15th November 2007

This week started well, My offer was accepted on the house and now I need to work my way through the US mortgage system. Not as easy as they all think, trying to get a mortgage as a non US citizen is fraught with loopholes. Not least because I do not yet have a social security ID. Hey Ho I am sure it will work out in the end. The other fun thing to try and do is transfer money to the US. There is International banking and then there is US banking.
Tuesday I travelled to New York on the train from Beacon – shame that it was so early in the morning. It was about 6.30am and the journey takes about 85 minutes. If you try it, you should make sure you sit on the left side of the train on the journey to Beacon and the right on the way back to New York. The train follows the Hudson river all the way up and the scenery is really lovely. Arrived in New York at 7.45, Grand central station (see the picture above) and then walked up to “Coach” one of our customers to join a meeting with my CEO. Meeting went well and I went out to La Guardia, stayed in a hotel near the airport ready to fly to Pittsburgh the next morning.
Flew to Pittsburgh and went to visit a second customer “American Eagle” this also went pretty well. Flight was delayed on the way back and then there was a shortage of taxi’s in La Guardia, one of the bridges into the city was shut which meant I didn’t get to Grand Central till 2 mins to 9 – It is a huge place and I had no clue where to go – luckily I found information pretty fast and managed to catch the 9.02 back out to Beacon and get back to the apartment.
Today started with an email proposal from Rob, when I asked him what prompted it, he said it was to get access to health care in the US!! who says romance is dead? Anyway I guess there will be more to follow on that story – watch this space ………

Saturday 10th November 2007

Weather is definatly getting colder, left the house at 8.30 to go get my nails done in Walden and when I pulled away at the lights my wheels spun!! Need to buy a 4 wheel drive very soon.

Arrived in Walden which is quite a pretty little town and got my nails done before driving off to Pine Bush. Did a little shopping in Hannafords and then had lunch at the “Cup and Saucer” diner. These diners are fantastic value for money. I had a huge plate of spaghetti pomodoro with coffee and some ice cream for less than 12$ (about £6).

Went to meet the Realtor and spent 4 hours trailing around houses. Most are right location or right house very difficult to find both but ………… I think I may have. Really nice new house about 3000sq ft with1600sq ft unfinished basement and plenty of space above garage to fit out a really nice bonus room. It sits in 4 acres at least half of which is wooded. It has decks both front and back and the master bedroom is on the ground floor with french windows out onto the deck. Will put in an offer tomorrow and see what happens. Above is a quick picture of the Mohonk mountains taken from the front deck.

Thursday 8th November 2007

Welcome to America – thanks to my very good freind Toni, I had company for the first 2 days while I tried to find my feet.

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to find a supermarket, after much driving around we managed to find one. Then realised it was geared totally toward the Latin American market (well it gave us something to giggle about) it made for a very interesting time just trying to find basic foods!! luckily I have since found something a little more “normal” and stocked the very large fridge with some decent food.

I spent last Sunday driving around looking at houses with my Realtor, I have shortlisted a few but will look some more next weekend. My apartment is fine and I have it booked till the end of January at the moment.

Drove into the office on Monday across the Hudson river, the journey takes about 20 minutes. The banks of the river still look very beautiful as the trees still have most of their Autumn leaves.

I have spent all day in back to back meetings for the past 3 days but at least the days go fast. It is starting to get quite cold and I will need to get some winter boots etc very soon.

Today (Thursday) was an eye opener drove to downtown Newburgh (a real US ghetto!) with Rosemary from HR and visited the Social Security office so that I could get my ID – took my number and waited one and a half hours to be seen!! Interesting people there. My number should be through in about 6 weeks which will then allow me to get a tax number and simplify my life a bit. Later drove over to open a bank account — thank goodness that was a lot easier than anticipated.