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Links for 2007-10-26

3 replies on “Links for 2007-10-26”

I made the jump from London to Boston about 7 months ago. Just read through Simon’s guides and thought they’re both really good.
The last month before moving is weird. Lots of lose ends to tie up, cancelling things, trying to catch up with everyone before you leave, getting things packed and shipped, trying to make sure your new life in the US is set up and waiting for you (got somewhere to live? Is the power going to be on when you turn up there? etc.)…
I was trying to do all of that, including a quick trip to the US to look at apartments, while doing a full time work load. Fortunately my employer and colleagues cut me a hell of a lot of slack and told me to focus on getting here rather than worrying about my day-to-day ‘normal’ work responsibilities.
But it’s all worked out just fine. My colleagues and work contacts think it’s cute when I use a non-US term for something – i’ve never had that “You’re in America now – learn to be an American!” type reaction. But Boston is a pretty mixed place – I imagine things will be the same in San Francisco.
Two things that still annoy me:
a) Not knowing what brands to buy in supermarkets. It probably took me 5 minutes to select a brand of laundry detergent the first time I needed to do so (Arm and Hammer works for me)… Walking around a supermarket and just not know what brands are good quality and reliable can be incredibly disorientating and frustrating. Obviously there’s a sense of discovery and fun mixed in with that, but “why I can’t I get some freakin’ oven cleaner that works like I expect!” drives me nuts. Maybe it’s just me…
b) A large proportion of Boston cab drivers completely try to rip you off when you get in and ask to go somewhere with an accent. If i’m taking a cab to somewhere new, I make a point of working out the most obvious route so I can respond when they say “So we’ll get you there via [insert really non-obvious and long way] – is that OK?”.

But i’m guessing you know a lot of people where you’ll end up, so you’ll be fine. My colleagues completely and utterly go out of their way to help me find my way around (“You need to go to Ikea for 8 hours? Let’s do it!”) and it’ll be the same for you.
You’re about to undertake one of the biggest adventures you’ll ever do in your life. The cost of that is a few bumps and some stress along the way. Just remember that the journey is the goal.
(or something like that)

Oh, crap. I hope it’s not too terrifying – the intention was to remove some of the “what the…?” mystery and reduce the terror…
…although, putting myself in your shoes, I can see how it would be terrifying now – but will hopefully be less so (with a few fewer surprises) once you make the move…
I think I’ve mentioned this in other posts on my site before, but this book was a massive, massive help in calming some of my fears before I got to California, and was useful for a while after the move, too.
Plus, you already know a bajillion people out here, people who are impatiently waiting for you to arrive so they can drag you to the Tonga Room and welcome you with awesome, frou-frou cocktails 😉

I think any time you move to another country it is hard, even one where you share (most of) the same language. When I moved to Ireland 2 years ago for grad school, the first month was the hardest trying to get my visa, a bank account, a mobile, figure brands out at the store.
Hitherto is right, you have a lot of friends in the Bay Area and LA, folks are excited about your arriving and will be very willing to help you get things set up.
Can I trade you? I’d like to move to London for awhile…

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