Where do I start? It's been an eventful couple of days...
The flight to LA was uneventful. Qantas is certainly orders of magnitude
more pleasant to fly with than United, even though we were seated in a
bulkhead area. I had a 13-month old baby seated next to me (no, Mikal was on
the other side), and he was about as well behaved as you could
possibly ask a 13-month old baby to behave. Mikal also behaved himself. I
had the intention of trying to get something approximating 8 hours sleep, as
we arrived at LAX at 7am local time, but I only managed about 4 hours. I did
spend about 8 hours with a mask on and my brain in idle, so I arrived at LAX
being mostly coherent.
Entering the US via LAX was a much less traumatic experience than I was expecting.
The E-3 visa was accepted fine, and I now have an I-94 stapled into my
passport. Quarantine involved getting looked up and down by a guy in a
booth, who waved me through.
We had 3 hours to spare (or about 2 by the time we cleared all the
immigration/customs queues) and then hopped on a 50 minute American Airlines
flight to San Francisco, hired a car and drove to Santa Clara.
The accommodation we're staying in for a month is very spiffy indeed. It's a
largish gated community of units. Mine's got a ground floor entry, but
everything else (except the garage) is upstairs. When Sarah gets here, we'll
put up some photos. The weather is lovely as well.
Our first outing was to the Social Security office to attempt to get social
security numbers. This wasn't as successful as I'd hoped, as we were too
freshly in the country to show up on their systems, so we left with letters
saying we'd get one within four weeks, when our details had been verified.
Yesterday evening, we went for a general recce of the surrounding area, and
checked out a supermarket. That was less disconcerting than I expected,
although I don't think it was a terribly huge supermarket. Having a GPS
certainly raises one's confidence when navigating significantly.
Last night I discovered that all the keys in my apartment were not created
equal, and that the two loose in the lock box on the front door were the only
two that opened the unit, and the two sets on key rings on the coffee table
only opened the amenities and my mailbox. So I got to spend a bit of time
sitting on my front doorstep until the nice man from Synergy Relocations came out to let
me in (except his key didn't work either, so he got to make conversation
with a legal alien while we waited for someone else to come out with a key).
Today, we drove around to see a shopping mall, and the first set of shops we
found happened to be around the corner from an enormous (by my standards) apartment
complex, which had some signage implying that it had vacancies, so we
decided to get the low down on how renting worked before we did our rental
tours. Casey drove us around in a golf buggy and gave a tour of what two
different floor plans looked liked. It seems that in this part, it's
standard for an apartment to include the refrigerator, dishwasher,
microwave, washing machine and clothes dryer, which is good to know.
Let me just say that if this is what living in an apartment complex is like,
it's more like living in a resort. The place had pools everywhere, tennis
courts, two gyms, a community centre, it was just unreal. It was also
cheaper than I was expecting.
We then went to a massive shopping mall to do some window shopping.
Discovered Wetzel's Pretzels.
Hope they're not too fattening...
Tomorrow, I'm going to avail myself to the complex's gym, and generally get
ready for the week ahead.
Future posts will be in a new category, which I
won't be feeding to Planet Debian as
not to bore people. I will inflict Planet Linux Australia readers with
them until someone asks me to stop. If you'd like a custom feed that
excludes my American adventures, please let me know.
I wonder if adjusting Blosxom's idea of timezone buggers up existing posts
and aggregators like Planet in general?