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Ask K5: New job, new city

By frijolito in Op-Ed
Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 04:33:30 PM EST
Tags: Help! (Ask Kuro5hin) (all tags)
Help! (Ask Kuro5hin)

All right, pop quiz. Guatemala City. Nerd with boring job. Social order is deteriorating; you're almost at your wit's end. What do you do? What do you do?

As many of my tourist friends might wonder, so may the astute K5 reader ask himself: why would anyone look to leave such a pleasant, colorful, visually stunning country? Well, I don't anticipate you'd be very surprised to hear the social order is quite rapidly deteriorating. For instance, just this week my father got his first death threat over the phone, and was forced to deposit Q10,000 in a bank account just to keep his family safe. It makes little sense to report this to the police, since if the sad bastards are indeed caught and punished, they will most assuredly seek revenge. Not the best of ideas.

What's more, just the other week I was walking by myself to get lunch at a restaurant a few blocks away from work, which is in the city's Centro Histórico -- the Old Downtown. On the sidewalk, near Central Market, I got a literal kick in the ass! This man, who must have under the influence of something, was gesturing wildly at me and trying to provoke me into a fight... but he wasn't alone. As usual, there wasn't a cop to be found, so I went back to my office building to fetch an armed security guard; when we got back to them they had left in a bus, people said.

There's also the fantasy I've had most of my life of living in another city; a more civilized one, safer, with easier --cheaper-- access to technology. Even if just for a short season. Finally, let's not forget Stan, and how it showed how terribly unprepared and in such a precarious situation a poor country like mine can be.

My current field of work is IT, and I have a comp sci degree/BS from a highly reputed university in the region. However, during college I worked as an ESL teacher at Guatemala's then finest English-teaching institution for about 4 years, an experience I still miss. As a job, I enjoyed it far more than being in charge of the IT department at a medium-sized government institution, my current gig.

So, what does K5 recommend? I've been thinking a bit about Canada, particularly because of the many relatives of mine there and the general mindset of its people -- but the cold is a bit off-putting. Lately I've been looking at ESL teaching in Asia, with Japan sounding especially enticing -- Thailand's also looking pretty good. What I'm thinking of is doing this thing for a year or three, and possibly even permanently if it's a good enough deal.

The place I'd like to hit would ideally reunite a few conditions: First, it'd have to be more or less immigrant (Latin American) friendly. I guess that pretty much rules out the US for me. Then there's the violence thing: I'm taking a break from insecurity, so crime rates would have to be lower than Guatemala City's -- a requisite I imaigne won't be too hard to comply with. Of course, its immigrant work policies would have to be a somewhat friendly... or at least easily circumvented. Also, I'd like it if people's asses don't freeze off most of the months of the year. I'm not a big fan of cold climates. Cute girls (nsfw?) who are into Latino guys: a big plus. The destination would ideally be civilized and technologically hip. Finally, it would definitely not hurt if there were no draconian laws on cannabis consumption.

Hopefully this wishlist isn't too unrealistic. But if I'm only doing this once, I'm going for all the marbles. And, hey, I won't mind not getting rich, as I'm perfectly willing to teach English --which I'm very fluent in and can bullshit a decent native speaker (American) accent-- or Spanish. That said, I'm also a decent Linux geek, and if I can land something where I'll get a nicer paycheck than teaching, well, even better.

And, why not say it, there are a few things I've got going for me: One, the University degree. I believe that my alma mater is highly regarded in certain circles worldwide, and my curriculum did not look too shabby compared to the ones of other famous unis I've looked at on the nets. Two, my Linux skills. Particularly my experience with web programming and internet stuff. Three, my joy of teaching, plus the English-teaching experience -- and a couple of semesters heading a course at my old faculty. If I may say so, I think I'm a quite competent ESL speaker, and while not the bright-eyed, fresh-off-the-boat idealist, teaching is actually an activity I find (mostly) fun and stimulating... as opposed to the computer janitor business. There's also my youth, 27, and the few languages I know -- Spanish (native), English (fluent), German (basic), French (beginner).

I'd really love to hear some of your own experiences, particularly if you've tried something similar. I'll also welcome general advice, especially if you live in a city that sounds a bit like what I'm looking for.

Muchas gracias, mis camaradas kuro5hineros. Espero con ansia sus comentarios.


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The poll creativedissonance didn't post:
o Yes, let's get that new poll submitting feature. 81%
o Nah. 18%

Votes: 16
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o quite
o rapidly
o deteriorat ing
o Centro Histórico
o Stan
o university
o institutio n
o girls
o cannabis
o Also by frijolito

Display: Sort:
Ask K5: New job, new city | 117 comments (107 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Come to Spain (3.00 / 4) (#3)
by bml on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 05:14:23 AM EST

I think we fulfill all or most of the requirements in your wish list. And it's much warmer than Canada.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
Considering Spain as well (none / 0) (#22)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:36:12 PM EST

I would appreciate it if you could tell me a little about the job market. Will it be easier to find a tech job, or a teaching gig? What have you heard about immigrant work opportunities? And do Spanish girls dig Latinos?

Heady, heady stuff, I know. But, the public wants to know.

[ Parent ]

Aren't Spanish girls (none / 0) (#29)
by New Me on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:56:08 PM EST

themselves latinos? Or is that term only valid for latin americans

"He hallucinated, freaked out, his aneurysm popped, and he died. Happened to me once." --Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

AFAIK, (none / 0) (#32)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 01:02:00 PM EST

the term applies to latin americans almost exclusively. Spanish girls, as well as Italian and Portuguese ladies, consider themselves European rather than Latin.

[ Parent ]
Latino's have some Native American blood in them (2.00 / 2) (#34)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 02:03:54 PM EST

Or possibly (probably if from the Caribbean) African. Or maybe both.

I know Latinos who look like pureblood Mayans, and some who are lighter skinned than most Spaniards.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Hispanicly speaking.. (none / 0) (#46)
by prolixity on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:03:35 PM EST

Latinos originate from Latin America.  As an ethnic identifier, it's a pretty catch-all term; after all, there are black latinos, white latinos, brown latinos, yellow latinos, all mixtures of the different colonizers and immigrant races.  
[ Parent ]
It depends (none / 0) (#63)
by bml on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:02:03 AM EST

The term is ambiguous enough. The term "latino" can be used in an European context to differentiate an Spaniard or an Italian from a northern European. And it is also used, at least here in Spain, to refer to South and Central America natives.

But the Spanish/Italian "latino" is not the same as the South American "latino", that's for sure.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]

The tech market (none / 0) (#62)
by bml on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 04:58:17 AM EST

is not in too bad a shape currently. Finding a job is quite easy. Finding a good job, however, is considerably harder. But there's a healthy enough demand for skilled enough people.

I don't know much about English teaching jobs, but I know they pay peanuts. And you can imagine what the market for Spanish teachers looks like. I'd say you'd be better off looking for a tech job.

Feel free to mail me if you want to explore this option further.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]

Frijolito (none / 0) (#91)
by Milo Minderbender on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 02:48:06 AM EST

Plus, you won't have to miss your favorite telenovela!

Finding a job in a foreign country to get a work permit is never easy. Although I assume that it gets easier if you have a good case for seeking asylum, and it sounds like you do. I wish you luck.

This comment is for the good of the syndicate.
[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 0) (#94)
by mr strange on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:59:09 AM EST

He can't seek asylum. Those rules only apply to people being persecuted by their government. If you are being persecuted by someone else, then you can't claim asylum.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Some friends in Spain (none / 0) (#115)
by sypher on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 04:07:09 PM EST

they say that the job market is slow unless you work for the English company. I am considering moving to Spain, and working, but I will make or get a job first.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
ESL teaching in Japan... (3.00 / 3) (#4)
by BJH on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:29:31 AM EST

...generally requires an appropriate degree these days (i.e. linguistics/education/literature or similar).
You'd probably have an easier time of it getting an IT job here.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Well, since I've got a correspondent in the field, (none / 1) (#23)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:38:16 PM EST

I'd appreciate it if you could provide more info. What's the job market like over there? How easy (or hard) is it for a gaijin (if that's even the word) to land a tech job? And how loose are the women?

Very important questions, you see. Very.

[ Parent ]

Jobs (none / 0) (#51)
by BJH on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:36:19 PM EST

You'd need to line something up before you came over here - it's possible to do it the other way round, but not easy.
If you've got any friends/acquaintances in Japan, that's probably the simplest way of getting your foot in the door.

And BTW, the women are very easy.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Nope, no one I know in Japan... (none / 0) (#54)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:40:58 PM EST

and yeah, you get a firm offer before you get on the plane.

And BTW, the women are very easy.

That's what I keep hearing in this thread. Must have something to do with the relaxed moral code.

[ Parent ]

From experience... (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by codejack on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:14:45 AM EST

The only place I can recommend is the southeastern U.S.: While not perfect for any of your requirements (except not freezing your ass off), it does partially meet all of them.

While there are racist bastards in the U.S., in "The South", as we refer to it, most people are too polite to do anything about it, or even mention it, and fluency in English is a big help.

Crime rates are somewhat higher than the rest of the country, but if you subtract domestic violence, they are actually much lower.

And then there are the girls. We have the best looking girls, if not in the world, than at least in the hemisphere. Seriously.

The cannabis consumption thing, to me, is the biggest turn off, although the laws are not very well enforced. Basically, you have to quit using for a month or two before changing jobs, and keep a relatively low profile as far as buying/using. Renting a house or duplex rather than an apartment is a good idea, also. Selling can get you into trouble, but I would guess that that is beyond the scope of your concern.

Please read before posting.

Job and housing market (none / 1) (#6)
by localroger on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:40:43 AM EST

The only problem with the US South is that all of the housing and jobs have just been sucked up by Katrina evacuees. Of course, if you actually go to New Orleans itself there are lots of jobs but there isn't much housing, which is why Burger King is paying people $6,000 signing bonuses to agree to flip burgers for a year. You might have to live in a tent but it's the new Land of Opportunity. And the parent should feel right at home since we're just as vulnerable and unprepared for major hurricanes as Guatemala.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
I'm little farther away (none / 1) (#9)
by codejack on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:12:42 AM EST

I'm in Tennessee, and we didn't get many evacuees from Katrina. The job market isn't the greatest, unless you're a nurse, but we don't have muchtrouble with hurricanes.

Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Heh, you got me (none / 1) (#33)
by localroger on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 01:16:48 PM EST

I'm in Tennessee, and we didn't get many evacuees from Katrina.

I spent three weeks in Knoxville with the in-laws. Even there, there were hundreds of people in shelters. And you're right, the weather was lovely -- but then again, every winter it snows a few times and people who aren't careful go ski-jumping out of FIL's subdivision in their cars. So I guess you can't win.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Jobs & Hurricanes (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by Sgt York on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:44:59 PM EST

I still see a good number of tech and professional job listings here, though. Houston got a huge number of Katrina evacuees, but our job market seems to have absorbed it. (Based on my rigouous light skimming and casual notice of the classified ads and postings around the places I frequent)

I think the housing issue is actually part of why the job market has stayed OK. After Katrina and Rita, housing is tight here. But, we have been in a housing boom for years so it's been ramping up to build lots and lots of residences. People were just starting to say that the housing boom was coming to an end soon. So, as the demand is increasing so is the demand for jobs realted to the new housing. This includes all the services the incoming population needs, such as IT work. (Who sets up and manages the high speed access for the new apartment complex? Who is going to expand the network demands of the growing realty office?)

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

The girls, of course (none / 0) (#20)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:25:09 PM EST

Who wouldn't lurrv those well-fed, blonder-than-blonde, perky young gringas. In their short skirts. And tight tops. [drool..]

I know I won't find a place that meets all of my requirements perfectly. I'll be happy to find a good compromise. But, the US... I don't know. Like I responded elsewhere, I don't feel like begging a killer government for asylum. I might be mistaken, though; maybe it's not even that hard to get a green card.

Thanks, dude.

[ Parent ]

ahhhh! (none / 0) (#42)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:39:39 PM EST

Ahhh, so it's the tight white puss you're after mainly! Florida and California have a lot of that, if you're willing to put up with feminazi bitch syndrome that most of them seem to have.

Texas has a fair number of hot girls, too, but they tend to be larger in all dimensions (proportionately) and have less of the 'bitch' inbreeding.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

A confession, man: (none / 1) (#50)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:11:09 PM EST

I'm actually intimidated by gringas. They're just, too, big! Too tall, rather. (I'm more of a short guy, so I guess I've got a complex there.) I guess in general American girls are just, too much.

That don't mean we don't love'em, though. But I don't feel like putting up with the bitchiness.

[ Parent ]

plenty of shorties (none / 0) (#78)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 06:22:02 PM EST

Oh, there are plenty of short (5'5" and shorter), skinny American girls. They're just in fairly high demand.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

and then there is the safety issue (none / 0) (#96)
by loudici on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 01:05:15 PM EST

crime in the US is not exactly under control,and the police force is more dangerous than effective, specially if your tone of skin is anything south of light pink.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
immigrant (Latin American) friendly (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:47:48 AM EST

The US is certainly that, if you're a legal immigrant. Having a degree, being an IT guy, and being fluent in English are major advantages here.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

To expand: Come to the DC area! (none / 0) (#8)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:05:44 AM EST

The Dot.Bomb is over and local companies are desperate for techies. A Turkish friend of mine who's a Flash guy (if you saw any Demorcatic National Committee web ads in 2004, he did them) recently left SAIC (he couldn't get a security clearance, because he holds dual US/Turkish citizenship) and got 8 offers in his first week on the market. Judging from your writing you're at least as fluent in English as he is.

I think it would be easier for you to get a green card than you might think. Fluency in English, a college degree, and a vitally needed skill go a long way when it comes to immigration.

The DC area has a vibrant Latino community, and a growing Latino middle class. There's even a Pollo Campero in Falls Church.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Thank you, my anonymous Internets friend (none / 1) (#19)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:16:16 PM EST

But, I think I don't really see the thriving Latino community as an advantage; I guess I'm looking for the culture shock.

And about the green card thing: I guess I'm scared of the Republican government. I don't really know how US gubmint works, but with the current political climate, I imagine that trying to get into the US is a pain not worth the hassle. I might be wrong, though.

[ Parent ]

uh, no (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:36:27 PM EST

He said he wanted a lower crime rate. I'm wondering if that's the case with Washington, DC, because as a city, it has either the highest or 2nd-highest violent crime rates in the US.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

2 things (none / 1) (#65)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:22:27 AM EST

The crime rate, especially violent crimes, has been falling in DC for years. May be lower than London's by now.

Most of the violent crime is in Southeast DC, places like Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, and Georgetown are safer than some of the suburbs, especially PG County. The Virginia suburbs are very safe.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

that would be due... (none / 0) (#77)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 06:20:46 PM EST

That would be due to the fact that Virginia doesn't have draconian firearm restrictions, and, by and large, northern VA is chock full of armed government agents.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

all i know is (2.66 / 6) (#10)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:19:50 AM EST

i dated this one guatamalan chick once with really great tits

i only think of her now because when i dated her, i saw that zorro movie with banderas with her, and now they have posters for zorro 2 all over new york, so i'm always reminded of her

but to get to your predicament, as someone currently dating a filipina, i am very familiar with the concept of all the smart people fleeing a poor country

to the detriment of said small country

so i say stick it out

seriously, your homeland needs you

plus, i know filipinos with terrible career changes from coming to the usa: one guy was a bank manager in the phil, now he's a janitor! another guy was a videographer, now he works at dunkin donuts!

of course, they are making more money doing that than they were back home, but that's not the point, at least to me it's not the point

so why leave guatemala, where in a few years you can probably run the entire IT department of a major organization, to much social prestige and local admiration, when if you go to germany or the usa, you'll probably be coding web pages in a cubicle for more money, but as a complete nobody nobody cares about?

más, es una vergüenza salir de un país que criaría a mujeres con tales pechos fantásticos

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

IAWTP Stay if you can (none / 1) (#12)
by bodza on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:48:16 AM EST

You can get kicked in the arse just about anywhere you go. No country has a monopoly on arseholes.

cts is right about the brain drain, and with the xenophobia running rife globally, you may not find yourself appreciated elsewhere. Hang out with your Guatemalan buddies and you'll be accused of ghettoising your adopted country. Succeed at work, and you'll be stealing the locals jobs. Sleep with their women etc. etc.

What follows are some rambling suggestions. YMMV.

I'd try and get out of the city. With a bit of preparation, you can have all your toys with you just about anywhere in the world. Houses and land are cheaper, people are more relaxed, and crime is generally lower. Big cities will kill you anywhere in the world.

Start your own business. If you want cheap internet access, start an internet cafe. Train people so that they can look after it for you. Use your free time to do something new. Grow your own veges (and/or cannabis), write a book, start a family, whatever.

Anyway, you get the picture. Good luck whatever you decide.
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]

Not looking to leave for good, really (none / 0) (#15)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:00:52 PM EST

Great points. It is true that I can find most of what I'm looking for right here. Just off the top of my head, I can think of about 3 small cities just a few hours away that would be ideal... but the thing is, I'd still be, well, here.

As you can read in my response to cts's comment above, what I'm looking for is a change of perspective, more like travel, you know? I have a hard time imagining that I would never return to Guate, particularly since I absolutely love the climate.

And the business thing, well, it is definitely something I am considering. As a matter of fact, I've recently joined an old college buddy in establishing a small website shop, but so far my most important role has been partially financing the thing. We'll see how that turns out.

Thanks so much for the kind words.

[ Parent ]

I agree, that's *so* not the point (none / 1) (#14)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:53:00 AM EST

You're spot on, man. Talent leak is a major problem all over the third world, and no, I wouldn't like to add to those statistics. I mean, only 1.46 in 100 Guatemalans have the privilege of seeing college through.

And no, I'm not very interested in money. Not lots of it, at least. For instance, I'm quite happy putting around in my '96 VW bug, and really the only expensive stuff I ever indulge in is the occasional electronic toy. I'll choose quality of life over luxury any day. My friends will attest to that.

But I am interested in gaining a fresh perspective. I just want to live for a couple years in a more civilized place, somewhere that can inspire me to effect changes once I return home. As they say, travel is the best prescription for a young mind. And I wouldn't mind a career downgrade for a short while, as long as I have the time of my life while at it.

Now, about those Guatemalan girls. Yes, I know, it's crazy to want to score women elsewhere with such richness right at home. I once dated this girl with the greatest pair of legs I had ever seen... and as those who know me can confirm, skirts are my Achilles' heel. What's more, the benign climate encourages such fashion. But did you check the thai girls link up there? Go ahead, I'll wait.

There's another reason I left out: my current sweetheart/friend-with-benefits/fuck-buddy is leaving in less than two weeks for Long Island. And I'll probably not see her again, ever. So, no romantic attachments + opportunity of fulfilling (a somewhat foolish) lifelong dream = better do it now or I'm not doing it ever.

[ Parent ]

well then the answer is obvious (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:01:13 PM EST

bang cock thigh land, i mean, er, bangkok thailand is where you should go!

as someone who currently enjoys the, er, "geography" of southeast asia myself, who am i to argue?

don't follow your mind, follow your dick!

i'm not joking

you said it yourself, guatemala is where you want to be, you just want to explore the world for a few years... in other words, you are already thinking in terms of pleasure rather than business, right?

and when it comes time, and you think "should i go home now?"

just remember: it's better to be a big fish in a small pot than a small fish in a big pot ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Bangkok: current Option Number One (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:52:12 PM EST

I just love that Simpsons episode, the one where Lisa and Bart somehow are placed in the same grade together. Can't find a transcript, but when Lisa is given the option of being a small fish in a big pond (third grade) instead of the opposite, she quickly yawps out "Big fish! Big fish!"

Heh heh ... good times.

[ Parent ]

colder climates (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by dimaq on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:20:54 AM EST

don't discard colder climates... surely it's cold, and "girls" are said to be "cold" and I really have no clue what they think of hispanic boys, but if you can dance hispanic dances, you can have them by boatloads. so I hear.

Yes, the dancing! (none / 0) (#13)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:19:31 AM EST

Thanks for reminding me. Just three months ago I was all set to start my Salsa lessons... but the relationship turned sour with the girl I was going to go with.

You know, I'm not super forward when it comes to women, which is why I wanted to hit the lessons with someone I know. I guess I'll have to ask someone else to join me now; it really shouldn't be that hard to find a (girl)friend interested in such a quirky activity.


[ Parent ]

Scandinavian girls dick hispanic boys /nt (none / 0) (#66)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:24:52 AM EST

"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

[ Parent ]
Vancouver? (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by kansur on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:02:01 PM EST

It's not that cold, really.

Everyone's afraid to be the first to step into hell.

Yes! (none / 0) (#18)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:05:44 PM EST

I've been more or less looking into it. From what I hear, the eastern side of Canada is actually more benign than the rest. Plus, with all my relatives in Canada (Alberta, mostly), I'd expect that getting a green card or whatever they call it shouldn't be too hard.

Plus, even as a little boy I've had this dream of moving to Canada. I'll just need to get my Salsa groove on before I hit the road.

[ Parent ]

Vancouver (none / 1) (#35)
by hatshepsut on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 04:30:46 PM EST

I was actually going to suggest Vancouver myself even though I don't live there (though I did for a short while). It is definitely immigrant-friendly (though it helps if you have money). Looking at your other requirements: the place practically shuts down when they get snow (they aren't very used to it), and they have a thriving culture (all types, but especially asian, since there is a large asian population...I remember some FANTASTIC restaurants). Can't help you with the "girls who dig latinos", I am the last person who would know.

However, I should remind you that Vancouver is on the West coast.

[ Parent ]

*blush* (none / 0) (#37)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 05:06:37 PM EST

Did I write "East". I meant "West" ... ok no I didn't.

Must be that a while ago I read somewhere that the cities on the Canadian East Coast were considerably warmer than the rest of the country. And having also heard that Vancouver is a comparably warm location, well, I must have put two and two together. Even when two and two didn't really go together.

Thanks for the reminder.

[ Parent ]

Vancouver is a nice place (none / 0) (#55)
by zenador on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:57:24 PM EST

Temperature-wise it's probably about as warm as it gets in Canada during the Winter. It is really wet in the Fall-Winter time though, we get months of rain this time of year. During Summer it's lovely.

Tons of asian people here. In suburbs like Burnaby and Richmond white people are the minority. That's a plus if you're into asian girls.

I have no idea about the job market. I'm a student.

If you have any interest in skiing/snowboarding there isn't a better location on earth. From downtown you can be on a chairlift at Cyprss Bowl in 45 minutes if you drive like a maniac. Plus Whistler-Blackcomb and Mt. Baker are both just a couple of hours away.

[ Parent ]

I forgot about the weed. (none / 1) (#56)
by zenador on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:59:40 PM EST

It's good.

[ Parent ]
i bet it's shit, actually (none / 0) (#108)
by xmnemonic on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:27:24 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Asians, huh? (none / 0) (#58)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:19:45 PM EST


Plus, relatively close to Edmonton, right?

[ Parent ]

That's a long drive (none / 0) (#59)
by zenador on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 12:55:49 AM EST

Like 10-12 hours.

What's in Edmonton anyway?

[ Parent ]

his relatives, iirc? (none / 0) (#75)
by asdf1234 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:07:56 PM EST

also, West Edmonton Mall. I've always kinda wanted to see that.. although really, Metrotown is scary enough for me. half the time I've been there I've gotten lost.

[ Parent ]
relatively, I suppose... *giggle* (none / 0) (#73)
by asdf1234 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 04:33:59 PM EST

it always amuses me when people forget how big canada is.
oh, and there's also the mountain range separating BC from... all that other canadian stuff.

[ Parent ]
hehe, happens to me all the time (none / 0) (#84)
by frijolito on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:10:06 PM EST

When my Canadian cousins (literally) come to visit, and we're talking about how X is you know kinda close to Y, it's when I ask them how close is "close" that they stun me. "Oh, aboot 12 hours. Not that bad."

Jesus, heading south from Guate, in 14 hours I could reach Nicaragua passing through two other countries (albeit with barely enough time to take a leak).

I guess the word "close" has different meanings to different folks. I mean, where else can you get from the beaches of the Atlantic ocean to those of the Pacific in less than 6 hours? ;)

[ Parent ]

Yes, Vancouver (none / 0) (#88)
by Alannon on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:24:41 PM EST

Seems to hit just about all the points that seem important to.
  • It's a large city, but not a 'megalopolis' like Toronto would be considered.
  • It's not a cold city. We have gorgeous Springs and Summers and 'merely' rainy Autumns and Winters.
  • The city is 'safe', even downtown, when it comes to violent crime. Property crime is pretty high, though, in certain areas.
  • Hugely multi-cultural city. Shouldn't be any trouble trying to fit in here. I sometimes feel left out being a locally-born white guy. Tons of asian girls. :)
  • We reportedly (I haven't been enough places to be able to personally know) have some of the best pot in the world. Also, it's currently -official policy- here for the local police to not prosecute for possession.
  • There are currently jobs to be had in the technology industry. I don't think immigration would be that difficult as long as you have a university degree in a marketable field (IT). Off the top of my head, I'd say that 65% of the team I work with as a programmer consists of first-generation immigrants. Also, there are a ton of ESL schools here. I don't know if they prefer to have mostly native speakers, or also well-spoken foreigners, though.
  • One of the finest collections of cuisine available from all over the world. Mmm... There's actually a lovely home-style Guatemalan restaurant right down the street here. Suddenly I'm hungry...
  • One of the most lovely regions in the world, as far as nature and scenery are concerned.
  • Recently rated the best city in the world to live in.
  • Relatively expensive to live in the city, but reasonable compared to Toronto, NYC, San Fran, etc. We have several easily accessible suburbs, as well. The area is called the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
  • Most people seem to dislike our provincial government for being a bunch of lying, hypocritical asshats. But where is this not the case? Our municipal government is pretty good, and the federal government isn't as bad as I was personally expecting this time around.
  • The upcoming 2010 winter Olympics might cause a spike in housing prices, though there are probably a few years before that happens.
  • Ehh... It's all I can think of at the moment, actually.
Hmm... Well, if you do end up deciding to move here, or have any specific questions, send me a note. I love being able to show people around. Might even be able to set you up with a linux or programming gig.

[ Parent ]
Yes, Vancouver. Canada's not all cold! (none / 0) (#74)
by asdf1234 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 04:53:49 PM EST

the good:

*it gets warmer every year. I think it only snowed a couple of times last winter... but I remember when I was little there'd be at least one day a year where the school would have nearly a foot and everything would close. still, there's no shortage of mountains for those that miss the snow. and as for summer, iirc the temperature tends to be between 20 and 35 C. although I don't pay a lot of attention.

*there's also no shortage of ESL students... it's a very multicultural place :) I've heard that if canada didn't have immigration, its population would be decreasing.

*as for pot, well, it's not quite legal yet... but most people don't take that seriously :) heck, vancouver has a reputation for being the 'highest' city in canada, afaik :)

*public transit is pretty good. for $130 a month you can go pretty much anywhere in the lower mainland... and there are cheaper options if you don't use the buses quite that much.

*also.. it's just a beautiful place. all the mountains and the trees and the pretty flowers.. :)

the bad:

*I've heard that immigration laws aren't the greatest. it might not be easy to get into the country. still, my parents and I came here from england pretty easily...

*our "Liberal" gov't is happily destroying education, letting health care rot, and selling off our province to the US one piece at a time.

*there's usually some union on strike, and since the gov't currently seems to believe it can legislate everyone back to work instead of bargaining with them, we may end up with a general strike in the next few weeks... victoria's already got a lot of people on strike, including bus drivers.

[ Parent ]

Latin-friendly (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by Sgt York on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:32:20 PM EST

Don't rule out the US; contrary to popular belief, many cities are very Latin-friendly, at least here in Texas.

In San Antonio, Latins nearly outnumber whites (They may actualy outnumber, but I'm not sure), and just about everybody speaks at least some Spanish, with many being fluent. Most people toss in Spanish words in conversation, it's pretty much been integrated. Houston is good, too. I live there, and most people really don't care if you're Latin or not; you just have to get used to being referred to as "Hispanic" or "Mexican", evene though very few are actually from Mexico.

You'd have to deal with the altered Latin culture, though. It's kind of an offshoot, various types mixed together and left to simmer for a few generations. Imagine a hodgepodge of the traditions and attitudes of Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala tossed in together. Most direct immgrants from Central America say it has an echo of what they are used to, but just enough to make it kind of weird.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Sounds just quirky enough to consider (none / 0) (#24)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:40:26 PM EST

What do you think would be a safer bet: landing a tech job, or a teaching one?

[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 1) (#28)
by Sgt York on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:55:46 PM EST

I'm not in the tech field, so I'm probably the wrong one to ask about that.

I do know there is a teacher shortage at many levels here; they are desperate for high school level instructors at both public (sometimes scary places, except in the burbs) and private (hard to get, but often high-paying) schools.

There is also much need for higher level teaching positions. My old boss is really pissed that I'm not coming back to teach anymore, and I have a few department heads sending me e-mails for teaching master's level classes in the Spring. But, these are teaching physiology and biochemistry and the like. CS stuff may be different.

I do know that visas are hard to get, due to all the terrorism legislation crap. It's a pain in the ass, but it may be worth a shot. If you can get a few good leads on jobs before you get the visa, your chances would improve, I assume.

If you decide to move here, drop me an e-mail. I'm probably leaving in the spring for a change in scenery (I've been in East Texas for 10 years; time to move on), but if I'm still around I'll give you the tour, treat you to some fajitas.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Keen! (none / 0) (#31)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 01:00:36 PM EST

My crazy Internets friend, I promise that if I ever hit your state, I'll call you up and we'll hit a few bars and annoy more than a few señoritas.

[ Parent ]
US safety (none / 0) (#95)
by loudici on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 01:03:15 PM EST

I think the US should be ruled out if crime is a problem for you.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
Toronto (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by actmodern on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:57:07 PM EST

Most multicutural city in North America. We're more multicultural than New York. It's October and no snow yet but we expect some next month and it will probably last into March.

Also there is a vibrant telecommunication and financial district here. Jobs are easy to find if you look for them.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.

Wouldn't Toronto (none / 0) (#36)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 05:01:25 PM EST

...  fall into the Megalopolis category?

I ask because the main thing I want to take a break away from is the violence. And while I've not yet done any research on that, I remember reading somewhere that the crime rate in Toronto is the highest in Canada. Which may not be saying much, because for all I know (and what I gather) crime rates in Canada are among the lowest in the world.

[ Parent ]

Well there has been some problems (none / 0) (#45)
by JahToasted on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:00:57 PM EST

with some of the black kids (I blame the rap music), but even still its a pretty safe city. If you aren't looking for trouble, trouble won't find you. Also Toronto is kinda like 4 or 5 cities connected together by a highway and some trains, so if Downtown Toronto is too much, you could go to Scarborough, Brampton, Mississauga, North York or whatever.

You might also consider Ottawa, not nearly as big as Toronto, but its a city with stuff to do. There are crooks there too, but they are the more subtle kind.

Montreal is nice, but you'll probably have to learn french. Vancouver is nice (or so I hear), but I've never been there, so I can't really say much about it.

Anyway, the thing with Canada is that the big cities are where the jobs are and where you'd be able to find more people with a similar cultural background to you. Not saying you'd have problems in the smaller towns, but you'd stand out a little. But even so you'd be accepted by 99% of the people in even the whitest town (and the other 1% would be too polite to say anything).

Well whatever you decide, good luck. Moving to a new country can be a lot of work, but it can also be very exciting and a lot of fun.
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#52)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:37:46 PM EST

You see, thing is, I love downtowns. Funny, because I seem to be so freaked out about the violence.. and you'd be hard pressed to find a safe downtown in any large city. I love the concentration of people, the feeling of a place that has become alive, the pervasive (even if loose) sense of community.

Also, I've been wanting to take up French for a while now, and the extra points on the Canadian immigration test might provide the last needed push.

Did I mention I have family in Ft McMurray, Edmonton, and I believe also Calgary? They have on several occasions extended me an invitation to visit (which I am yet to do), and have offered to "sponsor" me for immigration. So, I guess that's looking as my best option atm. We'll see.

Thanks for your encouragement. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

[ Parent ]

Don't go there (none / 1) (#64)
by actmodern on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:16:40 AM EST

Edmonton and Calgary and not as multicultural as Toronto is. Nothing really wrong with those places though. It gets cold as hell in Calgary too.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
Edmonton is colder than calgary (none / 1) (#80)
by JahToasted on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:33:22 PM EST

I have a very low opinion of Alberta, so you may not want to listen to me... But I always seen Albertans as being more American than the Americans. Think Texas, only a lot colder.

Also, Edmonton doesn't have much of a downtown, just a really big mall. Don't really know much about Calgary.
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

I was going to say Toronto too (none / 1) (#68)
by rusty on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:25:16 AM EST

Also, it's really not worth worrying about violence in almost any first-world city. Sure, shit happens and sometimes there are innocent bystanders, but you've really got a much better chance of getting hit by a car in a suburb than being injured by violence in a city.

The key thing is that inner-city violence is 1) usually fairly localized -- don't live in the dangerous neighborhoods and you're safe, and 2) usually motivated by something obvious like money or drugs. If you're not involved with criminals, you stand a low chance of being involved in criminal violence. Inner-city gangs don't spend a lot of time hassling non-gang-members.

So basically, if you choose your neighborhood and don't work in a convenience store or other high-crime-target job, you're fine. I used to routinely walk around in the Tenderloin in SF late at night (there was a great bar there where we went to quiz night) and never had anything happen worse than being propositioned by the trannie hookers. Likewise in DC, except there weren't any trannie hookers there.

Basically, it's about a zillion times more dangerous where you are now than it would be in the worst US city neighborhood.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Toronoto's downtown is unbelievably safe (none / 0) (#93)
by Battle Troll on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:47:02 AM EST

I used to live in Parkdale, which is one of the worst neighbourhoods in the city proper, and I never felt the least bit threatened. In Toronto, for some reason, the bad parts are on the edge of the city rather than the centre. I used to walk all night through the downtown core, in all seasons, and no one ever gave me the slightest trouble.

Toronto is really only a midsized city; it's only slightly larger than Recife. You'd probably be quite comfortable there. As for the cold, eh, you'll adjust.
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Exactly right (none / 0) (#105)
by hatshepsut on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:28:06 AM EST

You can quite safely stagger home, dead drunk at 1 AM on a Saturday, without difficulties (not that I did this last weekend, or anything).

The city has these statistics about the different crime rates in Toronto (old information, but I don't think things have changed that much). I find Toronto is more like a bunch of different neighbourhoods than one big city (you live in Parkdale, High Park, the Beaches, Greektown, or the Annex or wherever, you don't live in Toronto).

[ Parent ]

my advice (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:31:58 PM EST

It does seem like your requirements are a bit strict and untenable, but here's the 'advice' I'd offer.

First off, protect yourself! I don't know what the laws are where you are concerning firearm posession, but I say get a gun regardless. Yes, I'm a red-blooded American. It doesn't matter. The reason that things like death threats and extortion are occuring is because the prey is easy. If your dad had just said, "Come and try it, motherfucker," with the knowledge in the back of his head that he could arm his family members, he would be safer. Of course, local laws greatly impact this outcome; here in the US it isn't really an issue.

Failing that... well.

I don't know how the US fares when it comes to the immigration of skilled Central American workers. You'd have to look into it, and I wouldn't personally accept what I hear on the news; chances are its probably disinformation anyway. There are some very pleasant areas in the US, and you'd have the rights of a citizen instead of a subject.

Also, the political atmosphere of the US is very turmoltuous right now: I personally think that things like cannibis will be legal within too many years here.

I've got a friend in British Columbia, CA, where the crime rate is pretty low, and he says around 50F throughout the winter, on average. You'd not freeze your ass off, but it might be a bit cool to get used to at first - and the summers wouldn't be as hot.

Now, this might be more pertinent to you: my uncle  was a spoken English teacher in Japan for about 9 years. He never finished his college degree, but he's a very intelligent person. He writes well and has very good spoken English and accent (it being his native language, and all). My understanding is that Japan mainly looks for people with native American accents and cultural understanding, as they want people that can speak "American English". In other words, native speakers. The situation may have changed in the last couple years, though.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

I agree (none / 0) (#43)
by frijolito on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:51:49 PM EST

I have been wanting to get a firearm for a couple of years now, and this latest incident has pushed me into a decision. I mean, it's getting to the point where it's insane not to carry one. My dad would never touch one, though. I can respect that.

And, let's see, 50F turns out to be roughly 10C... which, while certainly not toasty, is definitely bearable. I could live with that.

Hmmm, Japan does indeed sound quite demanding. Another poster wrote that, according to what he's seen, you won't have much luck getting a teaching gig without a specialized teaching degree, which makes sense. Still, Bangkok remains at the top of my list because Asia sounds particularly enticing, and you did see the cuties right?

[ Parent ]

not really (none / 0) (#79)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 06:24:30 PM EST

Can't say I really dig the whole "asian" girl thing, personally. Though, there are some cute ones, I'll give you that. And finding a cute, subordinate asian would be great. Though I personally could never live under such a totalarian regime as China (and many other countries) maintain, regardless of the economic advantages.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

You know, now that you mention it, (none / 0) (#83)
by frijolito on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:53:13 PM EST

.. I hadn't yet given much thought to my destination's mode of government. I'll definitely be considering that.

[ Parent ]
Oxymoron (none / 0) (#101)
by skim123 on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 05:55:12 PM EST

And finding a cute, subordinate asian would be great. Though I personally could never live under such a totalarian regime as China (and many other countries) maintain, regardless of the economic advantages.

I think if you're going for a submissive Asian woman, a Chinese woman is about the last thing you want. From my understanding, they are typically the ones running the house.

Having a Korean wife, I can tell you that most Korean folks I've met have very dominant female matriarchs. The men seem to be the breadwinners and the women basically make all the decisions. I imagine that the Japanese women are the submissive lot folks with Asian fetishes pine for, but I really don't know many Japanese people.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
skilled Central American workers (none / 0) (#67)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:27:34 AM EST

Skilled tech workers, of any sort, are in high demand in the DC area. 2 years ago you needed a clearance, in addition to being skilled, to get a job. Today you just need skill.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Don't come to Taiwan (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by nostalgiphile on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:00:49 PM EST

We have enough "teachers" who come here to play with the ladies and get stoned, plus I doubt you'd ever learn enough Chinese to not be a pain in the ass to everyone.

In Thailand they might tolerate you cuz they're used to that sorta thing, but you're not gonna make enough to save and you will most likely go home with the clap in a cpl months. In Japan you might find what you're looking for (chicks and dope and an ESL job), but I doubt you'll be able to get around without some basic nipponese (yep, it's a difficult language btw).

Given all of the above, it looks like you oughta go to The Philipines. You're a Spanish speaker, there're lotsa inexpensive hookers and primo weed from what I'm told, and you might actually be able to make a contribution to their society. Good luck.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
nice (2.00 / 6) (#48)
by Michael Moore IV on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:08:24 PM EST

you've integrated yourself so much (lol) that you're allowed to be just a xenophobic as the natives

[ Parent ]
wrong (none / 1) (#60)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 01:39:15 AM EST

nobody speaks spanish save for a couple of loanwords from colonial days: "sigue sigue" "zapatos"

it's like saying because you speak dutch you can make it in indonesia

good luck! indonesians care about as much about dutch as they do about farsi

filipinos could care less about spain, and apparently, the reverse is true too

Jose Miguel Cortez, economic and commercial counselor of the Embassy of Spain here, told reporters at Spain's National Day celebration in Makati on Thursday that on the average, only 6,000 Spanish tourists visit the Philippines every year.

This number is very small compared with Spanish visiting Vietnam at about 50,000 and Thailand, about 100,000.

"I told the Tourism secretary [Ace Durano] that they should make an effort because Spanish tourists travel a lot and spend a lot. Unfortunately you never see Philippines in brochures of travel agencies," Cortez said.

He said the Spaniards are not aware of the beautiful beaches in the Philippines, which is not the case with Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Even the fact that the Philippines was a former colony of Spain, he said, is not known to most of his countrymen.

having said that, the philippines is awesome ;-P

so i agree with you, he should go there

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

wtf ? (none / 1) (#97)
by asad on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 01:41:55 PM EST

There are a lot of ESL jobs in Taiwan, in fact in about a month I will be moving to Taipei for that exact same reason. I would stay the hell away from the Phillipines, it's one of the most corrupt and dangerous countries in SE asia. Thailand would be my second choice, it's not as modern as Taiwan but the people are friendlier, finally consider Korea as well, they pay the most for ESL teachers.

[ Parent ]
The Philippines (none / 0) (#116)
by daviddennis on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 03:47:35 PM EST

From all accounts, the Philippines is a great country to live in as long as you don't need to earn a living.

Typical professional wages are in the order of $2 a day, and there's an enormous surplus of labor.

amazing.com has amazing things.
[ Parent ]

Move to Brazil (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by cbraga on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:17:20 PM EST

First off, we speak Portuguese here, which you probably knew already, so it's a new language for you to learn but on the other hand if you speak Spanish it'll be very easy to accomplish.

While there are a couple places where violence is a problem (Rio de Janeiro comes to mind) most of the country is actually quite pacific. If you stay out of RJ you probably won't ever be afraid to walk through downtown of any city at night. You won't have to worry about freezing your ass either.  

And here's a tip for you: highly qualified technical people are in shortage in both Manaus and Recife. Manaus has bundles of high tech factories which went there largely due to tax incentives. The only catch is, it's in the middle of the jungle. Literally, the only way in or out is either by boat or by plane. Recife OTOH is a tourist town which is only recently experiencing an influx of high tech companies (again due to tax breaks) so it's a "normal" city, and a very beautiful one too.

If you're into more temperate climates then the south of Brazil is appealing. In the summer temperatures in the three southern states reach 30 C or so but in the winter they rarely drop below 10 C. This portion of the country is also highly developed technologically and you probably wouldn't be long without a job. If I were to choose, I'd move to Florianopolis, which has the advantadge of being by the ocean and therefore close to countless beaches. The immigration to the south was mostly european so that comprises most of the gene stock around here. Actually many small cities closely resemble old european towns.

Wikipedia has lots more information too.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p

Great suggestion (none / 0) (#82)
by frijolito on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:50:18 PM EST

And a destination I had (foolishly) not yet considered. Thanks for bringing it to our collective attention.

Many people are actually surprised to learn of Brazil's huge industries and of their status as one of the world's economic powers. Not us Guatemalans, though; we've always known you guys kick ass ;)

One thing I love about Brazil (without ever having been there) is how its people are the greatest ambassadors --of any country-- you'll ever meet. I have never met a Brazilian I didn't like (and I've met a few). I know, I know, generalizing, but yeah the general impression is that Brazilians are kickass fun.

And those brasileiras! Mmmm-smack!

[ Parent ]

USE LINUX (1.33 / 3) (#61)
by regeya on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:27:42 AM EST

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Holy shit, you're still alive and posting? (none / 0) (#71)
by Patrick Chalmers on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 04:03:06 PM EST

I woulda thought you'd-a got anonymised by now.
Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
me, too. (none / 0) (#89)
by regeya on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:53:40 PM EST

people kept talking about how easy it was to get anonymized, so I've been a total horse's ass for a while. hasn't happened yet, so I guess I'll give up on that. *shrug*

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Got just the job for you (2.50 / 4) (#69)
by xmedar on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:08:40 PM EST


Be Careful of Japan (none / 1) (#70)
by adavies42 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 03:04:05 PM EST

My only advice would be to do a little research on Japan before considering it seriously. Not to put too fine a point on it, but how brown are you? The Japanese are some of the most racist people in the world--the only foreigners that get any respect at all are Anglos. If you can pass for white American, you should be fine, but if you're likely to be taken for a black, you should stay the hell away.

Some suggestions - China (none / 0) (#76)
by coljac on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:49:14 PM EST

Interesting article, actually. It's cool to get a glimpse into the lives of my fellow kurons. We both use Linux, but only you have to deal with extortionist goon squads. I have to deal with Vegemite sandwiches...

China is a pretty cool place to visit right now. There's a high demand for English teachers, the big cities are technicially modern, and the food is great. Plus there's plenty of culture shock to go around. Although it's not strictly required to teach English in Asia, if you're serious I'd recommend that you acquire a TESL/TEFOL qualification if you can. I don't know anything about it, but being Guatemalan, you might get a less enthusiastic response than a USian/Brit/Aussie/Canadian might in some places.

You might want to consider Australia or New Zealand as well. (Well, maybe not New Zealand.) The social order is intact, there's a points-based immigration system you ought to do well at, and the tech sector is doing very well. The climate is great. Although we suck up to the U.S. at every opportunity, we aren't quite as bad yet.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

Australia rocks (2.00 / 2) (#81)
by Fuzzwah on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:39:55 PM EST


All the ups of the US with out annoying Americans :)

The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris

Bzzrt. (none / 0) (#106)
by TheNewWazoo on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:35:13 PM EST

Sorry, I'm a southerner from the US, and I was shocked at Australia's contempt for intelligentsia in general. That, and the people are more xenophobic and racist than any place I've EVER been (and I've spent lots of time in some real backwoods redneck shitholes). I seriously got comments about eating at a "leb" kebab stand, and was regarded with some caution when I revealed that my stepfather is an EE professor of Chinese origin.

Beautiful country, friendly-if-backwards people. And the girls aren't all that hot, not by my Floridian standards, anyway.


P.S. I visited Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, and Ipswitch in Sept of '02. Bonus points if you can guess why I was there.

[ Parent ]

Sure, all the ups... (none / 0) (#112)
by der on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 11:10:44 AM EST

... and most of the downs. Australia is much more Americanized (in a bad way) than Canada, through some incredibly fucked up process I don't entirely understand - given that Canada borders the US and Australia is pretty much as far away as it could possibly be. The political climate here is really nothing to brag about. (I've lived in both)

[ Parent ]
I have concluded that (1.33 / 3) (#85)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:40:46 PM EST

after reading your comments here, that you are desperate for decent women, that you can only snag fat women, and that your 'fuck buddy/friend with benefits' probably makes you ashamed.

At least if she's moving to Long Island she might have a little bit of pride.



Don't you have a real life outlet for your wanna-be playa guy talk?  I don't mean to be rude but talking about girls so much does not make them gravitate to you like an empty can of Tag.

aww, so cute! (none / 0) (#100)
by frijolito on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 05:47:28 PM EST

Glad to see trollery is alive and kicking even with those dreaded "new site news".

Of course i'm desperate for decent women. Show me a hetero guy who isn't. And no dude, if I were ashamed of S I wouldn't hang with her. She's really fun, you'd know that if you ever met her.

But, yeah, I know ... Long Island?

wanna-be playa guy talk

lol. dude, I'm almost certain that, if anything, I come across as a dork instead of a "playa". Which is fine by me, 'cos it's totally true.

[ Parent ]

That's exactly the point! (none / 0) (#104)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:46:29 PM EST

Try to not come off as such a dork, but not by being all "Dude girls yeah dude!"

[ Parent ]
Vancouver (none / 0) (#86)
by Markusd on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:51:13 PM EST

Mild weather (warmest place to be in Canada for most of the year), you can consume cannabis pretty much where ever you like, very multicultural, lots of jobs for ESL teachers (we have tons of international students) or IT, low violent crime rates...

Recife, Brazil (none / 0) (#87)
by chiraz on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 09:20:43 PM EST

As stated before as a possibility... I work there myself and it's really great. No nonsense all-glass hi-tech buildings, restaurants spread throughout regular buildings, plenty of growth and training opportunities and quite a few speak very acceptable English. The IT region here is called "Porto Digital". Not just companies enjoying tax-breaks actually. About 70-80 companies now with 2000 employees against about, I don't know, must've been 50-100 round 10 years ago. As for Recife, not the most secure part of Brazil (there are better), but it's 8 S, has sun year round and there are frequent opportunities for Spanish speakers.

Canada Run Down (none / 0) (#92)
by midgetwaiter on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 05:13:58 AM EST

I grew up in Alberta but have lived a few other places.

I lived in Edmonton until I was 18 and then for a few years later as well.  It is not the most exciting city by any means but it's reasonably prosperous.  You wouldn't have much trouble getting work or finding ways to spend your free time there.  There isn't much culture or flavour to the city really, it's more or less a generic North American city.  I'm going back in a few years when my girfriend transfers universities.  I'm not thrilled about the prospect but not really upset or anything either.

I live in Calgary now and have been here for 6 years.  It's a much more cosmopolitan kind of place, much more multi-cultural as well.  There are many more immigrants here and much of the workforce is people from other parts of Canada.  There is stupid amounts of money flowing around because it is so strong in the oil sector right now, you shouldn't have any trouble finding IT work.  Housing is crazy but becuase of it the rental market is pretty decent.  There's lots of clubs here if that's your thing but there is also lots of other things to do as well.

Both Edmonton and Calgary are some of the largest cities in the world in term of land area, suburbs as far as the eye can see.  In Edmonton you will need a vehicle to get around, the transit system is weak.  Calgary is better in that regard but not great.  The cold thing would take a bit of getting used to.  Edmonton is colder than Calgary on average but both cities are mostly bearable outside of a couple of weeks a year, then it gets ugly.  I used to work with a woman from Columbia she didn't have too much trouble adjusting.

Vancouver is a neat place, very unique.  Others have commented on all the great things about it.  There was one thing that I couldn't handle and that was the winters.  It's not cold but it is cloudy for weeks on end.  You could go a month without a sunny day, I hated that.

Montreal is a fantasic city.  You don't need much french to get by but it does help.  It's also a very multicultral type of place and there is a ton of stuff to do.  I loved it there, easy to get around and a fun city to just go exploring in.  This city gets cold though, there is so much more humidity in the air that when it gets cold and windy you realy feel it.  I also found the summers to be nasty because of the hummidity but I doubt you'd have any problems with that.

One other thing to think about though, I've picked up and moved to a place where I didn't know anybody before, it sucks.  I'm pretty social but  don't make friends really fast so for me the first six months where pretty difficult.  You don't always want to hang out with people you work sith.  In that respect moving somewhere where you have family, especially cousins around your age would be a good thing.

Comments from a Guatemalan (none / 0) (#98)
by maquina on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 01:53:38 PM EST

I have to say that I definitely can relate to the situation you are currently experiencing in Guatemala. I lived in southern USA for the best part of 4 years while getting my BS in CS. Then I came to Guatemala and landed a Telecom job (in which I have been for the past year). Getting used to living again in Guatemala was somewhat difficult. I dont know if people in the US realize this, but the violence issue is a big one in here. 3 different people from my close circle of friends have been mugged in the past year, including me. Poverty can also be pretty severe in some circles. Leaving Guatemala does seem like a pretty good option. It almost seems that we are in the same position.

However, when thinking about leaving Guatemala, I think there are a couple of things that you should consider. First of all, in Guatemala, you are a big fish in a small pond. You can land pretty important jobs without having much experience (due to the lack of skilled people). Second, Guatemala really needs you, in Guatemala you can really make a difference. I was tempted to also list the girls here, however, I dont think we fare very well in that department. :)

Anyhow, if you still choose to leave, good luck, and hope to have you back sometime. And if it serves as some sort of advice, some friends of mine have left to France recently, to teach Spanish of all things.

Heh, yay por Guatemala siendo representada en kuro5hin, por mucho tiempo pense que era el unico :)

Buena onda, compay!! (none / 0) (#102)
by frijolito on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 06:24:33 PM EST

(will commment in english for the benefit of the spanish-impaired)

First of all, in Guatemala, you are a big fish in a small pond.


But, I don't know if being a big fish is so hot anyway if your habitat is more of a cesspool than a pond. Good point, though.

As you may have read in some of my other comments, my current goal is to emigrate for no more than a few years. I'm thinking of seeing first hand what a big pond looks like, and then upon returning I'd like to try and implement some ideas I hopefully will have picked up.

And France? Hummm... Well, I don't really like cheese that much, and from what I gather french people aren't very friendly to those that don't speak their language. But thanks for mentioning that, it's certainly going into consideration.

And, hey, all this time I thought that it would be pointless to try and put together a K5 Guate meet! Something definitely needs to be done about the fact that there's never been one.

[ Parent ]

Irving is that you ? (none / 0) (#110)
by davidsalgado on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:16:24 PM EST

Irving i've tried to reach you ! Still working for Carlos Slim ? Do you really enjoy being "lion's tail" ? Greetings :)

[ Parent ]
North Dakota, USA (none / 0) (#99)
by The Rizz on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 02:33:54 PM EST

I could suggest considering North Dakota as a place to live (if you think you can put up with cold winters). We have one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, and a very low cost of living. As an added bonus, I have never seen a live cockroach in the state. We just don't seem to have them here.

As for which cities to live in, I would suggest Bismarck/Mandan, Fargo/West Fargo/Moorhead, or Grand Forks/East Grand Forks.

  • Bismarck is a very nice town, especially if you want to raise a family, but has very little in the way of a night life. Bismarck was also rated the least stressful city in the nation.
  • Fargo is a larger city, and has a better job market than Bismarck - however, the cost of living there is higher. It does have a nightlife, due to the three fairly large colleges in town. It is, however, the ugliest city in the state (IMHO).
  • Grand Forks is still recovering from the flood of a few years ago, but is a very nice town with a large college and a decent job market.
We also have excellent fishing, hunting, hiking, etc. if you're an outdoorsy type.

For more information on available jobs, check the Job Service ND website

damn, another north dakotian (none / 0) (#103)
by myuu on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:23:26 PM EST

I'm not sure that ND would be the right place. There is not the greatest IT market, there are too many rednecks, and it is damn cold.

Grand Forks, though, is definitely moved on from the flood.

I would say move to Fargo if you move here. I lived in Bismarck and its a nice town but there is nothing to do.

[ Parent ]

Two North Dakotans? (none / 0) (#113)
by LilDebbie on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 12:57:59 PM EST

And I thought I was in the sticks!

If you're ever down in the cites, shoot me an email.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Just look up some college towns (none / 0) (#107)
by xmnemonic on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:25:36 PM EST

Ann Arbor, Toronto, Charlottesville, Austin etc. They're some of the more culturally and economically progressive areas in the world. Tech, girls and friendliness to minorities flourish in university communities.

If you want girls - Chapel Hill, NC (none / 0) (#111)
by nlscb on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 10:50:04 AM EST

66% female.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Guatemala needs us ! (none / 1) (#109)
by davidsalgado on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:12:23 PM EST

Frijolito, for starters, i'm a non-native speaker, so please forgive my bad english. Frijolito, Guatemala needs people like us, needs people like you ! If you go away, a piece of our future is going with you ! We have to "repair" this country, because us, guatemalans, centralamericans, deserve a better future, but we have to figth for it ! I'll stay in this pretty country, i will help to build a better future for my kids (which i don't have yet), for my loved ones ! I'll stay in this country because i want to set an example to the world ! Things have to change in this country and "somebody" has to do it ! U.S.A., Canada, EU they are the countries that helps us now, because years back, their citizens believed in their countries, they forced their governments to do better, they educated their children to aim higher ! Guatemala and Central America "can" change and is up to "us" ! Saludos a todos los guatemaltecos y centro americanos que leamos esto y recordemos que el futuro es el resultado de lo que decidimos y hacemos hoy !!

May I humbly recommend my home state (none / 0) (#114)
by LilDebbie on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 01:16:48 PM EST

of Minnesota. Granted, asses are regularly frozen here, but let me brag of my home state.

WRT immigrants: we have an incredible track record for immigrant relations. People may think of Minnesota as whitebread honky country, don'tcha know, but we also have the largest Somali population outside of Somalia, the largest Hmong population outside of southeast Asia, and we also have a very sizeable Hispanic community (for some reason, those who don't stay in SoCal skip the rest of the country and come here). Hell, my aunt is from Mexico and my family is (otherwise) about as whitebread as they come.

WRT teaching opportunites. See above. We have a desperate need for ESL teachers. You will have no difficulty finding work with your background.

WRT hotties, we have many. I do not know their stance on Latino men, but being a teacher should get you a long way.

WRT to weed regulation, as long as you're somewhat discreet, it's no problem. We get the occasional drought too, which sucks but they never last more than a few weeks.

Best of luck!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Actually, let me recommend my home state (none / 0) (#117)
by stoothman on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 06:34:36 PM EST

Far removed from the frozen tundra of our northern neighbor, Iowa is quite the garden spot.  Why just today, the high temperature was a whole 8 degrees warmer. :-)

Like Minnesota, Iowa actually does have communities of immigrants that have developed over time.  Most live in the bigger cities, which appear to have vibrant communities developing.  

In the capital Des Moines, there is a significant number of Hispanics and as a result many fine restuarants and several Hispanic oriented grocery stores.

There is a need for ESL teachers, but I would check into licensing requirements both here in Iowa or in Minnesota.  They are quite strict at least for K-12.

There is also a thriving IT job market in Des Moines.  As a center of the insurance and financial industries, there are usually lots of tech jobs.  

The quality of life is relatively high with several Iowa cities being listed as top places to live.  The people are relatively friendly and welcoming to strangers.

I will say it is probably a bit less tolerant about drugs than our neighbor to the north.  But then they also elected Jessie Ventura as governor, so tht is probably a wash. :-)

As to "hotties" and night life, there are a fair number of bars and dance clubs.  So there is usually something to do until about 2 am.  Most everything else shuts down at 10 pm or so.

[ Parent ]

Ask K5: New job, new city | 117 comments (107 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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