So I’m in one of the sweetest cities in the US, maybe even the world, and guess what happens? I turn twenty.

When I turned the big 18 back in Hong Kong, I had the satisfaction of sitting in a club that was being raided, whipping out my ID, and being wished a “Happy Birthday” by a policeman who had clearly intended to throw me out.

When I turned 19, I was up long past midnight trying to finish editing a textbook for a program I taught English for in college. Needless to say, no dinner was eaten that night. Don’t worry, it was still a blast.

And now I’m 20. Two zero. Is it a little pretentious that I was saying I was 20 days before I actually became that number? I mean, I don’t feel guilty. I turned 20 in the country I was born in before I did in San Francisco. I was 20 in Boston before here. I’m actually 21 in Korea. So it’s really a continuum of space and time, right? I’ve always been twenty. Always.

Anyways, when I turned 20, I had the pleasure of telling people that for my birthday, I got to sell chocolate. I didn’t have a birthday dinner, lunch, or even breakfast (well, I will admit my bowl of Raisin Bran smiled at me this morning). I didn’t have a surprise party. I didn’t pop any Andre. But hell, I had a grand time cutting up chocolate, selling products for the first time, having my first taste of artisan markets, and allowing people to indulge themselves for a little bit during their busy workday.

Even more importantly, I took that first step out of my comfort zone. Sure I had a few awkward pauses when I wasn’t exactly sure what to say or I couldn’t remember any of the facts Susan (my awesome mentor) told me about Sôcôla. I would forget which of the four flavors in the assortment box I had repeated until I finally realized, OH HEY, I think you’ve said “Burnt Caramel with Sea Salt” about four times and forgot “Guava”.

But seriously. For my 20th birthday, I’ve been given this huge opportunity to explore an amazing city and to be a chocolatier “in the making”. Who would have thought – a Harvard neurobiology undergraduate working for a chocolate company in SF? I know I’m not signing up for that Science of Cooking Class.

So I guess being 20 has been pretty awesome.

Daily Nutrition Report:

  • I cut up sample bars of dark chocolate infused with ingredients like Jasmine Tea and Beer Stout and claimed to be testing out their freshness, when really, I was just consuming more than my daily quota of chocolate (sorry Susan!)
  • I had a delicious falafel sandwich from the Liba Falafel truck and wasn’t shy about putting on all of their 14 toppings (Red Cabbage and Black Sesame Seed? Kill me now, please.)
  • Also had a divine double vanilla bean cupcake from Cupkates. The vanilla bean buttercream frosting had just the right amount of flavor and richness. Put it together with the subtle, moist sweetness of the cake…mmmmmm.  Also distributed from a truck – I am so checking out Off the Grid when I get the chance. Please hold my hand and take me.

Lesson of the Day:

Being 20 is just like being 19. Although I may not have grown taller, I get to say I have two whole decades of experience on my resume now.


Filed under birthday, chocolate, food market, food trucks

3 responses to “THE ROARING TWENTIES

  1. Cal

    why are you so awesome? and this blog is really deep. chocolate wise. so deep that i decided to take a bite out of my own chocolate bar. im sad that i missed your birthday and i was there that fateful night of your 18th when the club was being raided. although i am 5 months older than you it was really nothing new. please bring me back some chocolate. love you!

  2. hi love! this is jenny 🙂 so excited for your chocolatier experience, and hope to see you in SF the week of 6/6! (one week later than expected, but exciting nonetheless)

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