"I left Russian roads, routine and darkness"
The programmer Oleg decided to leave Chelyabinsk for America and achieved his goal. In California, he found a job in the specialty. Within the series of materials about compatriots who have moved abroad, Lenta.ru publishes his story about life beyond the ocean.
I was born in Chelyabinsk. After nine classes he entered the college for the specialty of "programmer". My parents insisted that I continue my education, but I wanted to devote more time to music. To be closer to this sphere, during the study he was engaged in organizing holidays and concerts.
Even in my youth, I realized that I want to move to America. To fulfill the dream, he was going to enter the American University, but could not get a j-1 visa either in 2010 or in 2011.
After the second refusal, I went to the London Language Academy. Thoughts about America did not leave even there. After the UK, I began to feel depressed: broken Russian roads, dilapidated houses, Chelyabinsk routine and darkness. I love my homeland, but I did not see prospects there for myself. Chelyabinsk is a city where there is no hope. He always wants to leave.
I had an interesting job - the vocalist of a cover band. We successfully developed and earned well, but I was not enough. In 2013, I still received an international student visa and flew towards the dream. For various reasons, I had to return, and I really regretted it. In 2016, he left for the United States with the ends.
The move was catastrophically difficult emotionally. I flew away on my birthday, leaving my past life behind. I had a clear goal: at 26 years it's time to do something serious, and singing at weddings is not the limit of dreams. So my new life began 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 faces are interested in how I'm doing or where I came from. But now I'm used to it. Americans ask simply 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 friends with the sellers. They are interested in each other's life not just out of politeness.
Americans are very relaxed. They have everything to avoid bothering about trifles. For example, in California they want to introduce a 30-hour work week. Although emigrants for the first couple of years work for 60-70 hours to feel comfortable. For carefree American life you need to earn good money.
The most common problem of many emigrants is the language barrier. I had no difficulties in communication, as this is the third long trip. I personally became convinced that with the level of language upper-intermediate can be 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 significantly different from Americans. People older than 60 years from the first second of the conversation on the 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. The news about Russia is very heatedly discussed here, but I did not meet the open aggression.
City of contrasts.
I settled in the wonderful town of Berkeley next to San Francisco. I traveled almost all over Europe, but I did not see such a nature as here. When you go up the serpentine, you can see fascinating views: the misted bridge "Golden Gate", Bay Bridge, sparkling in the sun's rays of Downtown, and of course, the view of the ocean. 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 ten minutes walk - poor Tenderloin district with closed shutters, a pile of gratings, graffiti on the walls and a lot of homeless people. It can not be said that it is safe here. But for a man who spent his entire adult life in Chelyabinsk, San Francisco is not scary.
The Bay Area (the San Francisco Bay Area) sometimes reveals the full range of weather conditions. An hour's drive south is always very hot and windless. I call this area Turkey, even the buildings are similar to Turkish hotels. And where I live, it's damp and cool at this time.
At first it was unusual to see on the street people dressed for different seasons: one goes in a jacket, and the other - in slates and a T-shirt. But when I studied the terrain, everything fell into place. The fact is that they often come to work from other cities, where the temperature varies by dozens of degrees.
The climate is absolutely unpredictable, but I am completely satisfied. After all, Chelyabinsk has already fallen snow, and in San Francisco I'm sitting in a T-shirt.
California is a state of roads. I still am amazed by the system of transport interchanges. In whatever direction I went, everywhere the highway - five wide bands, where everyone rushes with a speed of at least 130-140 kilometers per hour. Distances of 40-50 kilometers are overcome in a matter of minutes. After the broken highway Ufa - Chelyabinsk, such roads cause delight.
Recently I decided to drive through the whole of America by car. Four days and five thousand kilometers of exhausting way turned my idea about 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 show off. Even very rich people are modest and do not shout about their incomes. Of course, some singled out themselves as loud subwoofers and look accordingly - a cap, gold teeth. They already say: "Oleg, do you see who is before you? Move to the next lane. "
In Massachusetts, gasoline costs $ 2.79-2.85 per gallon, and in California the price depends on the location of the refueling. I still do not understand why gasoline near my house costs 2.80 dollars, and a few dozen kilometers from San Francisco the price grows to $ 3.30-3.50.
Materials on the topic.
"I do not want to marry an American"
The cost of renting an apartment depends on the location. On the east coast the room will cost 500-750 dollars, a one-room apartment in Boston - 1500-1600 dollars. In San Francisco, property prices are much higher, although five years ago they did not differ, say, from St. Petersburg. Now it is impossible to rent a room for less than 1200-1500 dollars. The apartments will cost 2200-2500 dollars a month. In November-December, the agency organizes various promotional campaigns - a month of free housing or huge discounts.
For housing and communal services it costs 100-120 dollars a month. The Internet costs $ 60, cellular communication costs $ 45.
On average, Californians earn 50-80 thousand dollars a year, because there is a strong IT-sphere. This is a fairly high bar even for America. If a person receives less than 24 thousand dollars a year, he is considered needy, and he is not even taxed.
California homeless people sometimes live better than working citizens in other countries. Russian homeless people - this is necessarily a life tragedy, a heavy fate, deception. And here it's just a lifestyle. The climate allows them to live on the street all year round. Around the bridges usually break up whole campgrounds. Some have cars and cell phones. They even come to the city services every week to pick up trash.
Taxes and health insurance.
In America, a progressive taxation system - the more you earn, the higher the taxes. In addition, 49 states have a tax on the purchase. Because of this, the 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. It seems to me that this is rather humane.
Many are frightened that there is no free medicine in America. It is, but it is given only to citizens without due prosperity. Any medicine in the pharmacy will cost no more than 3.75 dollars, the rest is covered by insurance.
I pay for medical insurance 400 dollars a month. It covers absolutely everything, except for small things. But it's worth it - the medicine here at the proper level.
The final decision.
Now I work in the IT field, but it does not bring me pleasure. I hope to return to what I really like - to music. True, this will require significant investment. I step by step go to what I wanted for so long.
It would be possible to act like many people - go to Moscow for fame, work as a musician in a cover band and, perhaps, by the age of 40 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 run my channel on YouTube. This is my vent, since I have not performed on stage for more than nine months.
Many people reacted to my move with skepticism, as there had been attempts before. But this time I decided everything is final. America needs me as a tool to achieve the goal. Although if something goes wrong - I'll go to Europe.
"I left Russian roads, routine and darkness"