The first of an occasional series exploring life in Redmond from the perspective of a newcomer to the United States.
When I posted a blog entry to announce I was leaving the UK subsidiary office of Microsoft to join the Longhorn evangelism team in Redmond, a couple of people mailed me to suggest I write a little bit about my experiences of the process - from applying for the job to settling in here in the Puget Sound area. This seemed like a fun idea, so I'll post a few thoughts on various aspects of the transition from time to time, starting with our initial experiences having stepped off the plane. We're delighted to be here and are greatly looking forward to some new adventures; nevertheless it's interesting to compare and contrast our two cultures that have so much in common and yet are often so alien to each other.
We arrived in SeaTac airport on Thursday evening after a long and exhausting journey from London (mostly due to having two daughters under two years old!), and we're staying in temporary accommodation provided by Microsoft until we find our feet and are able to sort our own accommodation out. We've been aided during the moving process by two relocation specialists, which makes the entire process easier as there's so much to sort out: housing, cars, visas, moving firms, bank accounts, social security. It's taken a lot of the hassle and worry away from us - a few friends commented that we looked too relaxed in our last week in the UK!
Of course, I've been over here a number of times before with business, so I had some idea of what the area is like as a visitor at least. (My wife on the other hand has only ever spent a total of three days in the US en route to a holiday in Canada, which makes her willingness to come over even more remarkable and brave.) But my first wake-up call that this wasn't just another a short trip was going shopping at the Safeway supermarket in Overlake yesterday morning.
Oh, and it's been chucking it down non-stop ever since we got here - did someone say Seattle was the rainy city?!
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