Blog post Brigitte - Off to the U.S.!

My internship in a San Francisco start-up

Remember my last blog when I thought I was going to be interrogated in a scary interrogation room? Turned out that there was no scary interrogation room – the interview was with an officer sitting behind a booth and the only questions I was asked were ‘What are you going to do in the US and where are you going?’ I answered that I have an internship in San Francisco and the reply I got was ‘Oh, be sure to wear flowers in your hair then.’ He put a stamp on my documents. I was out of the embassy in 15 minutes and 2 days later I received my passport, with the visa, in my mailbox!

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Sunset in Irvine, Los Angeles

Irvine, Los Angeles

I got to spend 3 weeks at my parents’ in Estonia. I bought my direct flight ticket from Stockholm to LA about 2 weeks before the flight. Because my dad has a transportation company where they regularly drive between Scandinavia and Estonia, I was sure that I could catch a ride to Stockholm airport with one of his employees. A day before before the flight I was getting nervous – none the employees were in Estonia and none of my dad’s friends were heading to Sweden either. We just went to the port an hour without any leads and asked all the truck drivers if they were passing by Arlanda airport by any chance. I managed to catch a ride with a Danish guy who was a total stranger to me. Because I had no euros on me, I could only pay him in the candies I had packed with. My luggage was overweight anyway. The flight went fairly quickly but then the process of entering the US took a good hour and a half – the luggage wheel had stopped by the time I got through the customs.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

I spent 3 days with my childhood best friend, Sandra, in LA. After that we planned to drive to Las Vegas for the weekend and I was to meet the friend who suggested I’d come for an internship in San Francisco – Karan, we had met on the internet, so that would be the first time we saw each other in person. But when Sandra and I went to the rental office, they did not accept our Estonian debit-credit cards. Our initial plan to rent a car was ruined. When Karan heard about that, he dropped everything and drove down from Vegas to get us. We all pitched in and got a plane ticket back for Sandra. We arrived in Vegas around 2AM and even though we were all tired from the drive, we decided to go see the nightlife right then and there. I wouldn’t suggest visiting Vegas during summer – the heat rises easily over 40°C during the day. We split our days between exploring the city and cooling down by the poolside.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The drive from Grand Canyon to San Francisco took us about 10 hours, but it didn’t feel that long at all. We arrived in SF around midnight and my internship started the next day. As I arrived in the office I was welcomed by our office dog Foxy. The first day was scary, I was going through onboarding documents the whole work day. My brain was overloaded with information by the end of it. Next day I got started on my first projects and foosball games. Oh yeah – we have a foosball table in our office. To be continued...