Wednesday, May 3, 2006

LA Experiences

I have just moved to LA (US) for a 2 month assignment. I am still settling down in the country and will start blogging again soon.

Experience so far has been horrible. The prices are sky high and nobody is ready to give apartments on short term (month to month) lease. I have finally managed to get one apartment by paying 200 bucks extra. Total rent for 1 bedroom apartment 1225 + 16.67 (for renter's insurace). The appartment does not have a fridge have got that on a 3 month lease for 27 bucks. In addition there are huge set up costs involved for everything fridge, electricity, apartment securiy, phone etc.

The last 2 weeks have been tiring. I had to wrap everything in Pune in a 3 days. More than personal things getting clearance from the office was a headache. Then air tickets on such a short notice was altogether anoher struggle (though the company pays for it).

I landed in LA on April 24, 2006 and directly went to Extended Stay America in San Dimas. First 2 days were bad as I didn't have a car on the 3rd day rented a car from Enterprise to search for an apartment. I (infact Ketki) got hold of numbers from and called up bunch of guys. We finally got 3 to 4 properties which did month 2 month lease. We then checked out all of them and narrowed it down to 2 places. One was farther away from office and not on a bus route but was cheaper by 225 bucks. Second one (where we moved in today) was closer to office and on a bus route.

Hopefully, we will have internet connection (got it from Adelphia) & fridge by tomorrow. Another 2 days and we should have our phone (got the connection from Vonnage). I will be returning the rental car tomorrow (after almost 10 days) and after that its back to walking.

Workwise its been ok. The work is not great but so far that has been wonderful. I am not sure how we would have managed to find an appartment / phone / internet if we had been busy with work. So, I am not complaining.

The 1st weekend at LA was good. It was Mishy's 1st anniversary and they had planned a trip to LA (planned before we came to know that we would be there). So our being there can be seen as either icing on the cake OR it can also be seen as "kabab main haddi". Anyway we all (atleast Ketki & I) had a wonderful time. Vikas had the complete trip planned out. I guess he must have done it for Mishy but we tagged along anyway :). We went to universal studios. Did almost all the rides starting from Jurrasic Park to Mummy to Back to the Future to Terminator 2 to Shrek. After that we went around to Hollywood and Kodak theater (where oscars take place). This area is wonderful and looks like a mini version of times square. The dinner was at a Thai Place called Pink Pepper in Hollywood. Mishy did the booking through internet and was disappointed that it did not match up with the photos posted on their site. Rest of us found the place prety good. Next day we went to the california beaches. The setting was like straight out of a Baywatch episode. Mishy & Vikas rented tandem bike. Ketki rented crusiser bike and I rented roller skates. We then went around the complete place on those. Though I had a difficult time balancing. The photos for the complete trip are here.

LA is a nice city but I find it unsafe and the city looks run down atleast to me. Its probably me but I find Chicago much better than LA offcourse NYC remains the best city in US on my list. LA is around 4 hours drive from Las Vegas. We have planned a trip to the Sin City from May 12 to May 14. That should be a lot of fun. Since we are here for only 2 months most of the weekend have already been planned out. Six Flags & Raging Waters (which should open up soon) are on top of the list though Ketki is pushing for some Scenic tours too.

Well that just about recaps the last 2 weeks in "My Life"

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