I finished my UCLA implant residency in the summer of 1993. My wife and I drove past Omaha en route to Toronto. We did not stop in Omaha as we were rushing over to Canada for my interview at the University of Toronto. I was trying to look for a job then.
Since we moved to Singapore in 2004, we have had the opportunity to visit Omaha almost every year in early May. We have become so familiar with the city now that we can (almost) drive around with no map…
Moon & I love the food there – this is where I get my annual fix of T-bone steaks, French dip, endless coffees, milkshakes and pancakes. My best friend and his family (including my goddaughter) have been living in Omaha for over 10 years now. The Wee family always make us feel like we are at home in Omaha. The chitchat is never less than enlightening and we always pick up some ideas from them. Meanwhile I always am inspired by the people I meet in Omaha because they really remind me of the good old ways of success – elbow grease & grit!
This year’s Omaha trip was the best trip ever! Flying via United Airlines was a surprisingly good experience. I even managed to do some meaningful running before, during and after the flight to the USA. The only issue was that the trip was overly long due to some interesting connecting flights, but no complaint there.
As usual, we had a nice breakfast at my favorite place, Apple Barrel at Sapp Bros. Travel Centre (it’s a truck stop!) with some new and old friends. This was followed by some window shopping at Borsheims, where our friend, Jen, works. Jen was very busy as usual but we managed to grab her to pass her our favorite snack, Golden Duck fish skin chips, and we took some photos with her.
A few years ago, Jen was kind enough to try to arrange for us to meet her boss – we declined politely that time as we had previously arranged to meet some folks for lunch at Joe Tess. We repented a year later and we met up with that fast talking quick math gentleman who was Jen’s boss.
This trip, Jen made us an offer that we said “Yes” to in less than a heartbeat – a chance to attend her son’s concert and hang out with family on a private balcony!!! I had heard of Jack & Jack through Jen a few years back and was told that they gotten a bit of traction on Youtube and other social media – a few million clicks, which ignorant me did not understand what it meant at all. It turned out that my teenage daughters were more familiar with Jack & Jack than I was (the power of the internet)
Back in 2015, my family of 4 visited Omaha – Three interesting things happened:
- my wife, Moon, watched a documentary of Jack & Jack on the airplane enroute to Omaha,
- we were told that Jack & Jack had gotten into a full professional career
- my daughters had lunch with Auntie Jen but none of their friends in Singapore believed it when they told them that they had met the mom of one of the Jacks!
I have been to a few concerts earlier in my life. I admit I am a slow learner and am still learning to enjoy them so I decided it would be cool to go to the concert of my friend’s son. It is never too early to acquire a new skill ! Remember it was a few days of tightly packed endless eating, conversation, idea exchange, learning, meeting up with new/old friends and families (Hudsons & Wees). We even ran a 5k race before the concert on our last day in Omaha but I was 101% looking forward to this special concert.
What did we experience there? We met up with more new/old friends (surprise?), got to know an Omaha business couple through Moon’s spousal network (go figure out how…), met a lot of people who shared a few DNAs with the Jacks and almost 2000 screaming young lady fans (ok, there were about 15 dudes among them… trust me, I counted BOTH genders that night from our balcony above..). I wouldn’t say who but at the balcony someone quipped: “Ansgar, how would you feel if you were in your early 20s with a few thousand screaming gals EVERY night?’… well, I dare not to share my thoughts here openly!!
Oh, we got a few good reading materials and practical ideas too. Charlie Munger reminded me, ‘If there is a mantra in life, it comes from Singapore’s first prime minister – Figure out what works and do it.”
We arrived in Singapore after a few days away but we practically left our hearts in Omaha. We will be back….