From the first person: how Muscovite settles in Los Angeles
Russian site lenta.ru continues the series of materials about compatriots who left Russia and went abroad. This time the edition writes about the history of Muscovite Mark Arakelyan. He moved to Los Angeles last April. We publish the article in the first person.
A little about myself
I am 21 years old. I was born and raised in Moscow. In April 2015, my brother and mother and I decided to move to Los Angeles County, Burbank, where my father had lived for about three years. At that time, much coincided, and although I was "shining" unfinished higher education at the Moscow Aviation Institute, I decided that it was better to leave. Firstly, I was supposed to be taken into the army, which, to be honest, I did not want at all. Secondly, I had a visa open until October, and I decided to use it.
My father received a green card for me through lawyers. He himself stayed in the USA thanks to her. And thanks to the family unification program, we also managed to get it.
My brother and I are working, and my mother went to study. She, like her father, has a great advantage in knowing the language - in Moscow she taught English. Wants to become a healthcare professional, possibly a nurse.
In the near future I want to move from Burbank to Glendale. There is no big difference between these cities, but I have to travel 80 kilometers to and from work every day, and I would prefer something closer.
About the sun and the ocean
I need to stay in California for a year to become a resident and go to study. Now I work in a car rental office: I draw up, issue and distill cars. No education is needed for this, anyone can get a place here.
At first it was very cool and unusual: the ocean, the constant heat and the sun. A few months later, I was sick and tired of all this and wanted to go back to Moscow, but this period also passed. I'm used to. Now a maximum of a couple of weeks would go home to meet with friends and relatives, a little walk.
The weather is always beautiful here - this is a definite plus. The only thing that confused me at first was the lack of friends. But instead of hanging out, I had time to explore the surroundings. By the way, there are ideal conditions for organizing small trips by car.
You can go in any direction, and after an hour of movement along the highway find a beautiful place. So I traveled several times and even visited the place where 2012 was filming the movie “Blue Lagoon” of the year. It's two hours from my house. Or you can go on a weekend trip to San Francisco. True, there is much cooler and a lot of men of unconventional sexual orientation.
Connections in America
I had to get used not to the weather and not even to the country itself, but to the people. The lifestyle of Americans is very different from ours. On the one hand, they are friendly - they always smile and say hello. On the other hand, I somehow don't want to make a serious acquaintance with them. The maximum is to discuss any pressing issues for a couple of minutes, no more. Why? I myself cannot understand. Somehow we do not agree. You know, it is easier and more comfortable with my own people, therefore, basically, I communicate with visitors from Russia, Armenia and Ukraine.
Of course, at first I had big problems with the language. My study of English stopped at the school level. But a year later it became much easier. I began to talk more, and Russian-speaking acquaintances appeared who can be practiced without difficulty with solving individual accents.
There is no sense of Russian education here at all. Therefore, when I moved, I was not very upset that I would not graduate from the university. On the contrary, it is not worth talking about the first education in order to be able to study here for free. Better to say that just finished school.
For starters, I plan to go to a language school to pull up the language. In principle, apart from the medical profession, everything else here can be learned in two years, get a license and already practice. But a lot depends on the university: if you graduated from a good institution of higher education, where the program is more difficult, you can not worry about your future. You will always find a good job and earnings. In Russia, this can not be sure.
Education solves a lot
I have a familiar Iranian nuclear physicist. After moving to the USA, he simply disappeared for about five years, because he was constantly studying. After training, he was immediately taken to NASA, and now he has a salary of about 500 thousand dollars a year. So it’s definitely worth learning.
In general, learning is easier here than we do. At the beginning of the year, you can independently choose subjects for study and not be sprayed onto unnecessary ones, then do not regret wasted hours spent in class.
Most of my friends who have moved here do not regret anything. Many of them, without some kind of education, work in MA (companies that help when moving). This is something like the first stage that almost everyone faces. Even documents are not needed for this work. There is always work in this area, and you can get money for the most necessary things for it.
Companies involved in moving, arrange travel from one house or room to another. Basically, its services are used by wealthy people. Workers get about two thousand dollars a month and somehow manage to live on this money. And this is very small, even if the apartment is rented with a neighbor.
Plus, you need to buy a car, refuel it and repair it, because without a car it is impossible here. No public transport, all move only under their own power. You also need to calculate the cost of food, which is not cheap, especially if you cook for one.
Friends from Moscow have opened a hookah shop in Los Angeles. Recently, I spend my free time with them. I can't say that it was easy for them, but, as elsewhere, if there is money, then everything is possible. We got the necessary license through a lawyer - it's a non-smoking state here, and it's a little difficult with hookahs.
This area is very strictly monitored. For example, in Hollywood, only three hookah have a work permit. If one of them closes, another will not come in its place.
Another problem in finding a place to rent. Many do not want hookahs to smoke in their premises and spread the smell of coal and tobacco. But friends managed everything, and people walk, including local ones.
And I would like to open a car service here. I brought this idea back from Moscow. At home, difficulties could arise with various authorities hanging over the soul, which always need money. Here you just have to pay for the license, and then no one bothers you - except, of course, your competitors. The most important thing is to pay taxes on time. Better to owe a bank a million than a dollar to the state. It will take many times more from you.
Just be good
If you go to California and do nothing illegal, they won't deport you from here. I have friends who received a visa, came here to relax and stayed. But, of course, it is necessary to settle all the issues with the documents: get a green card and citizenship.
There are a lot of strange people: 40 percent of the population, in principle, all the same, how they look. They do not bother if they wear the same socks. You can meet a very fat man in a superman costume. Many girls for some reason choose old-fashioned clothes. Yes, and others also do not care. Here, especially no one pays attention to it.
Very rich people can not wear expensive trinkets and ride a decade of cars. Americans do not like very much when someone shows off.
It seems to me that people who were born and raised here are very lazy and often do not strive for anything. Once, on the beach in Santa Monica, I met an American woman who sits in the parking lot all day, and if the caller can't reach it, she helps to shove the ticket into the machine.
If you see a wealthy person - most likely, this condition went to him by inheritance. Because now Californians are the laziest people in the United States. Of course, I could be wrong, but there are many of them. Especially if you compare what visitors and locals are trying to achieve here.
What they pay for
Here, almost no one will see good repairs at home, except for very rich people. The reason is that the work will cost half the cost of the living space itself. Any work "by hand" is paid very high.
About cars can not say the same. They are cheap here, and they are bought by everyone, and practically of any class. But the repair of the purchased car can fly into a pretty penny.
Everything related to any professional service is expensive. This affected the fact that I want to open a car service here. According to my calculations, it will quickly pay off, besides, there are not enough specialists in this area.
Local mechanics do not understand anything about what is under the hood. Everyone I know agrees with this. It is easier for them to take their thousand dollars and at the same time not provide quality service, "prescribing" a very expensive repair to the owners.
The repair work that would have deprived you of your car for a week or two in Moscow is not performed here - the car is simply being written off. They are used to changing everything at once, not fixing or repairing. The insurance company pays the full cost of the car, and if it is taken on credit, it pays the owner money, and that's it. Nobody even thinks about the service.
I am fond of cars since my youth. Constantly dug in his own and sat in the service station friends. And when I found out that local mechanics do not know things that even I know, I realized that with due persistence I have a future in this area.
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