Avocode at 500 Startups; Week #2: Time to Settle In

Already feelin’ the American shoppin’ craze.

It’s Tuesday.

For some time this is my last day in Cali.

Soon after breakfast we deploy our red Kia Soul rocket towards the SF airport.

Our video/social media guy, Bolek, is coming to town. We pick him up around 12am and together drive to San Francisco for some lunch and coffee.

Sadly I forgot the name of this burrito place. Their agua fresca lemonade is amazing though.
If you like fresh roast beans and wooden interiors, definitely pay Sightglass Coffee a visit.

Then we park our Kia in the parking garages and let the valley park it. (As a European I felt quite weird to back, no guarantee no nothing.) Martin and Vu go shopping. Me and Bolek just stare at the street for a while and then go for a walk to the Bay Bridge.

Bolek vs. the big things.

The guys drop me off at the airport. Yes, I’m leaving to Europe for three weeks.

As I hop on the plane, Bolek picks up the mic. Talk soon, I’m outta here.

Matt out. 🎤💥

Bolek in the house!

Long flight. Damn I’m tired. But those KLM flight attendants took care of me as if they were my grandma. And now, I’m in the States.

Everything is so huge. And not just huge, but as Donald says: huuuugeee! Take anything from a standard European shopping mall to a car, multiply it by 3 and there: this is America.

Mountain View is sort of a relief. Not to be a downer or anything, but this place is more like it: chill. The boys picked a nice place, with a pool and everything… though a bit pricy.

On Thursday we take Vu to the airport.

He needs to go back to pass on the newly gained know-how to the rest of the team in Prague.

Now it’s just me and Martin. Our task for this week is clear: TO FIND A ROOF OVER OUR HEAD.

The nice apartment we have now is just an Airbnb thing, which costs a fortune. After considering multiple options (renting a Breaking Bad-like RV included) we get lucky. Like 100m (sorry like 328.08399 feet) down the road there is a house much like this one, however not furnished. The owner is happy to rent it to us for the upcoming four months. And the price? If you’re not re-counting dollars into Czech crowns — which, trust me, you shouldn’t — the price is OK.

Where was I? Oh yeah, dropping Vu off at the airport. So we do that and on the way back we drive to the Apple new HQ in Cupertino.

However the Infinity Loop is still under construction and pretty damn fenced.

It’s Friday.

IKEA time. Thanks God, there is such a place. We buy a kitchen table, chairs, mattresses and some kitchen equipment. And a bunch of other crap. Excuse me — I mean stuff.

Time to pay for all of this. Martin pulls his US credit card and the terminal says NO. Dafuq? After like 20 minutes of struggle with the terminal, 5 verification steps, a call to a New York banker the payment finally goes through.

Avocode goes green! Oxygen reserve at home guaranteed.

Anyway, we brought our “loot” back to the new apartment and bought a double-sixpack-or-how-they-call-it at Safeway.

So we’re driving back home, already thinking about a cool beers, when… the police. I heard some stories and watched some movies — so yes, I do have great respect for the US law enforcement.

Oh snap. It’s the lights. We forgot to turn them on. The policeman is such a nice guy though. Probably the kindest police officer I’ve ever seen actually. So we turn our lights on and he wave us goodbye. Nice!

As my heartbeat slows down I’m starting to feel like a real bad-ass G. We own this town, baby.

We “celebrate” our heroic adventure with a couple of beers and hit the bed.

Well.. bed…

It’s Saturday.

The first thing in the morning we move out from the old appartment. I’m kidding. We have a breakfast and then we do. Last night I tried out the new mattress and it’s way too rough.

Let’s see how a warranty claim works in the States.

Seamless! During our second visit at IKEA we exchange the mattresses and buy a few more things. No hustle. Great user experience. 👌

Next is mobile and web connection. We make a stop at AT&T for my new SIM card and set up a Wi-Fi router from Xfinity.

Since warranty claim went so smooth we saved some time, and therefore decided to go for a small trip around the coast.

First stop: the cliffs.

I mean: WOW!

This is beautiful. I’m just starring amazed. Suddenly a random guy points the finger at the ocean and asks if I can see the whales? I’m like: Woot? Whales? Hm, maybe he’s right — there are some black dots at the horizon.

And there is something else. A bigger object. Me and Martin start arguing whether it could be Hawaii. We check Google Maps and it seems that I might be right.

Later we ask some folks at the beach and they tell us it’s probably a cargo ship from Japan. Bummer.

We get hungry. We take quick drive to a bistro near by and buy pastrami sandwiches. Now back to the sea — quickly. We park close to the main road, so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking and climb down the cliffs to the playa.

Filter: #EuropeanPale

On our way back to the car we make a stop at the Pigeon Lighthouse. There is even a board with instructions on how to spot whales.

If you’re looking for a cheap motel right on the cliff, this is the one.

Our last stop that day was in Santa Cruz. Okay, Now I get why Martin wants to move there. We greet the sea lions which you already saw here on the blog and admired the scenery with the surfers.

I already see myself killin' those waves. #wishful

Then it’s time for the long desired Theme Park — one of the most surreal things in my life. One ride is just about enough.

Americans surely know how to forget their problems and live in the moment.

What a day.

Once we arrived home we started assembling the beds and furniture we have bought earlier. The instructions and socket head tools get better and better.

Sunday.

We extend our car rent for one more day in order to make one more trip to IKEA to buy the beds.

Nice. Our new place is ready. Task #1: check. It’s time to move in.

Bolek out. 🎤💥

Avocode at 500 Startups

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Matouš Roskovec

Written by

Creative Lead @Avocode, 500 Startups alumni, ex-Content Strategist @SignalsNetwork, marketing strategy consultant, wannabe chef, addicted to Netflix.

Avocode at 500 Startups

What is it like to be a part of 500 Startups? Get the first hand cover. Follow our stories!

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