15 years after getting to know the music, hanging out with several band members on countless occasions and seeing Praga Khan live dozens of times. FINALLY I got to see the Lords of Acid live.
I have to admit, I was nervous and concerned. The band is mostly new, so not really sure what to expect. On top of that, I’ve only done a handful of concerts here in the states, and the atmosphere has always been very different from what I used to know back in Belgium.
Anyhow. Concert in Atlanta at a place called the Masquerade. Though there was a shooting there a few weeks ago, it seemed like a pretty decent club that night. Bought my ticket some months early and with the concert getting closer, tried to meet up with some old friends. Turns out my old time buddy Don came over to Atlanta and had a spare VIP ticket, which I happily accepted. It was an amazing night. The concert was great, full of energy. Great band, good sound, and the best seat in the house. Meeting up with the band was awesome. Praga even recognized me when I walked in, which was cool, as it’s been a decade since we met last time.
Great evening! Thanks all involved, and looking forward to all the pics. (on Facebook, not here!)
We’ve published 4 blog posts about my expat experience the past weeks. Please follow the following links to read the 4 posts.
I’ve had generally very good feedback on these, and many LinkedIn requests. However, I’ve also had some remarks that I’m not very positive about the USA in my writing. I’m sorry to say, but the people who understood that from the blog post, completely missed the point. The blog was not meant as a glorification of America. It is about the experience, the transformation, of a person moving abroad and integrating/assimilating into the “foreign” society. It is not meant to be about America, it is meant to be about the expat, the person. Things you experience, things that are different, roadblocks, etc. Immigrants are a different breed. It is something people that never lived abroad for an extended period of time will never understand. I’m not asking for understanding or (dis)approval. My intention is to give people who are willing to take the jump, an idea what to expect. Do not give up while waiting for your visa, do not stop your life while waiting. Pay attention on remuneration, comparing is difficult, it is OK to miss things, but don’t get homesick. Understand you will change as a person in every way possible and understand the people around you will most likely not understand. Just like Steve Jobs was nervous every time he had to go on stage to show the latest Apple product, so does the expat feel nervous every time he/she ends up in a new situation. And just like Jobs, the expat will come out of the situation stronger and a step closer to perfection. But, and this is a big but, it is not for everyone. You need to be the type of person who wants to be nervous about things, who wants to be put out of your comfort zone. THAT is the point of this 4-series blog post.
When snow hits the Atlanta region, things get ugly. Georgians are petrified by the idea of snow, especially those that experienced the 2014 snow apocalypse. It was comically compared with the Walking dead season 1, which was located in Atlanta as well. Click here to see… Office close at 11 AM, Schools close sooner or do not open at all, libraries close the doors, bars shut down at 11 PM and everyone hits the highway at the same time making Georgia-400 become an even larger parking lot than it already is on a normal snow-free day. So while the east coast is actually hit pretty bad with snow, Atlanta acts as if it is in crisis due to the weather. It still strikes me as hilarious.
My company is going to post a 4-part blog on the company website about my experiences moving to the USA. I will post the full article here as well once it is published (over the course of the next months).
It’s time to move. I’m getting closer to my team and move to the Atlanta, GA region. Over two years ago, that was the original plan, but I ended up making a detour to Dallas, TX. I’ll be back Texas!
Prices are high, quality is low, traffic is crazy, winters are cold, crime is everywhere and the office is in the suburbs where a pub has not been invented yet. It is only after spending 3 weekends visiting over 20 leasing offices in the Atlanta region, that I realize what a great place I currently have in Dallas. I’m sure I will like Atlanta as well, but it requires a mindset change. I’m getting there, but not there quite yet.
Interesting things I noted… Leasing offices are a LOT nicer and honest when a “couple” is looking for an apartment. When one of my (female) coworkers joined my apartment hunt, there was an actual change I noted on the leasing office side. Very weird, but it opens the door for some social experiments that I would love to conduct (would we get the same prices, rooms,…?), but I’ll leave that to people with even more time on their hands.
Second weird thing is that all “luxury” apartment complexes in Atlanta have washer and dryers in the apartment. Some of then actually refuse to take them out, which means I would have to sell mine. Now I find this really weird, but I would be able to get over it should they actually put nice stuff in the apartments. But they do not. I will never accept a top-load washer to be categorized as “luxury”, no matter how expensive that thing is. They are NOT as hygienic as the front load washers and I do not understand why anyone would ever buy one of those, other than to save money. Having furniture and equipment adds an additional dimension into moving, that I never considered before: You need to find a new place that fits your furniture. Last time I moved to Dallas, this was not an issue as I moved with 2 suitcases. Any apartment could fit that. My colleagues are already making fun of me for having so much trouble finding a place I like. They say “I’m difficult and picky”, well that does define me… kinda. Choosing a place to live is an important decision, not to be taking lightly. I do not make big decisions lightly.
Moving cross states is insanely expensive. The last quote I got was $ 6,000. That makes no sense as I would be better off selling all my stuff and buying it new in Georgia (that would solve my washer/dryer problem too). Not sure how that will turn out… I should probably sign a lease first and get that part over with