Friday, March 27, 2009

7 years in USA today.

Time has flown, it seemed like just yesterday I packed up and said goodbye to family and friends in Auckland and hopped aboard NZ1 to LAX to make a new life in America. Well that was 3-27-2002.
When I first arrived after getting through the secondary inspection by immigration officers and got my passport stamped for permanent residency and employment I was greeted by my cousin Jo who allowed me to board at her house for a good few months. I got a job at Santa Monica BMW, mostly because a friend of mine in NZ knew the owner and due to that a job was offered. Moved on to Beverly Hills BMW and then back to SM BMW after a year. I then got into real estate with Keller Williams Realty which I am doing now and working with Nick at DHH.
When I first arrived it was shortly after 9-11. There were US flags everywhere and there was and still is a lot of patriotism. Now the US flags have been replaced with Obama / Biden stickers, but I will remain open as to how long that will last.
I have experienced most all of my friends getting married back in NZ and have 1 two or even 3 kids, so I have made it back a couple of times to witness the transfer for wedding rings, baby photos and swearing in's which is nice.
Rodney Hide is now a Minister, won Epsom twice and is making headway. Act has 5 MP's. Pablo is a councilor, on many important boards and is doing very well for the people of Auckland. John Banks got voted in for the second time, knocking off the cereal king, Simon Bridges has defeated Winston Peters to take the Tauranga seat, and at long last NZ has a center right government under the leadership of John Key MP.
USA has had 8 years of GWB. He didn't leave as the most popular President, but I respect him for doing what he did for USA. BHO #44 is a charasmatic President. He is starting to feel what it is like to step into the shoes of #43 and so far he is doing a pretty good job. I will give him some time to settle in bofore I become super critical.
So BBQ tonight, hot dogs and burbon.... Bit like NZ really except that apple pie tastes better here.

I celebrated the day by buying some shares.... Wonder how much they will be worth in 7 more years?

Question of the day. If Milo is such a NZ icon and staple, why is it made in Australia???


TonyC said...

Answer: Because it's made in the Philippines too! (Huh?? but there you go).

As an immigrant, I'm glad you got there and hit the ground running, something many immigrants elsewhere are not blessed with. You've had a good life, and long may it last.

Barack Obama has just about inherited the most difficult circumstances in becoming president.

Even before the US financial crisis went full-blown, America has already been bleeding money through the war in Iraq. Adding to that now is the trillion dollar bailout plan, which in a country already in deficit, will of course be funded by the taxpayers, many of whom are continuing to lose jobs.

I'm tempted to just say let it correct itself (like GM though that's an altogether different issue), but given that a financially devastated America means the whole world gets dragged down with it, makes it a less viable option.

Bush had all the resources at his disposal to do whatever he thought was best for America, and perhaps he acted based on flawed intelligence information (and took Blair down with him). But there is much for him to answer for.

With all the problems that beset the new administration, I have no expectation for Obama at all to turn the clock back and get America to where it was within a period of four years -- this magnitude of financial problem alone could take well over a decade of consistently prudent effort to even heal, but if Obama could at least keep the situation from accelerating to further disaster, then that is what I should realistically expect.

The financial crisis that has blown up and been blamed squarely on American corporate business practices and greed by the entire world, is not the only problem (though one that most affects every single individual on earth).

Obama also has to try to somehow mend the tattered reputation of the United States government overseas.

Starting from pulling America out of the Kyoto Agreement (which basically renders it virtually inept), the Bush government has managed to erode what goodwill people outside America had towards it.

When Americans abroad have to sew Canadian flags on their backpacks and deny their nationality, you can tell something has gone horribly wrong. From being held an ideal to becoming an object of scorn within a short period of time.

Time will tell how well Obama handles the crisis; the weight of the whole world is on his shoulders.

More than one American friend cried when he won, and said that finally they are not ashamed of being American, and a young American friend who grew up here said that until that moment, he always felt that being American was something to not be proud of.

I don't know how much overseas news (from the view of foreigners) filters through the average American (when all news is controlled by only about 6 major networks), but Obama's victory has seen Americans abroad get hugged and kissed by perfect strangers, simply for being American in places like Jordan and Europe. No president in America's history had that effect.

I have absolutely no problem with Obama, and as I said, I have very moderate expectations of what he is able to do under the circumstances and with what resources he is left with. But as long as he doesn't do anything deliberately and with malice, for America to again reap the ire of the world around it, then I reckon, all the best to him.

Tor Hershman said...

Your archives have a listing for June 1990 - WTF?

Andrew said...

Thumbs up to TonyC's comments.

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