6. I can live and work here

Before I came here, I desperately wanted to live and work in America. I guess I wanted to do things differently for myself rather than just pursue the art of cooking. When I came to Novato, California for the first time my instincts told me this is where I would live and work.

After graduation I came back to live in Novato and shared an apartment with a guy who was a few years older than me. He used to work at a high-end Japanese restaurant and stayed here illegally like myself. He applied for a green card about 2 years after I started living with him.

At that time, it was almost impossible for a chef to obtain a visa in the US. The norm was to enter and stay illegally and apply for a green card after a few years. I heard these things from other people but didn't do extensive research myself. I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to Japan for 5 or 10 years but it would be the right decision in the end.

6. ここでやっていける