Yes, it is a title of a song from the marginally successful 80’s pop group Wang Chung (of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” infamy), but for today’s purposes, it is also the title of this blog post.
I’ve been in Los Angeles for a little over two weeks now. Last time I was in town, here in L.A., I never had the chance to appreciate what this place had to offer- was only here for a few days, we all had to take care of Dad, and it was really spending as much time as possible with family, rather than going around to do your own thing, you know?
Fast forward to five-and-a-half months later (today), this feels more like a vacation of sorts. Well, it is, since I haven’t had any for over a year. Compared to my life in Manila, this is all pretty laid back, and I’m all for that. I could do all my work-at-home endeavors here, and it’s a great place to raise a family, and make some money. Truly a land of opportunity.
I’ve done quite a bit since I got here.
1. I’ve been able to get me a brand new DSLR- a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, as well as a brand new PC.
2. I’ve been able to try out some good restaurants in the area, thanks to my Mom and my sister. But there’s a whole lot more food places worth visiting, and it seems like every day is a new chance to try out something new.
In fact, the whole Los Angeles experience had been inspiring enough to start a stand-alone food blog. I love eating and dining out anyway, and armed with a brand new digital single-lens reflex camera, I’d say this would be a great time to practice digital photography while writing about food and travel all at the same time.
3. I’ve been able to do me some cooking. Got the chance to check out Whole Foods (been wanting to check it out since we’ve been watching Top Chef), but there’s lots of great stuff in Fresh & Easy, Ralph’s, and even some neighborhood Asian Specialty stores and Farmers’ Markets.
It’s a big deal for me because you have not only lots of fresh ingredients to play around with here, you also get introduced to a whole new set of herbs, cooking components and other great food items not usually available back at home in the Philippines. Great for anyone who’d like to work on their kitchen-craft.
4. I’ve been able to make me some cash. Gotta give credit to Mom for hooking me up with a few projects. It’s a start- not much, but just enough to have some money in my pocket while I’m here. Mostly freelancing stuff- writing jobs, setting up basic websites, a little buzz marketing- imagine how much more I could make if I actually took on real work?
5. Opened a bank account. I love the guys over at Wells Fargo. I have to say, the level of customer service was far more than I expected. So I opened up my very first savings/checking account in the US with them. And then linked it to PayPal. I say we’re all set to get some business done.
6. Did more work-at-home stuff. With my trusty new PC, and a rather quiet home by day, I’ve started setting up my new home office. Still needs some work, but we’re getting there. Did quite a bit of job hunting online, and got a fairly good idea on how business goes down around here.
7. Also did a fair bit of traveling. More of Mom’s idea, actually. Was able to spend a weekend in Las Vegas, and then another weekend at the Hilton checking out nearby Pasadena.
Over the course of a few more weeks, my Mom and sister took me around to some really great spots in and around Los Angeles, among them a place called Silver Saddle Ranch- which is a two-hour drive away from where we live- right through the Mojave, but is way worth the trip and definitely worth a longer visit next time.
8. Consulted with an immigration lawyer. Gave me my options on how to get myself a social security number. As well as a green card. Plan B is that I continue being my girlfriend’s bitch until she drags my ass to get married in Vegas- which really isn’t a bad idea 😀
There’s still so much to do and so much to see around here. Even if I do have less than two weeks before I go back home to the Philippines, I know that I’ll be back here soon anyway, so there’s no rush, really. That just means a lot more things lined up the next time around.
Los Angeles is a great place for Pinoys who would like to try out living in the United States: great weather, proximity to a lot of other Filipinos and Pinoy-friendly establishments, a a whole lot of opportunities to make money, travel, and live a much more fulfilling life.
You would do well to consider moving to Los Angeles, if you’re planning to move out of the country at all.
As for this blog entry, I suppose it needs some expanding. As I write more about all what I’ve been doing here in LA, I’ll link them all up to this entry. So more about it if you’d like to know more about what I’ve been up to in Los Angeles.