Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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A mysterious squeak

"Squeak! Squeak!" We were trying to figure out where the strange noise in the car was coming from. It was 9.00 pm and we were on highway 101 on our way to Menlo Park. At first I thought it was the gas pedal but then we realized it came from the back seat. My colleague Chetan and I were in California for business meetings.

At the airport in San Francisco we rented a minivan -- it was that or waiting another 20 minutes -- so I drove one of those huge cars for the first time. But the noise was bothering us -- was it a bird? Some sort of small animal?

Thankfully, neither. After a few puzzled minutes we realized that I had accidentally switched on the wiper-blades on the rear window and they were making the noise.

Wednesday was a very productive day at work. We had design meetings all day, with people who are normally in offices in four different states. We made a big breakthrough in a difficult architecture question -- clearly a result of meeting face-to-face. Of course I found time to 'do the rounds' and I said hello to a lot of my colleagues. I like our Menlo office, it has a cool vibe.

The time difference is nice. I got up early in the morning and then went for a run on the Stanford Campus. I talked to Sasha and Nora around Nora's dinner time and sure enough, when she heard my voice she said: "hapje eten!" "Wat ben je aan het eten, Nora?" "rijts!" -- she was explaining that she was eating rice. And then she sang a song! She sang 3 sentences of зън зън зън, a Christmas song we've been singing with her. Amazing.

In the evening my colleagues and I made a quick stop at Nak's, a small Dutch store in downtown Menlo Park, on the way from my work to dinner. It's a quaint small store with a nice mixture of Eastern and Dutch goodies. The son of the owner persuaded us to try the dried persimmons, which were indeed good. This being Silicon Valley, he said that Steve Jobs used to come in and buy them. We then had dinner in an Indonesian restaurant where I had nasi goreng and green beans with sambal, among other things.

I travel back yesterday. We had a working lunch and from there went to the airport. Travel went smoothly, it was great to be home again. The first thing Nora said in the morning? "Hoofd, schouders, knieen, teen".

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