The best way to get over a jet lag…

Four hours ago I arrived in San Francisco after an overnight economy class flight from Shanghai. Despite having the first row of cattle class I still did not manage to sleep much (=not at all) on the plane. But because I have several meetings later today and even a business dinner tonight I need to make sure I get over my jet lag as soon as possible. The easiest solution is of course to take a short nap, but that is more a temporary solution and it can actually make the problem worse.

The best thing to do in my opinion is to go for a long slow run. It’s not easy, but you feel great afterwards. So I put on my running shorts, shirt & shoes and ran down from Union Square to the Ferry Building next to Pier 1. From there I ran all along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf and continued until past the beach and Fort Mason. A great run (1 hour 10 min), with lots to see and (on a Monday morning at 10 AM) not very busy. I took my Nexus One (=phone) with me and took some pictures during the run.

It’s strange, but each time I am in San Francisco I feel immediately at home here. I had the same thing last year as well, there is such an entrepreneurial vibe in this city. Similar to, but also different from Shanghai. What I miss in Shanghai I can find here: nature, fresh air and an outdoor life. I think I mentioned in a blog post last year that you should not be surprised if one day I would start a business here, and I have the same feeling now again. Maybe I should really look into this more seriously.

Of course not everything is perfect here. The one thing that struck me this morning, both in the taxi ride from the airport and during my 12 kilometer run, were the homeless people. They are everywhere. There are a lot more homeless people in San Francisco than in Shanghai I think – actually, now that I think about it, I hardly ever see beggars anymore in Shanghai. Also things are quite expensive here, but maybe not as expensive as Shanghai (note to self: check out housing prices in SF).

Anyway, I am looking forward to an interesting week at GDC (Game Developers Conference). A very busy week with right now 22 appoinments (plus 2 new ones that came in through Twitter this morning). I am ready for it! Next week I plan to take a week off to unwind a bit: I plan to go down to Mexico and then drive back up to San Francisco with my sister (who is on a round the world trip right now).

Write a Comment


  1. Running helps my jet jet lag too-
    try a run across the Golden Gate
    bridge – not to be missed every
    time I visit SF.

  2. I also feel the same lived in Shanghai for 4 years. Things are very busy in China. But, there is no inspirational thoughts. I am enjoying the life back in the Silicon Valley for 2 years now.

  3. Shanghai is great except for the things you just mentioned. Would love to go to San Francisco once.

  4. hi Marc
    i’ve gone in the opposite direction, coming to SH from SF. but i’m in a different field and there is need for my skills here while there are limited needs for them there at the moment. i agree that SF is a picturesque place and very charming. you can drive 30 minutes and be in the mountains where you can go hiking. but once you start looking at housing prices you might need to get ready for a shock. the economic downturn has not lowered residential prices there much. homes in “affordable” neighborhoods such as Noe Valley can start at a million USD or at least 800,000. in Marin County on the north of the bay the costs can be higher.

    i don’t want to address the homeless situation too much because the subject is vast. the problem started in the 1980s when mental hospitals where closed. a lot of the displaced ended in the streets. most homeless are drug users whose brains are toasted. i worked in Union Square 3 years and was panhandled daily, sometimes twice on each street i crossed on my daily walks between my apartment and the office. each panhandler has his style. over the years of blogging i have probably written on more than ocassion on amusing or annoying encounters with them, although it’s all mixed in with my writings on yoga.

    i would say you would enjoy it, yes. there is a large Chinese community there, mostly of Cantonese. the weather is ideal, never cold and never hot. the views are stunning. you have nature nearby. people are friendly and open minded. but it is an expensive city to live in. if you work can sustain it, then great. i had a good salary there, but the expensive living usually ate it up.

    thanks for the suggestions on jet lag. i’m going for a visit to SF in two weeks. maybe for me the solution will be to find a yoga class the next day and drag myself to it. i will do that!