Crazy prices, terrible quality’: the Russian-speaking IT-the head has told about the cost of living in California

Interesting facts about in Silicon valley, public transport and the American health care offers an opportunity to learn “Lifehacker”.

'Сумасшедшие цены, ужасное качество': русскоязычный IT-руководитель рассказал о стоимости жизни в Калифорнии

Photo: Shutterstock

New guest podcast “Spent” — Ruslan Fazlyev, head of companies Ecwid and X‑Cart, one of the heroes of the acclaimed film Yuri Dude about Silicon valley for a few years but lives in southern California and knows how it all works. Host of the podcast Pavel Fedorov asked Ruslan about life on the West coast: how much is health insurance, what taxes to pay and why should not use public transport.

Recently Yuri Dude released a podcast about Silicon valley and all of a sudden remembered that there is a village of Palo Alto, a real Paradise for programmers and startups. All abruptly began to wonder if everything was so fine and rosy, how much is a moving and life there.

'Сумасшедшие цены, ужасное качество': русскоязычный IT-руководитель рассказал о стоимости жизни в Калифорнии

Photo: a video frame YouTube/vdud

— How long have you lived in California how did you even get?

Visits I’ve been there since 2011 and from 2015 moved permanently.

— Why did you decide to move?

Our company is so geographically distributed that some employees are in Russia and part in California. The growth is normally needed to coordinate managerial part in California with Russia. In addition, we are a company with venture funding and are working on capitalization and capitalization is higher when you are an American company. The Americans perceived you as an American company, you need to actually live in the USA, just to accumulate the period of stay will not work. The top Manager must live in the United States. So I moved, making the company the us is a very positive effect on our valuation.

In fact, the last 15 years of my life I have always lived between Russia and other countries between Russia and Cyprus, between Russia and Britain. Now it is Russia and California, but most of the time I spend in California.

— How much cost to move and you need a financial cushion to start?

The pillow is definitely needed. Of course, refugees fleeing war arrive with one suitcase — it can be done, but I’m no where not running, it was important for me to maintain a certain standard of living. It was easier for me — I moved to where I had company, was hired by the people and guaranteed local salary in this company. I have people who are important to make sure that I’m on the ground to understand. I have a circle of people with whom to communicate, have a job. In this respect my experience is not typical.

In General, people who are inspired by travel, I would not advise to move is usually a very bad idea. I do this several times in my life been somewhere else, I am a “serial migrant”, he went to Cyprus to Britain. In fact, Britain was left because he was thought to go to Cyprus was a mistake. Already in Britain, I realized that in fact somewhere else to go — usually a mistake. And what in your life is happening, very little depends on geography, where you are, and much depends on you.

All of my first journeys was “bespoleznie” I came to the open field, but with a suitcase full of money, but still in the open field, and there are already staged some new life. And it was still hard, even with a suitcase full of money. I think that many listeners suitcase no money, but we still expect in the open field. And this idea — so-so.

— When did you move through some bureaucratic difficulties had to go through?

Moving to the USA was the easiest in this context. After Britain, I realized one thing about myself: I certainly would never move to a country where there is the titular nation. Spain, Italy, France — it doesn’t matter. Where there are local and non-local. I am Tatar and never in Russia did not feel like an ethnic minority. I felt completely integrated human and part of the country. I said, “I Russian man” and felt nothing else. When I lived in Cyprus and in Britain, I felt that I not part of society, even though everything was fine and no problems. Just different. If Cyprus — it is always some “Russian tourist”, a funny animal. I think the same feeling the people living in Thailand — when there is a clear stratification between local and non-local. In Britain it was the same thing — you can do anything, but Brit it still won’t. No racism, but you still feel his.

And the US is a country of immigrant initially. There is no local. I thought that if ever anywhere you go, it is only in a country where there is no local at all. USA is very well built in order to integrate people from other countries. Your accent and no one cares, I keep forgetting to check your paperwork. There is a Russian habit to walk with your passport — but in the US it’s all up to FeNi. That is why so many illegal immigrants.

All procedures are quite simple and typical for all countries: if you live more than 6 months need a local law to that by the way was a good topic — in the process I became a much better driver.

'Сумасшедшие цены, ужасное качество': русскоязычный IT-руководитель рассказал о стоимости жизни в Калифорнии

Photo: a video frame YouTube/vdud

— What’s the first thing you bought when you moved?

Phone and SIM card. I did it in all countries as soon as moved. I have no when I feel uncomfortable. By the way, it is proved that people have a higher anxiety in proportion to battery discharge.

— The price that surprised you the most?

Medicine. Brand — train! — a healthy person can spend 20-30 thousand dollars per family per year, and that doesn’t mean that something is going on. This is normal. Some can cost 100-200-300 thousand dollars. You her insurance will pay 80% if you have it and there is operation. But the rest of the amount yourself pay, and for insurance too. Birth — 30 thousand dollars. Very important: what I’m saying, it’s not some level of service for Hollywood stars. This level of home. Pay everything, so there is nothing that you came to a private clinic in Russia, and there’s one minute you all decided and great service. No. Here medicine is very brutal, your time regularly wasting. You hour waiting for the doctor, he spends with you 5 minutes and you eject, because the time of the doctor the most expensive. Deep attention, as in Russia, you don’t get.

— How does the health insurance? It is fixed, or vary? What determines its value?

Everyone has their own. As a rule, companies pay insurance to their employees. Don’t know about others, but our company gives you the choice of different plans of insurance. It creates a reason for Americans to become even more corporate and to work in large companies. A large company due to the volume easier to negotiate with insurance and there insurance will likely be better than in a small company. Options very much, no matter how much you do structure your still past anything will fly.

Insurance is, for example, $ 10,000 per year (in California, everything is more expensive), it’s just me, but there’s still insurance for children, his wife, in addition, the company covers part of it, and you yourself pay the deductible. For example, an insurance plan when you cover everything, and you pay, say, 20% (about equal to the price premium of medicine in Russia or a bit more expensive, and medicine is not the premium). The problem with this plan is that you can be serviced only through your physician, you come to him, and he directs you on. You can’t buy some medicine, do not go to the doctor. Almost all drugs are regulated. For example, I run and I have an inflamed Achilles tendon. You can’t come with the Achilles tendon to a specialist on that tendon. You should go to your GP, who will take the money and send you to the specialist. In the end, you spent half a day and $ 200 to get the right to come to the doctor, which you finally do. Oddly enough, medicine the United States has become for me most of the Soviet experience in my life — she is the closest to the medicine of the USSR, which I do not advocate.

— In Russia, many people go to a small town to treat teeth. How is it in USA? Is not it easier for you to fly home to put crowns?

I have 30 kilometers of the border with Mexico, and people go there to “catch up” when bars in California close down. Or if you’re under 21 in the US is not poured, and in Mexico you can. In Tijuana, among other things, you can go to the hospital. It is so often done that there is even a separate crossing corridor, where you pass faster if you have a special permit of the patient. The point here is that paid medicine in Mexico (and other countries not USA) similar to the premium quality healthcare in Russia. For you as client companies compete and you are very humanely treated. In American medicine, all reminiscent of the military — you fix it, really, but you, private Petrov, wait in the queue, the system is more important than you.

— In addition to the medicine that matters to all immigrants, the topic is housing. Those “fabulous” in a negative way the price of rental housing in California, can you tell us about them?

I live in southern California, almost at the ocean. To go in the direction of reduce, you need to move inland. And if that’s not where to move and in some simple area you can rent an apartment for $2000. By local standards it is small, but there value more living space per person than in Russia. You will have cardboard walls and doors, terrible neighbors. This may for $1500 you can withdraw. My friends have rented for $3500 already part of the house facing the ocean, the ocean of her heard. A lot of people live with roommate — neighbors in the housing. And then go up $5000-$10 000. If near me to shoot, it will most likely be $10 000.

To rent a house in Britain and the United States was equally difficult. You check that you are for people, learn some background checks, credit history. It is shocking that whatever you do, do you check the credit history. From the newcomer it is not. Trying to buy a car for cash, you still require it. It would seem, I brought you a suitcase of money, give me my car. There is no process, it is necessary to adhere to.

'Сумасшедшие цены, ужасное качество': русскоязычный IT-руководитель рассказал о стоимости жизни в Калифорнии

Photo: a video frame YouTube/vdud

— Have you included utilities in the rent or need to pay extra?

I do not exclude that my answer will be unique to my situation. I filmed part of the house, which was not intended for a life of several families, so the owners it was not possible to divide the counters on all tenants. And my electricity was included in the bill that absolutely suits me, since I was running Tesla for free.

— What prices for Internet, television, mobile communication?

The cell reception is terrible quality and quite expensive. I get around 70 dollars for one line of the Internet, but is also more expensive and worse. Especially unbearable in the Valley. When I call with my team, say the classic: “Sorry, Internet is fucking up, I’m from the Valley ringing.” Why, is unclear. I have a theory that, like banks, which in the U.S. is very stupid compared to the Russian technology was built in the old days, it works and it suits everybody. Russia all rebuilt, recently and according to the highest standards.

— Tell about public transport in the US

It is a feature of the United States in General and the West Bank in particular — I travel by public transport only by the homeless. The exception might be San Francisco with the system of trains BART. When you arrive our colleagues, I advise them to ride the bus — I’m just squeamish. There’s really only go homeless, often insane people. At the airport you can go by train, but of those 7 or 8 times when I went on it, it is not just 1 late. In America have to have a car, everybody has a car. To some extent, private cars began to drive an Uber, but people still drive cars.

— How much does it cost Tesla and General car?

What I didn’t know, buying a car is the fact that California will have to pay tax on it as with the property. This is a percentage of the car value and this amount is not going down as fast as the car itself loses value. For example, you buy a car for 100 thousand dollars, the tax will be very large, a couple of years the car will cost 70 thousand, and the tax will remain the same. Tesla not really broken, but in General, to maintain it is zero. Until then, however, until the warranty was over and I sink in the quarantine did not spoil one of the fashionable traveling pens. They cost $ 300, but it’s also not as expensive. It will not be thousands of dollars road tax, if you buy that car you would have bought the immigrant — and, as a rule, used Japanese car for 5-6 thousand, the road tax will be seen some hundred dollars.

USA is a country that saw through price discrimination when the same product more than a rich man to sell much more expensive. In the US, if you have the money, you will be with them regularly to break up. In this respect, in Russia it is easier to live for people with money, providing a luxury quality consumption. For example, Mike Tyson was $ 600 million, today his fortune is $ 3 million. How can you spend 597 million dollars, I don’t know.

— Is it true that all Americans eat at fast food and only there?

Americans eat at fast food more often than people in other countries. I have an employee for whom food is a Burger. For me a Burger is food on the run if I need to throw something quickly in 10 minutes. I can’t understand how a Burger could be such a home-made food, as if mom made soup. But he likes it. And the guys who earn less, every day they eat at fast food. This is another area of price discrimination in the United States. You can eat for $ 2-3, it’s possible. But I can’t imagine that I had lunch at the same amount. If I’m eating lunch, it will be for instance $ 18 per dish — and it’s not some kind of luxury level. Plus drink, plus tax, tip and 25-27 dollars. Below, I have not, but the guys really eat for 3-5 dollars.

— If you cook at home, how more expensive or cheaper it comes out compared to Russia?

Consumption is the number one I had from restaurants. At home we hardly ate at all. Although my wife cooks just awesome, she is a genius of cooking. But we ate in cafes, it was easier. The wife claimed that cooking at home will cost the same. Now in quarantine, I can say that almost all the food we cook at home and is true. — house much cheaper. Was that my income dropped by half, and money began to accumulate more, because it disappeared restaurants, flights.

— In Russia, in big cities you can order a delivery of anything. How is it things in the technological capital of the world?

I never go to the store and in my family no one goes. The store I go maybe every 3 months. And then, if it’s a pretty Mall, but it is rather experience than try to buy something. Absolutely everything, from food to wood — I order through the Internet. What has changed: with the crown, all people began to order everything through the Internet, and deliverymen can’t handle it, no slots and this affected the consumer basket. I started to cook a lot of steaks. Normal delivery usually inaccessible — it is necessary to sit up all night to find some kind of window. But there are providers who worked at restaurants and were given the premium ingredients, the same steaks. Now these companies have shifted to the delivery. Bought a lot of farm food. I wonder reoriented Russian restaurant — they just started to sell their stocks.

Interestingly, when you buy something at a Russian restaurant in the US, it rarely will be produced in Russia. This is something worth thinking about. Typically, this is done on the territory of the former USSR. Think of Russia, probably, it is difficult to import into the United States.

'Сумасшедшие цены, ужасное качество': русскоязычный IT-руководитель рассказал о стоимости жизни в Калифорнии

Photo: a video frame YouTube/vdud

— What have you tried from the leisure, when he came to California?

The best things in life are free. Here is nature and weather. I was up early in the morning, went surfing and by 8 a.m. were already in the office. My leisure was surfing, running, well, work. Even the food is very classy restaurants. Besides the movie, I often went to the cinema. Now begin to revive the cinema for cars.

— And some picnics, camping, outdoorsy type? How prevalent?

It’s made in America is really cool. In each area, camping, even if it is not houses will have to stand in the public shower and toilets. If a large flow of visitors, there will be a booking system, so there was never a crowd. Very cool made infrastructure. Scary to go in a long trip around the US — all predictable infrastructure, familiar cafes. I and my friends traveled all over the country, it is easy and predictable, despite the fact that I was in America I lived and this journey seemed extreme.

— Name the main advantages of moving to California

Nature, weather. A very healthy food.

— And the main disadvantages?

All the rest of the cons. Everything is expensive. Gasoline is one-third higher than in other States. Taxes are higher. The less money you have to spend more. CA — a completely Communist state, which collects your taxes and gives it to illegal immigrants.

— I would advise you to move to California, people who saw the film Dude or just any show?

Terrible mistake, in any case. About the States in General you can think of — there are places cheaper and more hospitable. In California homeless well, this is the best place for the homeless. If you are homeless or a couchsurfer, a man who wants little out of life and I agree someone on the edge of the couch to stay — perfect. In California well, if you are so rich that you don’t care about the money. Otherwise this is the worst state. Bad for the middle class for hard working people. If you need the ocean, it could be Florida, it’s cheaper and closer to Russia. Miami is a Russian city and was comfortable there. There are places like Seattle, where changeable weather, but more affordable options. There is a cowboy type States Texas, there is not such crazy prices, not so many rules.

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