Before I arrived in Oakland, I knew precisely two things about this city:
- Moneyball is based on the true story about Bill Butler and the Oakland Athletics.
- Oakland is located near the Bay Area.
Sam visited some of family members in the Oakland area when he was younger, and all he had to say was “It’s a little rougher than San Fran.” This insight, combined with the two pieces of information I’d gathered during other parts of my life, was the extent of my knowledge about Oakland.
One of my coworker’s long-time friends lives in Oakland, and I was invited to tag along and crash with him before our conference started on Monday morning. We flew out Friday evening and touched down in the San Francisco airport just in time to see the sunset. Despite the 2-hour time change and the fact that I would’ve normally been in bed at this time back in Chicago, I was so excited to start exploring that I didn’t feel the least bit sleepy.
Even so, it was something else that really woke me up when we finally arrived at my coworker’s friend’s place. For one, the house was a little questionable. And filled with drug paraphernalia. And hadn’t been cleaned in, oh, maybe a few months (years?). And also, ants. ANTS EVERYWHERE. The good news is that there was a dog in the house, and he was adorable. I focused all my energy on petting the dog so I wouldn’t have to think about anything else (because I was thinking about pretty much everything that was dirty and filthy and disgusting, since they were all present in this house).