It’s Sunday night and you know what that means: FOOD! TRUCK! ROAD! TRIP! (minus the truck part of the food truck).
In other words, Eric and I drove an hour to Irvine to go to the Orange County Night Market. Funny enough, I saw the announcement for this event a few months ago on Facebook and figured “hey, why not?”. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the night market is somewhat of a county-fair style thing, only the majority of the booths are serving Asian food/Asian fusion food. There’s one held in the 626 (San Gabriel Valley) area too; they’re held by the same people but I’m going to be out of town for that, so we decided to go to this one instead.
The thing that shocked me the most? It was huge! Tons of people. Couples, elders, teens, parents, kids, you name it. It was a party in the OC. There was tons of good food, Eric and I tried to hit as much of it as we could, but sadly fell very short of trying everything there that we wanted to try.
We started out the evening with some takoyaki – doughy balls filled with octopus and love. These were the gooiest, hottest takoyaki that I’ve ever had, and it was a wonderful experience. Eric also had some noodles which were pretty normal but very filling. Next up: bulgogi fries. Just like the bulgogi tater tots I had in Oxnard, but with fries, and a delicious cole slaw that complemented the flavor of the fries perfectly. Then: the ramen burger. The most beautiful piece of meat on top of buns made from ramen noodles. Topped with cheddar, a gorgeous sauce, a perfect piece of greens, and dang. That was one of the best things that I’ve eaten throughout this school year (and that’s saying a lot). We ended the night with something not very Asian: churros. But we had to, the Churro Boss truck was there (consistently rated some of the best churros in L.A.) and I’d been tracking it down for months. So of course this wouldn’t be the opportunity I let slip by.
And the funniest part? We were there at the same time as not one, not two, not three, but FOUR other Caltech students. And they say we never make it off campus…
Let’s be real though, I need to stop driving extremely large distances for Asian fusion food,
(But a ramen burger is always worth it),
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like: