Nov 1, 2015

Weekly update 3: Amazing people, work and Bill Clinton

This week was mostly work, one networking event, dinner with one of my uncles who was visiting from San Francisco, two yoga classes and two chill nights at home with friends.

I went to an event at Google Campus Tel Aviv on Monday. Met some really interesting and friendly people there. Since this was an event meant for networking, people were willing to leverage their network to strangers and make introductions if they knew someone who could help. So after meeting these amazing people at the event, I got introduced to another round of amazing people through them!

On Tuesday, I met my uncle who was visiting from San Francisco and his colleague from Delhi. It was really nice hanging out with them. My uncle is really smart and cool! He runs a company based in SF, which produces something that apparently no one else in the world has the capability to understand or create. It's that complex. So proud to have such amazing family! 

On Wednesday and Saturday, I went for yoga classes. These were easier than the ones I went to last week, so I was less sore the next day. Also, my yoga class on Wednesday was interrupted by a fire on the roof of the studio. But the whole thing got handled pretty quickly, so after 20 minutes of standing outside, we went back in and continued class.

On Thursday night I just chilled at home with one of my flat mates! We watched artistic music videos. Apparently Justin Bieber didn't write his latest songs himself. He only sung them. They were composed by other people, and so were the music videos. I especially like this music video. The artistic style is beautiful and so creative.


Aileen and I bumped into one of our former couch surfers Nadege at a cafe! She was passing through Tel Aviv on her way to the airport. She's from France and was just on her way out of Israel. It was so good seeing her again and hearing about her experiences in Israel. She only stayed with us for one night at the beginning of her trip two weeks ago and she's really cool, so I'm glad we got a little bit more time with her at the cafe. 


Aileen and I went to an Italian restaurant for lunch on Friday! 
We had some friends over this weekend who stayed over on Friday night. We started to watch a Bollywood movie on Friday night, but it was so terrible that I left it halfway and my two friends forwarded their way to the end.

This week, I also had to submit a report about my experience in Israel so far to NUS Enterprise, the institute which organises this program. I love writing, so this was fun even though it took up all my Saturday afternoon!

I wasn't able to spend a lot of time working on my project this week, so that was unfortunate. I would have liked to speak with more users. But I had some phone calls with people in the edtech space, and it was really fun chatting with them!

video
Aileen hates writing reports. They drive her crazy.

On Saturday, Bill Clinton was speaking at Rabin Square, a place in Tel Aviv that is named after Yitzhak Rabin, a former prime minister of Israel. It's been 20 years since Rabin was assassinated and Bill Clinton was one of the supporters of Rabin. Rabin was killed much like Gandhi, by a fellow country man for wanting to make peace with the state's supposed enemy. One of the things Bill Clinton said in his speech was that Apart from hearing Bill Clinton talk, it was an interesting experience to go to a public and political event here. The security was quite strict and the atmosphere felt different than any other political gathering I've been to. There were speeches and music performances before Bill Clinton spoke also. I couldn't understand much of the speeches since they were in hebrew (some people around were nice enough to translate though!). The performances were all musical performances of patriotic music, some of which were apparently composed in memory of Rabin's assassination 20 years ago.

Bill Clinton at Rabin Square

Crowds with banners, balloons and signs at Rabin Square to hear Bill Clinton
Photo Credits: Aileen 

Today at work (Sunday is a working day here), I spent time working on Search Engine Optimisation for eRated's blog and website. It's really fun to try and find better keywords that we can use for our target audience so that we can attract audiences that will lead to higher conversion rates. I felt a state of flow while doing it. It's also fun to discover the new tools out there that help you optimise websites. The coolest one I discovered today is this one which gives you ideas for blog posts based on keywords you type in. Try typing in some words into this tool and see it produce a graph of ideas for blog posts based on those keywords.

I'm trying a new thing this week where I spend less time on my phone. I often caught myself browsing social media on my phone for no specific reason, so last night, I deleted the FB and Snapchat app from my phone just to see if that would result in me spending less time on my phone. I'll probably install it back after a week, but this week I just want to try and de-addict. I actually found myself looking for my FB app on my phone a few times today instinctively (I did it twice while writing this blog post), until I remembered that I'd deleted it. Isn't that crazy?

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