Thursday, 29 January 2009

Viva San Diego

Nici nu am apucat să îmi trag sufletul după marea mutare... că firma m-a şi trimis la client. Aşa că, începând de luni seară sunt in San Diego. Oraş foarte plăcut, liniştit... îmi aminteşte de New Orleans într-un fel - străzile din centru, numit Gas Lamp, sunt pline de restaurante, cluburi de jazz, terase, chiar şi baruri pe stradă... adică un fel de terasă care nu are decât un blat pe post de bar, ca să poţi sta şi savura un pahar. Totuşi nu se poate bea pe stradă... New Orleansul era şi mai pitoresc de altfel.

Lucrul la client merge tare încet... mă plicti destul de tare. În schimb mai am timp să vizitez câte un pic seara. În prima seară, Marţi, am făcut greşală mare, tovarăşa profesoară... am mers, la recomandarea colegilor de la firmă totuşi, la un restaurant brazilian de jenul all-you-can-eat. Şi Doamne-ţi mulţam, io pot mânca. Erau vreo 10 de feluri de carne, cu care umblau vreo 10 chelneri pe proţap. Tot cam la 2 minute apărea unul pe la mese şi îţi tăia o felioară. Pe masă avea un fel de solniţă cu un cap roşu şi unul verde. Atâta timp cât capul verde era deasupra ei îţi aduceau carne. Mai era şi un bar de salată de toate gusturile, formele şi apetitele. Mi-am dat însă seama că ăla e pentru neştiutori, care se lăcomesc pe salată şi nu mai am loc de cărnuri... aşa că nu am cazut în capcana lor şi am fost tare cumpătat la salate... he he he. Localul se numeşte Rei Do Gado pe 4th street.

În seara asta am fost la altă minunăţie culinară... Un local de genul Coco's Outback din Amsterdam, adică un fel de bar în care se serveşte mâncare multă, într-un mod tare rustic... adică din găleţi. Se numeşte Rockin' Baja şi e specializat pe creveţi. Aşa că am păpat o găleată de creveţi cu nişte pui şi o bucată de vită. Iam Iam! :)

De mâine începem dieta... iarăşi! He he...

Sunday, 25 January 2009

No More Shopping

For the past 4 days we did nothing else but shop. It's damned exhausting! We visited Ikea (about 4 times), BedBath & Beyond (3 times), Circuit City (2 times), Best Buy (3 times), Michaels, Furniture Discounters (2 times), and the rest I don't recall anymore...

A guy in Bed Bath & Beyond asked if we were on a shopping spree... He had no idea!

We managed in just 5 days to furnish most of the apartment (that includes the master bedroom, dining, living, kitchen, 2 bathrooms). For the same amount of stuff, in our previous apartment in Amsterdam, it took us about 1.5 years. We bought utensils for most of the stuff, we made subscriptions to utilities, phone, mobile, internet, tools. We assembled stuff around the house. We cleared stuff from the bags. All in all the bill went up to 6500 $.

We are exhausted. Luckilly, tomorrow is Monday, so I can go to work and relax ;) riiight!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Safeway is open.....

U won't believe it but Safeway (a giant supermarket) is open 24/7............ohhh my GOD!!!!

I keep forgetting that here stores are open longer and I keep functioning on Netherlands schedule...and I panic that we are out of bread in the evening.

All the stores here are giants........one Safeway is probably 5 times an Albert Heijn. I always wanted to have space....and choice.....and ohhh yeah....there is pleeeeeenty of choice. As u know I love my shrimps so in Safeway there is a huge aisle only with shrimps...(hypnotized eyes).

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Avem casă

De azi de la ora 11:15 dimineaţa avem casă.... Nu mai suntem pe străzi.

După ce am semnat un contract de 27 pagini, în care absolut totul era explicat, am primit cheile de la apartament. Avem 2 locuri în parcarea subterană (unul în spate la celălalt, deci cel din faţă e blocat de cel din spate), căsuţă poştală, cheie magnetică, etc.

Ce e interesant e că nici căsuţa poştală şi nici numărul parcării nu corespund cu numărul apartamentului... Oare să fie din cauză de securitate? Să nu ştie ceielalţi unde stai?

Monday, 19 January 2009

Blocked Cards? Same Old. Same Old...

Today we had the surprise we were actually expecting -- blocking of credit cards. We heard from several people that when you make an 'unusual' expenditure on your credit card, the card will be temporarily blocked by the anti-fraud department.

Since credit cards are so unusual to pay with in Holland, of course our credit card got blocked becuase we paid the deposit for the apartment with it.

I had to wake up a 6:30 a.m. in order to still catch the anti-fraud department open (time difference of 9 hours with Amsterdam, and this department only operates between 9-5). I managed to get it unblocked and they even promised me they would call me if another 'unusual' transaction is about to take place. Let's see how this works, as I have colleagues who got their credit card blocked even after explaining and agreeing with the bank they would call them... So let's see... Soo exciting !! :P

There is No Jetlag

I keep having this argument with my BIL: "there is no jetlag"... And so far I was able to prove it.

However, I think 9 hours time difference between Amsterdam and San Francisco, it's just too much to take in in just 1 day. The first two nights I slept about 6 hours each -- from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and from midnight to 6 a.m. respectively.

It's so strange that your biorhythm just doesn't want to follow the day/night intervals. Let's see what happens in the third night... Probably I'll sleep about 8 hours and then be completely shifted to this time zone.... because, of course, there is no jetlag -- you're just tired for not sleeping enough ;)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A Place to Stay

We got the place! We are now the newest residents at the Sycamore complex in North Park, San Jose. And a very nice place it is indeed for the 2245$ it costs per month. Luckilly, my BIL agreed to be our guarantor, so we only had to pay one month deposit (instead of 2).

Since we are fresh off the boat, we have no credit history, no rental history, etc. It doesn't matter you have good history outside the US. If you don't have it in the US, you don't exist. Right? Right!

Anyway, I am really excited abut the new place. Been to Ikea and already started the big adventure: furnishing! We bought kitchen utensils, bathroom stuff. This was our second visit to Ikea... and many more will come. Hail the Ikea!

As of today www.mitza.net is also up&running. So pictures will come...

With Flowers In Your Hair...

We did it. We are in California.

Fresh off the plane. Here we are in sunny 20 degrees (Celsius that is). Confortable direct flight Amsterda-San Francisco (9h45m). We cleared customs with no problems. Nobody found any illegal substances/food that we might have had on us.

Saw one nice apartment yesterday. In San Jose, North Park complex. Very impressive. The complex has pretty much everything one needs (warmed pools, jacuzzi, BBQs, gym, spinning, lots of classes, basketball court). Waiting for the approval for it today. Fingers crossed!!!

Monday, 12 January 2009

We've Got Visas

Yes, we are legal aliens as of today. Well... potentially legal aliens, as we have not moved yet.

Today, we went to the US Consulate (in Amsterdam). After horror security checks, we made it in. There were 3 queues just for getting inside. Some poor people who had mobile phones on them were waiting to get in when we get there, and they were still waiting to get in when we left. So remember, no electronics on you when you go there.

Inside there were again 2 queues: one for applying, one for the actual interview. All in all went really well. In about half an hour we we done with everything.

So in the next episode, finishing packing and flying to the US.