Clueless Geek's Guide to San Francisco

How can an introverted Finnish geek survive in a vivid city like San Francisco? This was my foremost concern when thinking about U.S. internship back in spring 2015. And here I am, near Silicon Valley, midst of all the technological happening. I’m Ruksi, Startuplifers intern and all-around code cowboy currently occupied with neural networks and virtual reality at Leap Motion, California.
Truth to be told, living in San Francisco while avoiding human contact is a lot easier than in Finland. You can get everything from food to clothes from Amazon, you can your order food from Postmates or Doordash and even your preferred brewages can be delivered to you by Minibar. Even taxes can easily be done through TurboTax. All these service startups surely make hermit’s life easy.
San Francisco offers a lot of things to do, I’ve enjoyed the surrounding coastline and redwood forests. There are a lot of music festivals and such around if that is more to your liking.
Even geek underground in San Francisco is well and healthy, below all the tech-money-profit-layer, I assure you. Board game nights; sure. Game developer meetups; every week. Magic Tournaments; more you have time to attend to!
For finances in general, you can get by with close to nothing excluding the rent. For all introverts out there, I suggest getting an apartment as close to your workplace as possible, but let it be noted that getting a place outside of central San Francisco can easily save you thousand bucks each month. Oakland is pretty good place to hunt for cheaper apartments if you don’t mind the commutes.
To minimize my spending, I order my daily food once a month from Amazon Pantry, 24-pack of canned food and a bag of instant rice. Depending what you get, how much you add rice and how much you consume, a can makes two or three servings. I also use pepper and coconut oil to perfect the taste. So, after free lunch at the office and having my canned dinner, my food expenses are around 2 bucks per day. I go to the lengths to say that I even prefer the taste of my canned food compared to most restaurants, but I’m sure that’s just me so don’t count on it.
The trick of perfect canned food preparation is to boil away most of the liquids in there, even if it’s labeled as a soup. Buy a deep saucepan, boil rice, remove rice, pour in canned food, boil most of the liquids away, add rice, and throw in the spices.


I do recommend buying some fruits or multivitamins because of, you know, scurvy. Would be pretty embarrassing to get that in this day and age. I started buying multivitamins last year after I noticed my hands shaking too much to keep a hold on a phone for mobile development. But hey, still alive and breathing!
Here are my top 3 canned foods from Amazon Pantry:

  • Campbell’s Chunky Beef with Country Vegetables, remember to add rice
  • Campbell’s Chunky Chili Beef & Bean Roadhouse, remember to add rice
  • Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli, good warm and cold


Ruksi worked as a Technical Lead at Leap Motion. 
Now, time to apply for your experience!

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