We sold everything in December, it was a big sacrifice, and yet, as I watched my daughter waving goodbye to her favorite toys I could not feel empathy for her sadness. I never liked living in Mexico, I could give thousands of reasons but the truth of it is that it made me feel sick in my stomach.
I still remember wanting a sip of Diet Mountain Dew as I was coding on Sundays, then suddenly somebody knocked on the door trying to convince me that god was the way, and even though I would nod and say "Thank you for this physical spam delivered personally to my hands" (I may have omitted the last part) they would start selling god even more ferociously until eventually the conversation became some weird version of The Walking Dead as god was bringing every death person back to life, as if I had a tattoo on my forehead saying "I ♥ zombies." I guess they were watching that show at that moment and were excited because it was Sunday.
I remember having entire weekends booked for yet another carne asada and I remember the disapproving look I got from my friends after not going to the aforementioned thingy and most of all I remember people arguing everything I said because of that carne asada I didn't go to ten years ago.
Most people I encountered in Mexico care very deeply when you don't go to their social gatherings (but do a tech gathering a NO ONE is there). People having resentment for you just because you weren't there for a quinceañera, carne asada, baptism, ie. anything is enough to make me feel this constant depression of existing. I would love to make a qualitative study as to how that specific resentment is related to the corruption in the country since people value dog-level loyalty higher than anything, but that would mean staying there.
Half a year later
My case was a bit different from other immigrants I've met since I got here. Mainly because I got here legally, which as soon as I tell other south americans they stop making recommendations and just say "Oh then you already made it." Of course mexicans here are just as dangerous as the ones back home in terms of carnes asadas and are as willing to feel this hatred for you just for now "being there," but they are still very friendly and every bit as fun.
Ever since I got to the US I get the feeling that this is business. And I am so grateful for that, I am not doing any favors, I am just here to do my job and sip some delicious Diet Mountain Diew while I'm doing it. People in my hood are super nice, and we have community pools and waterparks, something that just does not exist back where I'm from.
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Zero credit score and a 90 pound dog
For a while my family was in Mexico and I was here trying to figure out stuff. From what I've gathered hiring people in the US is a bit harder than in Mexico and people still lie pretty bad on their interviews. It is rough to say the least.
As I was working on a project and finding a place to stay. I discovered that most places had pet restrictions, and that put at risk one of my dogs. My Alaskan Malamute, weighing 90 pounds, was discriminated in every single apartment complex I contacted.
So I started searching for a house, since some of them allow any kind of pet. I started calling some Real State agencies having absolutely no help, no results, terrible service.
Long time ago I heard that all you needed to make it in America was hard work and money. So I did the most logical and legal next step, I started paying for background checks. After spending a big chunk of my family's savings in non-refundable background checks the real state agencies and realtors started calling the same day or the next with plausible options, or with a blunt no because I had no credit score.
One of them, LaKeysha Philips gave me a call asking for a bunch of other papers, after I sent her all my paperwork through email... twice. She called and told me she wouldn't be refunding any of my background check because it was non-refundable (which said in big red letters before paying it) and stating that I wasted my money and she was keeping it, in the most disrespectful manner possible, she said I would be needing a co-signer. I just said goodbye and hoped I wouldn't run into her or her agency ever again. While I understand the need for a co-signer, there was no need to tell me I'm wasting my money, specially after asking them for help and not receiving it.
Discrimination is not as rampant here as it is in Mexico (thankfully). I am glad this is such a diverse country, for I have had help from Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Afghans, Nigerians, so much good people working to improve themselves. Back home, Mexicans are superb at discriminating other Mexicans; the hatred northerners profess for southerners is pretty intense, and job equality over there is just a good idea, but god forbids a chilango sends a job application to a place in nuevo leon or a woman that is highly skilled and qualified for a position in which the owner envisions a man.
Eventually I found a Property Management Agency that had the honest attitude I needed, and after paying deposits for everything I finally got a house.
Overall renting a house was a terrible experience that lasted for two months of phone calls, people lying saying they could do things they couldn't, and paying over 4 grand in deposits (plus the house I was able to get is way bigger than what I needed/wanted).
Shipping the beasts
From the moment I left Mexico most people would approach my problem of taking the dogs with me to the US in the most defeatist way, they would say give them away, leave them somewhere, sleep them, eat them as tacos. There were so many ways people would find a way for me to say:
Every single day I find some terrible terrorist attack in the news, for me those terrible human beings are just as bad as these people giving me advice. My dogs are precious to me and my family, they are part of it, not a commodity we bought at the grocery store to keep us amused.
My wife handled the shipment of the family from over 2200 miles. As much of a disappointment as it was for me hearing people's opinions regarding what to do with my animals, it was nothing compared to what my wife went through. She had to call several places since most of them wanting to ship the dogs with certain restrictions we just couldn't pay for (like buying their company-made crate), or would not call back for "reasons". While she was super busy carrying that torch, I had to kill the original eight legged tenants along with any possibility of ticks or fleas.
Finally on May 22 the family started to arrive, starting with my beasts.
My wife and daughter
In just two weeks sleeping on the floor grew on me. Thankfully I still had one extra day of dogs before my wife and daughter arrived, which helped solving the mattress issue. I got the main mattress in a box shipped that day
My family arrived on May 24 and we went for a mattress for our daughter. Of course there is still much to be done (like getting a proper working AC for the house, cleaning the attic, cleaning the backyard) but the nice part is we are together now.
I'm still trying to settle in, mostly because most of my time goes to my job, whichever that is at that moment. I am very burn out of having to work so many years without a proper vacation (I just need a few weeks of watching tv and not doing squat but home maintenance).
Sadly I had to put all my projects on ice. But it's time to bring them back. One of them includes using GPAC with C++ and the other one includes using Docker and both of them include using MeteorJS among some other technologies. There is much work to do, but now I have what I was missing