since I live right near the SCA campus). Regards,
  • Geertjan Tuesday, May 9, 2006
    Hi Shane, hope to meet up with you at JavaOne too! Or maybe for a beer sometime sooner. Let me know -- I'm at the Sierra Suites which isn't far from SCA campus. Don't have a phone though so can't be reached other than this blog or my e-mail (geertjan.wielenga@sun.com).
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