I went to the doctor, and am now waiting for the results of my strep test. Apparently there’s also some viral thing going around that’s pretty similiar to what I have, so there are TWO candidates for what I’ve got.
My doctor’s office is located in a strip mall in Redwood Shores, a town a few miles north of Menlo Park, on the bay. I suspect that 95% of the town didn’t exist 20 years ago, and is all landfill; it consists largely of upscale condos for people who like to sail, at least one athletic club of the sort that has valet parking in front of the big fountain, and a lot of corporate headquarters– Oracle is there, and Macromedia. While driving into it, I was struck by a weird kind of deja vu. I’ve been there a few times before, but this feeling was different: not that I’d been there before, but I’d seen these low-slung modernist buildings, neatly laid-out streets, wraparound glass corporate headquarters, and little pyramids (which decorated the ends of a mall) somewhere before.
I mulled this over idly as I drove to the doctor’s (which is in a mall, near a supermarket), when suddenly it hit me. I nearly drove off the road, the realization was so striking. I knew where I’d seen this before:
The classic video game, created by Japanese company Namco in the early 1980s. (A pretty good Java version is here.) I played hundreds of hours of Xevious when I was in high school and college (one of the highlights of my summer as an exchange student in Japan, I’m ashamed to admit, was picking up a variety of Xevious cheats that no one in America seemed to know about), and the game’s landscape of grassland cut through with roads, pyramids, and round buildings is burned in my visual memory.
And it looks exactly like Redwood Shores.