So today is the first day it really rained while I am here. It has rained before during the night, but the days were pretty much all sunny with some cloudy days in between. Of course in California everybody is saying we need the rain, and I can totally understand. It hasn’t rained pretty much all winter long and I don’t want to go under water restriction, meaning we would have to time our showers and so forth, as well. So it’s good, but why does it have to rain on the weekend?! Maybe it will just be today and tomorrow and Sunday will be sunny again. I hope so! The bad thing about the rain is that of course I didn’t think about bringing an umbrella when I was packing my suitcase. Rainy days just do not happen in California in my little dream bubble 😉 So I was lucky this morning that it stopped raining when I was going to work. It was pouring rain before, so hard that the lights in my room were flickering and the internet stopped working. Creepy, I don’t want to know what happens when they have thunderstorms here?! Maybe they never do 😉 So let’s hope it won’t rain around 5 o’clock.
So basically I have been complaining about the American breakfast soon after I arrived here. Toast, eggs and bacon is nice for once in a while but eating it every morning is not for me. So is cereal, I have the feeling it just does not fill you up and most brands are just so sweet here, that I do not like them. Pancakes are the best option for me, but I really don’t feel like preparing pancakes every morning, and the chocolate drops I am used to put in there don’t help me in keeping my current weight either 😉 So basically I have been eating cheese-, and turkey-breast sandwiches in the morning while I am here, adding avocado, tomato or cucumber to make it a little more fancy 😉 I could start a discussion about the American bread (we call in toast in Germany, it isn’t even bread for us) but I am not even starting. I can just say that German bread is probably the thing I miss the most when it comes to food. I remember my mom sending me bread mixes for Christmas when I was in Virginia 😀 Other days I had yoghurt with fruit in it but I was always missing my muesli, I was used to put in there in Germany. I was talking to my roommate about it the other day and she was like ‘oh we do have muesli in our bakery’. I have seen muesli in other grocery stores before but it is so expensive! So my roommate promised me should would buy some when working the next time, which was yesterday, getting 50% discount. When I came home I found this:
6 packages of the good-old Seitenbacher Muesli 🙂 And the best, she got it for free as apparently not enough people would buy it at the store. I guess it is not sweet enough for the Americans 😉 So thanks again to my awesome roommate, who wasn’t able to provide me with bread or ‘broetchen’ from the bakery, but got me this awesome stuff! Now I am excited for breakfast and it will be a lot healthier as well, so only positive things for me 🙂
So I came across this quote earlier this morning and I wanted to write about it because I believe it is so true.
‘The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it’, by Rudyard Kipling
Haven’t we all entered a room at some time in our life and suddenly a flood of memories occurred in our mind based on the scent that stroke our nose?! For me when I smell the scent of freshly made waffles I feel like I traveled back in time standing in my grandmothers kitchen, as we used to bake waffles almost every weekend when I was a child. Or the smell of vanilla will always remind me of my mom as she loves everything related to it. Or the scent of John Paul Gaultier – Le Male, will always put a smile on my face, as I remember me and my best friend going to the perfumery, when we were about 14 years old, to spray it on our wrist thinking once we have a boyfriend he has to wear this perfume. I could continue like this forever…
So when I arrived in LA it wasn’t what I saw that made me realize I am back in the States, but it was the smell. I can’t even explain what the States smell like to me, but it does smell different than in Germany. Especially when entering some houses here, I feel like I am back in Virginia at my host-families place. LA has a different smell than Williamsburg or New York, but I guess it is influenced by the smell of the ocean which is so close to where I live. And I have to admit this smell of the ocean is great because it brings back all the good memories about previous trips I have done in my life. So even without all the gorgeous sunsets I was able to see while I was here, a walk at the beach with my eyes closed would be just pure relaxation for my mind 🙂
Activity wise my weekend was great with a variety of things i did, food wise it was the opposite, limited on burgers only 😉
So Friday night I went out with a couple of friends to The Cat & Fiddle, a British place here in LA to have dinner. It was an interesting evening meeting new people at a cool location. I ordered a Portobello Burger with chicken instead of beef, because I am not that much into British food like fish & ships or shepherds pies. The burger was great, definitely would have it again.
On Saturday we went hiking in the Hollywood hills up to the Hollywood sign. It was nice to see the sign from a close distance and the view over the hills was great. Afterwards we went to the Griffith observatory to enjoy the sunset. We were a little late but still it was worth it. Being there at night with the view over the entire city and all the sparkling lights was just gorgeous. Definitely a must do again. We decided to have dinner at a typical American Diner, called Mel’s Drive-in on Sunset Boulevard, as I haven’t been to one since being here in the States. So of course, a burger was recommended to me. The burger was good, but next time I definitely have to try one of their famous milkshakes, simply did not have any room for it at this evening 😉
On Sunday we went to the Natural History Museum. I have been to the one in Washington DC before, so it was nothing new, but going to a museum once in a while is a nice activity. In-N-Out burger apparently is the place to eat a burger here in California. It is a must do when coming here, so we decided to have dinner there. I have to say it was nothing special, pretty much comparable to a big mac at McDonalds’, of which I am not a big fan. But everyone says the first time you go there everybody has the same opinion and after the 2nd time you get addicted. I hope I won’t 😀
So after eating burgers 3 days in a row now, I am good for the next couple of weeks I would say. And some extra workout is needed this week 😀 But my weekend was great. I was able to tick off a couple of things from my must-do-list 🙂
So I would like to give you all an update about my internship here at Taycor Financial as my 3rd week is over now and I just started my fourth week. Time has passed by so quickly but I can definitely say that I could get a good insight into the company so far, and that I am pleased to work here.
When I started working at Taycor Financial I had very limited knowledge about equipment leasing and financing, basically being based on the research I did over the internet. In the last 3 weeks though, I was able to get a really good insight into the industry. The business project we started recently was a great help. We are basically analyzing all the different steps between marketing up to funding of a deal and try to make improvements and recommendations, which will help the company being more efficient in the future. This work helped me in not only understanding how the company works internally but also how external parties are involved in the process, meaning I understand the broad picture now. We are looking at different areas of business, including marketing, customer relationship management, financial aspects and business development in general. This makes the project interesting, varied and challenging at the same time. Taycor has always been very helpful in answering all the questions I have and was able to provide me with professional assistance.
Even though only working here for a short amount of time I have the feeling I have learned a lot and that I was able to get a good insight into the American business life. I am able to see what I can apply from what I learned in college, but also where improvements are needed. This is really important for me as it helps me in developing myself personally and professionally. I am glad to be able to do my internship here at Taycor Financial and are looking forward to the upcoming months.
So yesterday I went to The Standard in Downtown LA with a couple of friends. It was my first time in Downtown and my first time on a rooftop bar in general here in the US. The place is really spacious and it includes everything one can ask for. They of course have a bar, areas to relax and chill, including waterbeds, fireplaces if you get cold, a dance floor and a pool. From the outside I was disappointed at first because it is a relatively flat building, with a lot of buildings around reaching far higher into the sky. But when being on the rooftop this is actually really cool, because you are still able to overlook other buildings but have all the lights from around. They are supposed to have a really good brunch over there so this is definitely on my to-do list 🙂
The pictures are taken with my phone, so the quality is quite bad, but anyways here they are just to give you at least a hint how it looks like.
By the way my hair looks really weird in the picture 😀 No I didn’t dye it blond and I didn’t dye the ends brown. It’s just the flash light…
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Valentines Day in general. There definitely is a bigger hype about it here in the States than there is in Germany. I haven’t seen so many stores all decorated in pink with a thousand of hearts and entire sections in supermarkets full of stuff just for this day in my entire time in Germany combined, as I have seen in a week here! But I have to say I like it here better than in Germany. At least everybody is into it.
As my Valentine is back in Germany, I decided to go for a walk with my flatmate to Venice Beach as it was such a nice and sunny day. We walked all the way to the end of the beach close to Marina. The beach was full of hearts drawn into the sand. I guess many people had the idea to come to beach as it was a perfect day for it. We had ice cream at cold stones, which was really good! So this was the Valentine’s present I had for myself 😉
So I decided to go to The Grove last Thursday, to do some shopping. There is definitely a nice atmosphere. The way the mall is structured, nice restaurants to sit on the terrace or balcony outside, fountains, music being played, and the adjoining Farmers Market, which unfortunately wasn’t open on that day, all contribute to it.
I was successful in shopping and had my coffee at Starbucks to validate my parking ticket. This will definitely become a routine (have done the same when I went to Hollywood). Better spend 4 dollars on a coffee than on parking 🙂
When I got my car here, I knew that I had to expect traffic being horrible. So many people told me LA is crazy traffic wise, always avoid rush hours and try to take the side streets instead of using the interstate. Looking up the topic on the internet just underlined the statements people made. But honestly I don’t think one can imagine how traffic is like when not being here and experiencing it by themselves. I was used to being stuck in traffic, living in an area in Germany, which is crowded with cars as well. But this is nothing compared to here. After being here for 2 weeks now, every time I went to some place a little bit further away I got stuck. A 20 minutes ride becomes a 1 hour ride on a normal basis.
I took the following picture on my way back from the Grove yesterday. Sorry for such a bad picture, but I wasn’t able to take a better one out of the car 😉 I think it still shows what I mean. 10 lanes full of cars going in both directions, so there is no escape. The worst you don’t see the traffic before actually being on the freeway ramp. Don’t you like how the lights just emerge into a continuous stream?! 😉
So the guy I met and Venice on my first day after arriving said something really wise. ‘Think about navigation systems, they show you the way a million other people are shown by their systems as well.’ So true, but what to do if you are not familiar with the area?! Taking side streets is not an option for me yet.