The story of a resident of Chelyabinsk, who moved to California
Oleg, a programmer, decided to leave Chelyabinsk for America and achieved his goal. In California, he found a job in the specialty. As part of a series of materials about compatriots who have moved abroad, "Lenta.ru report»Publishes his story about life overseas.
I was born in Chelyabinsk. After nine classes I went to college for the specialty "programmer". My parents insisted that I continue my education, but I wanted to devote more time to music. To be closer to this area, while studying, I was engaged in organizing events and concerts.
Back in my youth, I realized that I wanted to move to America. To fulfill the dream, he was going to enroll in an American university, but could not get a j-1 visa either in 2010 or in 2011.
After the second failure, I went to the London Language Academy. Thoughts about America did not leave even there. After the UK, I had a depression: broken Russian roads, dilapidated houses, Chelyabinsk routine and darkness. I love my homeland, but for myself I did not see any prospects there. Chelyabinsk is a city where there is no hope. You always want to leave it.
I had an interesting job - a cover band vocalist. We successfully developed and earned good money, but I was little. In 2013, I did get an international student visa and flew off to meet my dream. For various reasons, I had to return, and I was very sorry about that. In 2016, I went to the USA permanently.
The move was disastrously emotional. I flew away on my birthday, leaving my past life behind. I had a clear goal: in 26 years it’s time to do something serious, and singing at weddings is not the ultimate dream. And so began my new life in America.
At first, I was surprised by the notorious politeness of Americans. I could not understand why strangers with a benevolent smile on their face are interested in how I'm doing or where I came from. But now I'm used to it. Americans ask just out of interest, and not because they work as immigration officers. Often people who go to the store near the house for many years, become good buddies with sellers. They are interested in the life of each other, not just out of politeness.
Americans are very relaxed. They have everything to not bother about trifles. For example, California wants to introduce an 30-hour work week. Although the first few years, expatriates work on the 60-70 hours to feel comfortable. For a carefree American life you need to earn good money.
The most common problem of many emigrants is the language barrier. I had no difficulty in communicating, as this is already the third long trip. I personally made sure that with the level of proficiency in the language Upper-intermediate You can safely live in America. Although one day my friend said: "If you are able to buy coffee in America, then you can live there."
We are markedly different from the Americans. People older than 60 years from the very first second of a conversation on an accent understand that the interlocutor was born in the USSR. Many people ask what I think about Trump, Putin and politics in general, but I try to avoid such topics. Here, the news about Russia is very vigorously discussed, but I have not seen open aggression.
City of contrasts
I settled in the wonderful town of Berkeley, near San Francisco. He traveled almost all of Europe, but he did not see such a nature as anywhere else. When you go up the serpentine, you will see fascinating views: the Golden Gate bridge tightened in mist, Bay Bridge, Downtown glittering in the rays of the sun, and, of course, the view of the ocean. The architects did not just try, but put their whole soul into this place.
Most of the time I spend in San Francisco. I would call it a city of contrasts. On the main street of Market Street - huge office areas, on their parking lots - brand new Tesla. And in ten minutes walk - poor Tenderloin district with closed shutters, jumble of bars, graffiti on the walls and a lot of homeless people. It’s not safe to say. But for a man who spent his entire adult life in Chelyabinsk, San Francisco is not terrible.
Bay area (San Francisco Bay Area) sometimes reveals the full range of weather conditions. An hour to the south is always very hot and windless. I call this area Turkey, even the buildings are similar to Turkish hotels. And where I live, at this time it is damp and cool.
At first, it was unusual to see people dressed for different seasons on the street: one goes in a jacket, and the other in shale and t-shirt. But when I studied the area, everything fell into place. The fact is that they often come to work from other cities where the temperature varies by tens of degrees.
The climate is absolutely unpredictable, but it suits me completely. Indeed, in Chelyabinsk, snow has already fallen, and in San Francisco, I am sitting in a T-shirt.
California - the state of the roads. I am still amazed at the junction system. In whatever direction I go, everywhere the highway is five broad lanes, where everyone rushes at a speed of at least 130-140 kilometers per hour. The distances in 40-50 kilometers are covered in minutes. After the broken route Ufa - Chelyabinsk such roads cause delight.
Recently, I decided to drive across America by car. Four days and five thousand kilometers of the exhausting journey turned my view of this country. I visited a lot of states, and it was worth it.
The car here is only a means of transportation. Americans do not like to brag. Even very rich people are modest and do not shout about their incomes. Of course, some people distinguish themselves with loud subwoofers and look accordingly - a cap, gold teeth. They already say with their appearance: “Oleg, do you see who is in front of you? Move to the next lane. ”
In Massachusetts, gasoline costs 2,79-2,85 dollars per gallon, and in California the price depends on the location of the gas station. I still do not understand why gasoline near my house costs 2,80 dollars, and a few dozen kilometers from San Francisco the price rises to 3,30-3,50 dollars.
The housing and utilities costs 100-120 dollars per month. The Internet costs 60 dollars, cellular - 45 dollars.
On average, Californians earn 50-80 thousands of dollars a year, as the IT industry is highly developed. This is a high enough bar even for America. If a person receives less than 24 thousand dollars a year, he is considered to be poor, and he doesn’t even take taxes.
California homeless people sometimes live better than working citizens in other countries. Russian homeless people - this is necessarily the life tragedy, the plight, deception. And here it is just a lifestyle. The climate allows them to live on the street all year round. Whole campsites are usually set up around bridges. Some have cars and cell phones. They even come to the city services every week to pick up trash.
Taxes and Medical Insurance
In America, the progressive tax system - the more you earn, the higher the taxes. In addition, there is a purchase tax in 49 states. Because of this, prices on the shelves do not correspond to the amount that will be required at the checkout. In California, this tax is 8,25 percent of the check. Most of the money that the state collects in this way goes to help the poor. I think this is quite humane.
Many fear that in America there is no free medicine. It is, but is provided only to citizens without due prosperity. Any medicine in a pharmacy will cost them no more than 3,75 dollars, the rest is covered by insurance.
I pay for 400 medical insurance dollars a month. It covers absolutely everything, except for small things. But it's worth it - medicine is up to standard.
Now I work in the IT field, but it does not bring me pleasure. I hope to get back to what I’m really interested in - music. True, this will require significant investments. I am going step by step to what I have wanted for so long.
One could do as many - go to Moscow for fame, work as a musician in a cover band and, perhaps, by the 40 years to become the second Lagutenko or Shnurov. But this is not my way, I want to try everything in my youth.
In my spare time I lead my channel on YouTube. This is my outlet, since I have not performed on stage for more than nine months.
Many reacted to my move with skepticism, since there had been attempts before. But this time I decided everything finally. I need America as a tool for achieving the goal. Although if something goes wrong - I will leave for Europe.
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