Duking it out in Planet Tech
Since moving to Cupertino I have heard endlessly about the Duke of Edinburgh. It is an English Pub in a Chinese shopping center, and happens to be across the street from our apartment. We have ventured over for dim sum but had not made the journey for fish and chips. Which is really silly considering every local I have met knew where I lived in reference to the Duke. Apparently, it is quite a hot spot for techies and locals alike. It is close to a few of the Apple campuses, as is everything in Cupertino, but it is also across from HP so it qualifies as a diverse tech-spot.
Surprisingly the food was not bad. That is how I’ve heard the food described by everyone so far – surprisingly not bad. There are plenty of beers on tap and a nice full bar selection if beer doesn’t tickle your fancy. It is kitschy and ancient which is probably why it is such a staple in Cupertino life, but I did have a great time there. However, I was with a group of Appletinis who were highly entertaining, which I’m sure influenced my assessment of the place.
I have genuinely liked and appreciated everyone I have met at Apple so far. They have all been sweet, personable and crazy smart. That being said, watching a group of Apple-ites in a social setting is like being at the zoo – they are absolutely fascinating. And no matter what, you (the non-tech person) are just an outsider observing the conversation. It’s not that they try to exclude me. It is actually the opposite. They try to steer the conversation into something that may interest me and ask me questions about my work, but the conversation quickly turns back to tech. The magnetic pull is just too strong.
And then I am left to sit back in awe and admiration for the tech culture. It really is a country in and of itself, with its own language, customs and traditions. I try to follow what they are talking about and listen for key words to keep me on track – as anyone learning a new language would do. I marvel at their jokes and wonder what I’m missing about that particular term or code that is so funny. And every time they speak to the waitress I wonder if they are picturing her as the chick from the cover of Dungeons and Dragons. I realize this is a terrible stereotype that I should not continue. But one of the most defining moments in my relationship with my husband was the first time I heard him speak Dungeons and Dragons to a pre-pubescent kid in a comic book store. And yes they were both eyeing the chick on the cover.