English German

  Edition # 0  
Munich, 12-15-1996

Figure [1]: Munich. Starting point of exciting stories.

It's an odd thing that anyone who disappears is said to be seen in SAN FRANCISCO. -- Oscar Wilde

Dear friends,

Angelika I've been thinking about for a long time how my christmas mail this year should look like. But due to being busy packing boxes to move, I decided to write a possibly rather impersonal newsletter. On doing this I can't avoid to tell things some of you may already know, but better twice than not at all.

Figure [2]: Wilhelm-Riehl Street in Munich. This is were international careers start.

We've experienced a year full of events with many unforgettable highlights such a our wedding in August. Many of you joined the celebration respectively kept us in mind. We'll always remember our celebration as well as our honeymoon to Australia and we often reminisce about it.

Figure [3]: The Bungle-Bungle in Australia.

Figure [4]: The red sand on a dusty road with a gas station only every 300 miles.

Before and after our wedding, Michael has been working hard on his book. In January, he had written two articles for a computer magazine, that's why the publisher Addison-Wesley asked him to write a book on the topics that were outlined in the articles. And he agreed, since it had always been a dream of his to write a book. So he wrote all the time, while still doing his main job. In the beginning of December they published "Go to Perl 5". And I have to admit that I'm pretty excited whenever I see the book on the shelves of a bookstore, even though I can't follow the issue except of the preposition.

Figure [5]: The book 'Go to Perl 5' made by Schilli

Figure [6]: San Francisco, California with Golden Gate Bridge

So a big dream comes true for us: We're going to live in San Francisco for a while. Our plan is to stay there for two to three years. A lot of people keep asking how come Michael got a job offer in San Francisco. Because this story is kind of adventurous I'm going to tell you right here. Those who already know just skip the next paragraph.

In April a former colleague gave us a call to ask Michael if he was willing to work for his current company in Munich. Michael initially declined because he didn't want to change his job again. Indeed he had only been employed at Softlab for one and a half years. Moreover, he explained that he couldn't do it because he wanted to work in the U.S. for some time and he was waiting for such an offer. The colleague was like: "No problem, just work at our branch in San Francisco." At first we didn't take it seriously, but a few days later the manager called and repeated the offer. That's how it all got started. Finally, Michael had a firm job contract.

Michael has an American contract, meaning he follows American working conditions. That is, for instance, 10 days of vacation a year, American medical insurance, and so on. The company Michael is going to work for develops new ideas for the Internet. Michael says:'Now I get money for what I like to do anyways.'

A job for Angelika?

One of my main concerns is that I'm not going to be allowed to work. Americans are very, very strict with work permits and I only do have a visa to come with Michael. (Michael calls it a coattail visa). In case I got a job offer there, the employer would have to show proof that I wouldn't take the job from any American, which means I'd have to hire a lawyer to obtain a work permit. It is questionable if any organisation would the spend time and resources necessary, as the social area isn't exactly known for swimming in money. That's why I decided to do some voluntary internships, which is legal, of course.

Sure enough, it's hard for me to quit my job, above all, having been in a supervisor position in that institution. Saying goodbye is even harder because I'm quite attached to the kids I teach. Well, you can't have it all. Ultimately, I don't think I'm going to waste away as a housewife, that's not the way I am.

Certainly, Michael and I will use the time to experience a lot of the landscape, since California has a lot to offer. I'm absolutely looking forward to the ocean that will be literally in our backyard over there.

By the way, Michael already flew to San Francisco on Nov 9th, because he's been working over there since Nov 11th. I'm going to join on Dec 30th, after having spent Christmas in Oldenburg with my parents. It's a strange feeling, to stay without Michael, but it's only for another two weeks and we'll see each other.

Figure [7]: Michael buys living essentials at Costco: a TV, toilet paper and beer.

We're going to spend New Year's Eve with our friends Sylvia and Richard. Richard and Sylvia are living in San Jose, an hour drive away from San Francisco. But we're going to spend New Year's Eve together in San Francisco. We've booked a candle light dinner on a boat and will be cruising in the Bay of San Francisco. Sounds great, huh?

The Appartment

By the way, Michael has already found an appartment in San Francisco. Accomodations in the city are pretty expensive but nevertheless we made the decision to live where something's going on. If we'd moved to the suburbs, we would have needed two cars for sure and I might've been very isolated since I don't work. In America another problem is that you have to pay for your safety. That means that appartments in safer areas are consequently more expensive. For sure, that's a more common problem in cities than it is in rural areas.

In order to give you an idea how our appartment looks like, I briefly quote Michael when he wrote a letter:

Plenty of young people are living in the house, some of them I already got to know, and they're quite nice people. The view out of the window is breathtaking: I'm on the third floor and have a view all over San Francisco, including parts of the skyline: You can see all these Victorian buildings, really awesome.

The surrounding is better than Berkeley and anything I've seen so far from San Francisco: Inumerable small shops for jewellery, clothes and groceries, a large supermarket that has open from 6am till 12pm, hair salons and of course 20 restaurants at least, among them Japanese as well as Italian. I was really kind of moved when I went around the corner for the first time. And it's all just a block away! Despite that, the appartment is absolutely quiet, it faces the back. You can't top that, I guess!

Noe Valley, how the neighborhood is called, is totally safe. Noe Valley is equivalent to Schwabing, just the American version of it.

The appartment's kitchen is type of a darkish-brown-American style, kind of ugly but usable."

I hope these descriptions make you want to visit us soon.

Not to forget, we'll live in a two-bedroom appartment (three bedrooms are not affordable) that has a monthly rent of $ 1100.

Finally, I'm telling you about our storage boxes: On December 23rd, most of our stuff is going to be stored on the big attic of Michael's uncle who lives close to Augsburg. For the U.S., we have shipped a container, which is approximately 200 cubic feet in size. It's mostly books, dishes, clothes and some personal stuff. Plus, our bed and the good, old IKEA shelves from former student times have been included. The container was loaded last week and will presumably arrive in San Francisco in four weeks.

Figure [8]: The container is getting shipped. In two months it is going to appear in San Francisco. We can definitely recommend the company Forster in Munich.

Well, that's the most important updates. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and hope that some of you might visit us in 1997. Of course, I'll leave with mixed emotions. We'll appreciate hearing from you regularily, so we won't be feeling lonely in the new world.

My next newsletter will be sent from San Francisco.


Angelika (Munich) and Michael (San Francisco)

Thanks to Boris Kleinbach, kleinbach@ymail.com for translating the original German text to English.

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