Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Some Comparisons  §

© liping dong | Fotolia

Rent
NYC: $1300, Nothing Included, 600 Square Feet
Utah: $480, Utilities, Satellite, Broadband Included, 2000 Square Feet

Health Insurance
NYC: $1300 70/30 Coinsurance Limited Enrollment Subsidized
NYC: $3900 70/30 Coinsurance Open Enrollment Independent
Utah: $500 80/20 Coinsurance Open Enrollment Independent

Senior Editor Salary at Mid-Sized Corporation
NYC: $70,000 Salaried (Positions in City: Hundreds)
Utah: $27,000 Non-Salaried (Positions in City: Less Than 10)

 

 

Driving in Provo  §

© Tricia Simpson | CC-BY-SA 3.0

In Provo, if you come within 100 yards of any person or object in your vehicle, people assume you are going to hit it/them and begin to honk and yell and make obscene gestures wildly.

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In Provo, people see automobiles not as a way to increase travel speed, but as a way to be protected from social encounters while you get where you are going.

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In Provo, people always drive at less than the speed limit, no matter the road and no matter the time of day.

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In Provo, the speed limit almost everywhere is 25.

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In Provo, everyone comes to a full stop in their lane before making a right turn onto a side street or pulling into a parking lot or driveway, even if there is no light or stop sign.

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In Provo, if someone slows to a stop in the middle of the road, no-one will go around them, no matter the reason; there is an unwritten rule that cars must wait in line, even if the stop is irrational and traffic is affected for miles.

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In Provo, if you drive 6 miles per hour in a parking lot, people will punch and kick your car and yell at you for driving too fast and endangering the children in the parking lot by exceeding the 5 mile per hour limit.

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In Provo, parents must ensure that their children walk in the absolute middle and most exposed areas of all parking lots.

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In Provo, there is a car:truck ratio of 1:343,291, and a public ordinance requiring all trucks to be diesel engines exceeding Boeing 747 decibel levels with a minimum tire volume and body clearance large enough to flatten and drive over the body of any deer or moose that happens to cross the road.

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In Provo, all drivers will honk at you for doing something that they didn’t expect, even if what you did is entirely legal and safe.

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In Provo, all drivers expect you to drive 5 miles per hour in a giant truck, waiting in line whenever anyone stops in the middle of the road for whatever reason, and always coming to full stops in the middle of the street before turning the steering wheel in either direction.

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In Provo, they talk about what clueless and horrible drivers the people outside of Provo are.

Fatigue  §

© 2011 Aron HsiaoThis moment in my life is mostly marked by fatigue—physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and emotional fatigue.

It has been such a long, long road to get here, and the last few years so very exhausting. In the last two months we have left multiple jobs, been separated, traveled for thousands of miles, changed homes and climates and identities, slept almost not at all, resurrected an old house and an overgrown parcel of land.

I am perpetually falling on my face with exhaustion, having come this far.

Yet where are we? Where is here, exactly?

The career path is in confusion. We are financially far less fit than we were during the spring—exponentially less fit. We are in a place that we don’t know well with less social infrastructure around us than we used to have.

Before we came I was convinced that this was the right thing to do for us and for our family.

Now I am unsure. I don’t know one way or the other; I am lost. And I don’t know what comes next.

The biggest impression of the moment, the general state of affairs, is one of absolute, long-term fatigue, the kind of fatigue that makes it difficult to work, play, eat, or even sleep.