On Saturday, August 4th, a little Mazda 3 drove into Oakland, California for the first time. Packed with all my life’s possessions, I began a new chapter in my life.
So to my family & friends, this post is for your amusement. My first week in California was definitely a comedy of errors. Nothing terrible happened. I imagine they are normal occurrences to anyone relocating to a new city…this just happens to be my version of trying to drive, shop, and fix problems. Everything seemed to take 3 steps more than I expected. I found myself at one point during the week sympathizing with those that move to a new country, and experience culture shock….except, I never left the country.
Right after dropping my fiance off at the airport, I had to return to IKEA to exchange sofa mattress we had bought the night before. (Note to the wise: never go to IKEA after just driving 2257 miles across country. You will miss “PICK” your own furniture, or almost lose you fiance in the small city state of IKEA.) It was my first time navigating the city by myself. Lets just say the price I paid for missing the exit was a $5 toll on the Bay Bridge into San Francisco (The City). For my Midwest friends, IKEA is NOT in the city, it is in Emeryville (just north of Oakland). So I went to IKEA VIA Treasure Island… I also want to say that finding the correct on-ramp to the express way can sometimes been a bit of a scavenger hunt. On-ramps are not as intuitive as you’d like them to be. (I discovered that if you shake your phone while using google maps, it prompts you to ask if there is a problem with the directions.)
At Target, I learned that plastic bags are prohibited from stores that sell groceries. (I personally think this is a great thing 🙂
So the cashier asked me to either purchase a paper bag for 10 cents or provide my own. I decided to invest in a reusable bag…that I forgot to take to me to Safeway foods later that day.
PROBLEMS TO SOLVE:
Upon arriving in California, it seemed my car had developed a large rattling noise in the rear, so bad I thought maybe something would fall out from under it. I made an appointment at a local Mazda/Audi service garage….where I made a new friend, a service advisor. First, I will say, the Mazda with her door dings felt a little out of her league next to the array of leather lined Audis around her. It turns out I needed new front breaks and rear shocks. They were nice enough to shuttle me home and pick me up. While I was waiting at home, the service guy calls me up, and explains I will also need new rotors. The mechanic has never seen rust like mine, and had to destroy the rotor to get it off the car. Apparently, they don’t see cars that have spent several winters parked on a street on the Eastside of Milwaukee? So $1000 later, I drive my car home….and guess what I discovered? A LOUD RATTLE! I didn’t have to pay anything more to fix the noise (some loose springs), but it did include two more trips to the garage, a free but complicated car rental, and awkward conversations with the service guy.
There were also computer upgrade issues…a four step process, that included the fiance, apple store, apple care representative, and apple online store….that kept me from posting this earlier.
Perhaps one of the things that kept me sane during my first week, was the kindness of my new roommates. Their knowledge of the area, school, and having made a similar transition themselves has been invaluable. THANK YOU. Their cats, shared meals, and watching “Sons of Anarchy” have been a good distraction as well!
Don’t worry, I’m still very much excited about this new chapter….
p.s. The above photo is looking down at the bay area from Joaquin Miller Park… a great place for hill runs:)