Friday, March 28, 2008

Take Your Self To Work Day

First of all, I want to assure you all that this prolific blog posting will soon cease once I start work on Monday. Partly because I'll have less time, partly because fewer exciting things will be happening, I's just not that interesting to read about how I went to work and did some work and checked email and looked on my blog for comments and came home. So fear not, you'll soon have your lives back just as I start to get one of my own!

On the subject of work, I visited campus earlier this week. I wanted to do a dry run of my commute. It's a short tram ride, about 15 minutes, up to Caulfield where Monash has a campus. Ah, if only this were the campus where I was going to be working. But alas, such is not the case so once I arrive at the Caulfield campus, I switch to the free, intercampus shuttle which runs continuously between the campuses, about every 25 minutes. So, its an easy commute but the combination of shuttle service and tram service means I actually have to take a 7:45 AM tram in order to be in Caufield in time for the 8:20 shuttle. Which is why I am optimistic about getting a car from Adi's brother soon. But I'll deal with that adventure when it comes to pass.

Upon arriving at the Clayton campus--incidentally, you, like me, may wonder if the Aboriginal languages feature "C" words more than others. In addition to Caulfield and Clayton, there's Collingwood (our biggest footy rival), Carlton, Camberwell, Croydon, Cheltenham, Chadstone, not to mention Chapel and Carlisle streets, just to name a few.

Anyway, upon arriving at the Clayton campus, which is the main campus of Monash, I was struck by how it, like Brown, was founded in the 60's. Of course, Brown was founded in the 1760's and Monash wasn't founded until almost 200 years later, in the 1960's (okay, fine, technically, in 1958 but most buildings were built in the 60's). The architecture of the campus reflects its place in history so all the finer design features of that time are present. Details like concrete, rectangles and squares and virtually nothing of any distinction fills the campus. Happily, one of the less communist-looking buildings is where I'm housed, in a square red and steel structure, the home of the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education.

To be fair, the campus does have beautiful landscaping and between my building and the Campus Centre- which is similar to Faunce (for the Brunonians) or the UMC (for the Boulderites) or a student union for the rest of y'all... there is a little garden footpath.

I poked my head in the building to discover that my entire department is out for the week, which explains why no one was that concerned about me not starting till next week. Then I had to get to HR to turn in some paperwork. I asked at the centre and she suggested the easiest way to get there was to drive. Given my lack of a vehicle, she then gave me directions. It was far. Think Pembroke- Perkins (Brown). Or East Campus to the Hill (Boulder). Or one place to another place that's really far away (everyone else).

As I began my trek, I started to rethink my choice of footwear- new clogs that I imagine will eventually become more comfortable, once they've finished devouring chunks of skin off of my big toe. Just as I realized that I'd been holding my map upside down and walking even farther from my destination, Mother Nature decided it was time to end the drought. I like a good rainstorm as much as the next girl, but not nearly as much as my newly forming blisters did. I ducked into the gym, which is actually a great facility I plan to join.

After waiting out the major downpour, I continued my long walk to HR. I glanced at my offer letter, signed by what looked like Carla Demaio. I asked for her at the desk and out she came. She couldn't place me and after going back and checking her files a few times, asked to see my letter. This was not a very good feeling. Turns out, my letter was signed by CarlO DemaLo. AN honest mistake, but I was a bit confused that it didn't occur to her sooner that this was the mistake. Their names differ by 2 letters... surely I'm not the first person to make the mistake, considering the signature goes through the typed version of the name, obscuring the "o" at the end of Carlo.

It won't be a problem anymore as they then informed me that Carlo has taken off on a world tour. They went to fetch his replacement and out comes Rebecca, a sweet, fourteen year old, or so, who informs me excitedly that today is her very first day. And I'm her first "case". Really? Her first case in HR is an international placement requiring all sorts of visa paperworks and forms. They couldn't start her off with, say, someone from Sydney? Needless to say she couldn't really answer any of my questions and I'm now fairly confident I'm going to be deported.

I have heard from my boss since then so I'm feeling more excited and less demoralized, albeit a little overwhelmed as she sent me my weeks schedule for next week and I'm going to hit the ground running. Too bad I haven't started at the gym yet!

We had a fun night at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We went on tight-arse Tuesday where things are a little cheaper. We saw a mediocre sketch comedy show and then a very funny comedian who is a secret American. HE explained why he doesn't tell anyone that he's from the US, an described a scenario with visiting relatives who angrily demanded of their waitress "We're from the states. Do you people have sandwiches here?" (and the answer is yes, they do). I hope I'm less obnoxious.

Before the show, we had a great dinner in China Lane. Adi calls it China Town, but its really just one street long. In any case, it was cheap and quick and if I don't know it's meat than it doesn't count i figure!

Gearing up for a mellow weekend and getting excited about work. I'll keep ya posted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Footy Edition

Yesterday, I attended my first Australian Football Match. The Australian Football League is celebrating its 150th year as an organization but prior to that, there were smaller leagues, the largest of which was centered in Victoria. Thus Melbourne is considered the true home of footy. Further evidence of this is that there are 16 teams in the AFL and 7 of them call Melbourne home. This is even more telling when you remember that Melbourne only has about 5 million people. The result is that alliances have torn families apart, brother against brother, since there are so many teams to choose from.

I've been instructed to be an Essendon fan and I am happy to comply, in spite of the fact that there is a St. Kilda team, the closest one to my neighborhood. But I want to keep the peace at home, and since Adi has excellent taste in sports teams- he liked the Giants and the Yanks before even meeting me- who am I to argue.

So, this morning, in keeping with the Essendon spirit, I did something I don't think I've ever done before in my life. I sat down and put on RED SOCKS to go to a sporting event. I borrowed Adi's old Essendon jumper and this, combined with the Essendon beanie Adi gave me as part of my welcome to Melbourne kit, completed my outfit. As we began our walk to the train- even if we had a car, the train is by far the easiest way to get there- it began to rain slightly. But no worries, as the Telstra dome has a dome so the game can go on.

I was afraid my constant barrage of questions might annoy Adi but he was a good sport- and perhaps remembered my patience when explain what a ribby (aka RBI) is. At the risk of offending Aussies who pride themselves on the longevity of their sport, I can compare the game a bit to Hockey, in that play is constant and the athleticism of the players is impressive. Of course, there is no ice; rather the players run up and down the length of the grounds. They can either kick the ball, which is similar to our football, only a little more rotund- or they can hand punch it- similar to a volleyball serve. They can only hold the ball for 10 meters and then must either punch or kick it to a teammate or bounce it, a bit like dribbling- but remember, the ball isn't round. Nevertheless, this aspect of the game reminds me of basketball, especially with the back and forth up and down the field. It's also similar to our football in that tackles happen to the players who wear no protective gear (well, I assume they wear cups but our cheap seats didn't allow for too much investigation of that topic). A tackle is only legal if it happens to the player who has the ball and can only come from the side, not the front or back. And, given the lack of HGH being used, I can't really compare the game to baseball at all. Especially since the team in red doesn't suck :-)

The refs are amazing athletes themselves as they probably all run at least a 10 K each game and the ball is almost constantly in motion.

There are two type of scores- goals, which are 6 points each and behinds, which are worth a single point. Four goal posts at either end denote the goal area and a ball that passes through the center polls is a goal. If it goes through the outer poles, or hits a pole, tis only a behind.

I am thrilled to report that we pummeled the North Melbourne (alas, not yet referred to as No-Me-- but if that does become a trend, you heard it hear first!) Kangaroos. I think the final score was about 119-60 or something. But we kicked ASS. As it's only the first round of a 22 game season, Adi cautions me not to get too cocky (NOT ME????). That didn't stop me from coming up with clever barbs like the Kanga-BOOS.

The rest of the holiday weekend (Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays) was fun and productive. We put together our table- using the leaf from the giant table we're going to get rid of and legs from IKEA. Also put together a dresser and some nightstands care of the Swedish geniuses. And we took a nice drive down the coast to Sorrento, near the southern peninsula, with two other couples. And, due to popular are some pictures!

This is me in my Essendon gear...not sure why it won't rotate properly.

Here is the footy field:
Here are a couple of our apartment:
The kitchen- the table we made with ikea legs is against the wall on the right now, but i took the pic before that!

And here's is our lounge room, as they say. The giant table is the one we're getting rid of- we took the leaf out and used that to make our new, smaller one. You can actually see the leaf leaning against the wall.
Finally, here are the people we went to Sorrento with. From L-R, it's Alyah, Nat, Sammy and his dog, Adi and Toby, who is trying to look super tough...and failing, I'm afraid.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Making New Friends

Now that you all can envision my neighborhood, I think it's time to share some news about who I'm spending time with. Anyone who's sat through a few episodes of Friends alongside me knows how skeptical I am about a group of people who are friends with each other and no one else for years and years and years. Just never seemed possible to me that they wouldn't have made other friends throughout their jobs, lives, schools.

Well, such an insular circle is alive and well and living in Melbourne. Adi's friends are a group of people who went to summer camp together beginning when they were 8 (a Jewish Socialist camp no less)..and they are all still close friends. There are a few peripheral friends amongst the members, of course, but for the most part, this somewhat incestuous group have all been friends for 20 -odd years and remember, they are about a decade younger than I am! I suppose if all my Brown friends lived in the same city, we'd hang out a lot as well. Whether we all would have dated each other remains to be seen, but that is the case with many of these folks. SO I'm learning the history slowly...its kind of like starting to watch a soap opera after it's been on for a long time. But before you know it, you're hooked.

As you can imagine, diving headfirst into such a tight knit group is a bit intimidating but everyone has been very welcoming. As I get to know them, they are not unlike any other group of intelligent, well-educated middle-class Jews...given that their professions range from journalist to fast food vegetarian burger joint small business owner to health care worker to social worker to a collection of lawyers and law students, you can see that the socialism is more theory than practice. Nevertheless, everyone has been really friendly, and I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable- even making some sarcastic comments now and then. Of course, to know me is to appreciate my sense of humor. Thus, it's good people are starting to get a glimpse of it since this circle pretty much comprises our social life.

We've spent the last two Friday evenings, after Shabbos dinner with Adi's family, at his friend Alyah's house watching a show called Underbelly. This is a an Aussie show based on actual underworld events that occurred in Melbourne between 1995 and 2004. The show has a Soprano's like feel but is fun for the locals since it's based on real events. The show was actually banned in Victoria because there is currently a trial taking place and there is concern about exposing the jury to the show. Of course, in the age of DVD's and downloads, such a ban serves only to pique interest in the production. And now I've gone and blogged about it, so hopefully next week, Alyah's won't be raided.

In spite of occasional cheesy edits, its really good and becoming addictive, so I"m hoping we'll continue to gather with our underbelly gang. While I am learning about this seedier side of Melbourne lift, I am aware that to judge the city on this show is akin to judging the NYC metro area on the Sopranos, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt.

We also had a picnic last Sunday afternoon at the park with lots of nosh and a chance to meet more of the circle. It was fun and I almost convinced everyone that in the Old Country, you get points when you DONT catch the frisbee. I came thisclose to winning!

Tomorrow, I reckon we'll rock up to a bar with the group in the arvo, unless we can't be F***D going somewhere so dodgy.

That's me practicing my Aussie and means: I think we'll head over to a bar with the group in the afternoon unless we don't feel like going somewhere sketchy.

I'm adjusting well, as you can tell by my command of the language- it's coming along quicker than my Spanish did in Nicaragua. And I'm even looking in the right direction when crossing the street.

My work visa came through so I start work on the 31st. That means this coming week is my last one of freedom, so I hope to explore the city a bit more. We're planning to drive down the coast tomorrow and then go to the footy opener on Monday, where I'll be exposed to Aussie Rules Football for the first time. I root for Essendon- I've been told- and other than the red color of their uniforms, I'm all for it. They're actually the Essendon Bombers, so its not too far off from the Bronx Bombers. How much HGH is involved I dont know yet.

I'm learning to appreciate little things about Oz- for example, large file folders, what we would call Legal size, are called Foolscap here, in reference to the powdered wigs still worn by Barristers in court. Poor dad, if only he practiced in a commonwealth country, his little head would stay warm.

I also love that every toilet here offers the half-flush option. Due to the years-long drought country-wide, water conservation is way ahead of the states. So in spite of Australia having a significantly smaller Carbon footprint than the states, green is very much a way of life. And of course, they drive smaller cars- and arely complain about their astronomical gas prices. Gas is hovering around $1.50 per liter right now. When you consider that there are 3.8 L to the gallon, that makes gas almost $6 a gallon. OUCH.

And life in the ghetto continues...we were awoken at 7:30 AM yesterday to the sounds of Purim and there were drunken religos stumbling around the neighborhood all day long. St. Patrick's day came and went with nary an Irish Eyes are Smiling, but this was unprecedented. I got in the spirit of the holiday, laughing as I assmebled some new IKEA furniture.

Until next time, Ciao friends.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Settling in to St. Kilda East

When last i wrote, I was adjusting to life in my new neighborhood. Due to my lengthy last blog, I spared you all the details but, the time has come to paint a picture of my new hometown. 

Our flat, which is generously described as cozy, if you interpret cozy as small enough to simultaneously shower, cook breakfast and peruse your wardrobe, is coming together. We've been inheriting some free furniture from Adi's mom, a free TV from a friend of his and a free desk from a stranger off of Gumtree- the Aussie version of Craig's List. I've been spending lots of quality time at the $2 shops- described more below- and have been filling our house with needed tchatkes, trying to keep our colors of orange and green omnipresent. For example, orange napkins, can opener, tissue box, green file holder, trash can, cutting board. We have a green accent wall, making our home very trendy looking, so I'm jut trying to keep it hip...because, as you all know, I am nothing if not hip!

We live in a neighborhood called St. Kilda east- on the edge of Balaclava. If I were so inclined, I'd open a store that served only baclava and call it Balaclava baclava. Say it 10 times fast and you get a free piece. But I don't really like baclava, so another genius business idea bites the dust. 

We're about 4 blocks from the start of Carlisle Street, the main street of Balaclava. Here, you can see gentrification in action. 

To imagine the make-up of my neighborhood, think Boulder. Only replace all of the runners with Frum Jews and all of the hippies with Asian immigrants. This is an especially apt description given that Boulder runners would consider what I do "running" about as much as these Jews would consider how I practice my religion "Judaism".

Adi describes our 'hood as "the ghetto". By this, he doesn't mean folks wearing their jeans below their boxers, driving low-riders with thumping bass from their pimped out stereo system. No, ghetto more in the way of black hats, black suits, long beards and long black skirts and wigs. There are a number of positives to this. 1) No loud parties on Friday nights. 2) Not a good chance of getting whistles and cat-calls as I walk down the street, given that most of the men don't look at me. 3) A plethora of great bakeries and 4) The aforementioned $2 shops. 

If you've ever wondered what happens when you combine a group of people with a penchant for bargains with a group of people with access to cheap imported plastic goods, come to Carlisle street and find out! We have 5 of these "bargain gift stores" in a 4 block radius-- so I guess $2 shops are the equivalent of Sushi restaurants on Pearl street. At first glance, all of them are the same. However, having spent most of my time last week in these shops I can now tell the subtle differences. I think Astoria might be my favorite. It's called a paper supply warehouse so I first wandered in looking for envelopes. Of these they had none, but they did have 5 rooms filled with the biggest collection of lead-painted merchandise that I've ever seen. From zip-locks to brooms, tupperware to purim costumes, this store has it all. Even an entire section devoted to Hollywood, with a variety of fake plastic oscars. Another favorite is the one I call "the one next to Pause", named such by the proximity to the coffee shop called Pause. Then there's the one with my friend. Thats where she has come to recognize me and says- are you here for orange and green again? in her broken English. She's my favorite of the proprietors. I frequently marvel that there is a market for so many pieces of crap serving such little purpose in the world. Then I snatch up whatever it is I'm looking at and add it to my basket!

A few commonalities of all the stores...their penchant for a complete lack of any semblance of organization of their merchandise- toilet brushes next to cooking utensils next to hello kitty socks- and the fact that there is literally not a single thing available for the advertised $2!

Interspersed with these shops are a multitude of coffee shops- Melbourne has a Seattle-like coffee culture that I, of course, wont be a part of. There are also about 5 pizza places, including a few "Bouldery" earthy veg spots that I like and Adi scoffs at. I mentioned the addition to the 5 or 6 Jewish ones-we plan to sample a Challah from each over the upcoming weeks- there are some Vietnamese and plain old regular ones. So you can buy Hamentaschen, a Vietnamese loaf and Hot Cross Buns "in time for Easter" within three stores of each other. Dr. Atkins would not be happy but I certainly am!

We've got a slew of restaurants cheap and more upscale- everything from Sushi to Thai to great Falafel to salads and backed potatoes and even a Subway (I find it interesting that they sell foot-longs here...) and then an amalgamation of upscale clothing and accessory stores intermingling with second-hand and Judaica shops. It's a very eclectic mix and I like the European feel of having a fishmonger and a butcher (or three) and a chemist and a florist and a produce stand all standing side-by-side. Of course, for the more lazy one-stop-shopper (i.e., me) there are two US-inspired supermarkets- including a Safeway. it is much smaller and anyone concerned with my sodium intake will be glad to know the option of veggie frozen meals are quite slim. If someone could let Amy's know their product is desperately needed, I'd appreciate it!

We've also got a post office, cleaners, laundromat, video store and some internet cafes rounding out the commerce options. Unfortunately, no ice cream but that is probably best. Luckily I have less of a weakness for bakeries.

The train station, where a train to the CBD is about 10 minutes and $3.50 is on this block- just be sure to step over the used syringes in the alley- and a tram runs up and down Carlisle street for the days I over shop, with a stop across the street from our house. At the other end of the shopping area is the public library, where I sit writing this, enjoy the wireless and air con. Across the street from that is the St. Kilda Town hall, currently finishing a renovation connecting a brand new modern building to the old town hall, a visual representation of the old and new coming together. The grand opening party in a few weeks offers both a hip hop battle and a Russian folk-dancing session, so you can see the mixed-use of the neighborhood. The fact that many of the posters in the library are provided in Russian and more than one Asian language as well as English demonstrates the diversity, a nice change coming from Boulder.

I hope I've given you a feel for what's out my front door. And this week, I plan to venture past it a little more, providing the oppressive heat breaks, so I can give a better idea of what Melbourne is like. And photos of the flat coming soon, I promise.

And a Mazel Tov shout-out to Amy who just got engaged!!

Until then, post your comments and take care!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm here!!!

Hi everyone,
I know you've all been clamoring for info and I've finally found a combination of time and internet access...the county has been conspiring against me using the internet. Ours wont be connected until next week...though hopefully, the electricity we ordered for last Friday is going to be turned on. I didn't think I was moving to a developing nation but the electricity process has been very Nica-like!

I've gotten some feedback about the blog, including a few suggestions to put in a subscription service...which I'd love to do but I don't know how, so if you do...TELL ME!

So now, an update on the last five or so days...

Part 1: The Flight...aka What to do on your ass for 20 hours
The most excitement I had at JFK, other than getting through security without taking out my quart-sized ziplock because I forgot to remove it from my bag and the guy watching the x-ray was arguing with someone about his break rather than watching the machine, filling me as usual with confidence in the TSA folks, was when a random couple stole a pack of gum from me. I'd dropped it and this woman came over and said about 3 times that she'd been sitting there earlier and she had dropped it. I knew it was mine but didn't feel the need to argue, but thought it strange that she was so dedicated to getting a free pack of gum before boarding a flight to a far-flung destination. Given that the mint mojito flavor I so love will be hard to find here, I guess she was the smart one. The flight wasn't that bad. My row-mate on the LA- Mebourne trek was an ex-pat Aussie going to visit her family. I mention her mostly because it turned out that her oldest daughter went to Robin-hell- i mean del- and her husband went to Wineauke...though he's younger than my uncle. She said her daughter loved it there (for those out of the loop, Hedy and I did NOT) and as I witnessed her nasty streak, I decided her daughter was probably just like her which is why she liked it there! She actually told the woman in front of us with a 2-year-old who had about 5 minutes of crankiness the whole 20 hour flight- that she should just drug the kid with a sleeping pill.

I survived the flight with a combination of some great on-demand movies, an Ambien and an empty seat. At one point, I felt like I was at an Oscar party, as I watched Atonement and the people in front of me viewed Juno, No Country and Michael Clayton. Can't imagine seeing No Country on a plane. I never got to finish atonement because we landed. Stupid Qantas, getting me in early.

Another bonus was the empty seat next to me. Got to thank the crappy economy for keeping people at home so I can stretch out It was nice. Finally, the Ambien was great. I got about 6 hours of deep sleep- woke up with every joint aching having not moved the whole time. Having never taken a sleeping pill before, I wasn't sure if I'd have one of those Ambien reactions where I'd get up and try to fly the plane. Don't think I ended up in the galley helping myself to the food, but I did have a very vivid Amy Winehouse dream, so I may have been singing "Rehab" in the front of coach...hope my fellow passengers enjoyed the show!

Part 2: Reunion
After going through custom and retrieving my 4- yes, 4..its excessive I know, especially given the size of our flat- bags, I burst out the door into Adi's arms. Well, not quite. I couldn't see him over the stack of my bags, but he saw me and called me over to him. It was all a bit surreal...after 5 months of imagining the moment, coupled with the residual affects of the Ambien, it had a very dream-like quality to it. We stopped by our flat and I got the grand tour. After that took all of 1 minute, we were off on our surprise getaway...with a quick stop at his mum's house because he thought he'd forgotten his credit card (he hadn't he soon realized). I got to meet Cino the dog (named after Al Pa...) and learned that he has a peculiar genetic defect resulting in his front paws being permanently stuck in first position. Great turnout and a little quirky. This led me to ask Adi if any of his other friends had any unusual physical traits that he'd neglected to mention, ie, an additional arm or leg growing from their back or something.

Part 3: The Dandedongs
Adi planned a weekend getaway to "the bush" for us. We stayed in an absolutely adorable self- contained cottage run by an eccentric old Austrian (not a typo- I mean from Austria- wonder if he typed in the wrong name on a return plane ticket once and ended up down here!)) man (Gunther)..and theoretically by his wife Leonie though we never saw her. The Gundalee cottage...get it- Gunther and Lee- was just outside the little town of Warburton in the Dandedong mountain range. The one bedroom cottage had a kitchenette, though we ended up ordering pizza the first night- and even included "breakfast"-which meant that Gunther made us a homemade loaf of rye bread and gave us eggs and bacon and smoked salmon and Oj and milk. It was cozy and private and in a beautiful place, with views of lush, green hillsides and delicious smells.

I think Adi took me to the mountains to quell any fears I had about city living. Just about 90 minutes outside of Melbourne, the cute town had a bit of a hippy vibe to it and sat at the base of Mt. Donna Buang (Bew- Ang) which we drove to on Saturday. We took a walk in a "rain forest" of sorts- a temperate one, filled with Eucalyptus trees. Alas, we saw no koalas. We also took a walk along the river and other than occasionally doing a dance with people walking towards us as I moved to the wrong side of the path, it was lovely. We finished our Saturday afternoon with tea and scones (fine, I didn't have tea & Adi had a coffee) and local jam and then watched a bit of "the cricket" which was tedious and had no one who looked remotely like Jeter..though I will concede that none of the players looked like they were taking HGH either! But it was quite continental feeling and I tried to forget that some portion of my paycheck might be going to the queen.

Upon returning to Gundalee, we encountered Gunther and he offered a suggestion for our dinner out at a pub a few towns up the road. He also gave us a bottle of the wine he makes and offered to sell us some- though he won't sell less than 6 bottles at a time. If we'd decided to go for the half case, it would have run us a whopping $36 so I'll let you wine connoisseurs think about how good the wine was. Adi barely choked down his glass so we gave the remainder of the bottle to his brother the next day, as thanks for helping us move.

We took Gunther's suggestion and ate at this very Aussie pub, which Adi explained means mediocre food, generally. The Southern Sun it was not! We went back to town and stopped in at the other place we were going to eat because they had live music. As the boulder-esque ambiance surrounded us, I felt at home and as soon as a steak the size of my thigh went by, Adi agreed that we'd made a mistake not eating there. Oh well, I got my pub experience out of the way!

Sunday involved an accidentally long, scenic drive back to the city where we went straight to Adi's mum's house to let her as well as a few of his friends meet and greet the American. I've gotten in the habit of saying "in the old country" when I'm explaining how things are different in the US..I feel like its a little less obnoxious. We managed to schlep all of his stuff, other than his bed which didn't fit in the van we'd borrowed, and settled in a bit before returning to mum's for dinner and a shower...since our hot water is electric, we haven't had any of that, either!

This is lengthy so you'll have to wait till next time to hear about St. Kilda!

Until then, G'day mates!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Finally Going Upside Down

Well, today's the day. I leave for JFK in about 30 minutes and begin the epic journey across the world's largest ocean. After 5 months away from Adi, I am, needless to say, very excited to see him. That excitement is doing a good job of pushing any other emotions away, keeping me from focusing on being nervous about meeting his friends and family, sad about leaving my friends and family- most especially Joshie and Lucy- and even keeping me from being excited about the adventure part of this adventure.

One thing I've realized in the last few weeks as I've made my way around the country and said goodbye to people- from my newest Boulder friend to friends from high school and college- is what amazing friends I have surrounded myself with. You can all pat yourselves on your proverbial backs now. Seriously, I've been really touched by how just about every friend is genuinely happy for me. Either that, or everyone was just really really tired of the bitter Sheryl persona I'd created over the last decade! In any case, it's really nice that so many people who love me are appreciating my latest adventure.

As I look out onto the cold, gray day, Im also getting excited about the 80 degree weather that awaits. Granted, I'm heading into fall, but I have a few good days left down there.

This is not the first time I've begun an unfamiliar path, though I've never planned one away from home for this long. Another big change is that I've never really relied on anyone else during my adventures and of course, the magnitude of this move is due to the decision made by two of us. I'm extremly optomsitic about the relationship and the move but the whole compromising thing will be a change.

Finally, there's the whole "real" job- or as an old friend used to say- "jobby job". It will be nice to have a regular paycheck and know that when I'm not working, I'm not supposed to be working-- but I do imagine that by my fourth or fifth day, I'll wake up and go "again? They want me there AGAIN???!" But, I suppose having a career at the ripe old age of 37 isn't a bad thing.

Time to go to watch the toilet flush in the clockwise direction one last time so I'll sign off for now. My next posting will be from Oz...though probably not until next week :-) I'll be spending some quality time with Adi this weekend, and then I begin the process of meeting everyone in his world!

Comments and emails are welcome and of course, so are visitors!

G'day mates!