Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goth Goes to live in Silicon Valley

So if you haven't heard the news I got offered a job at our headquarters in Silicon Valley and have moved to the US of A.

I've moved to Engineering Program Management, a bit more aligned with what I was doing outside Google and a great chance to work on some unique challenges. I'm loving the role and the team and couldn't be happier with the choice.

Unfortunately this wasn't quite the timeline we were intended and my beloved boy Chops couldn't move out at the same time due to work commitments. So there's a lot of video calls and international travelling going on until he can move over. What is nice though is knowing that your relationship is strong enough to stand the distance without worrying, now that is a nice feeling.

If you've never done it let me tell you that moving countries is hard. Even with the full support of a Google relocation team there's still waiting for months on Visas, packing up the house and then arriving to no credit history, no bank account, no tax number and a lot of paperwork.

When I arrived they put me in a lovely but isolated corporate apartment in Santa Clara which is at the arse end of Silicon Valley and pure pain without a car.

The San Francisco rental market is also somehow worse than Sydney with all the same desperate shivving of other applicants and ludicrous prices. I have however got a great house in Twin Peaks, less than 5 minutes bus ride from Noe Valley and The Castro. Upstairs there's a couple of other nerds and there's everything I need within a 3 min walk - including transport to the work shuttles. For SFO the place is a steal too - my own separate apartment including kitchen and bathroom for about $100 a month more than what I was paying in Newtown. Once I've finished decorating and my furniture has actually arrived from Sydney I'll post photos.

For a while there I was really struggling, but now that I'm living in the city, Chops has come to visit and I have a functioning bank account and social security things are looking much better. I found some local black wearing Whiskey drinkers at work and I even got to march in SF Pride, and there's nothing like a pride parade to make me feel at home!