“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Moving on

Here is Cerebus, my sister's rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback (ridgeless). He'll have to put up with me while Barb and Eric are celebrating their 40th birtdays and wedding anniversary in Vanuatu. Now I'm really alone out here in the west hills of Auckland, unless you count the 8 chickens ("chooks"), dog, and 3 cats. We are all in transition now- my dog and 2 cats are on a plane from LA to Auckland tonight, my husband is staying with a friend in Phoenix, on his way from California to North Dakota. Our house in San Diego closes escrow tomorrow.
So I've been here just over 2 weeks, and have been trying to settle in. I started my job within a few days of arrival, thinking that I have a lot of catching up to do, because I'm 2 months later than they expected. Instead, my supervisor has gone to the US for 2 weeks, and there's much that I can't do without his approval or signature. There is a new work space at the medical school, where we share facilities, in which the protocol for sharing rooms and equipment has not yet been established. According to my co-worker, the planners and managers did not fully think it through when setting it up. In addition, it can be difficult to get information. I assumed that there would be a health and safety policy at the company, though it's small, because it's referred to in the employment contract. But no one seems to know where that is. I really like my office-mate and co-worker, fortunately, and he's being as helpful as he can be.
Adjusting to the climate has been a challenge. I know I'll sound like a spoiled SoCal brat saying so, but it IS COLD HERE!! It's spring, and we've had wind, rain, hail, and more wind. There is no central heat in Barb's house, so I wear my pyjamas, a fleece vest, and a wool hat to bed. Yes, I had to go buy a wool hat and scarf because I expected warmer weather and packed shorts and short sleeved shirts. The wind is incredibly strong, blows out of Antarctica I think, and reminds me of living in the great plains of North Dakota. Only instead of vast open prarie, the wind comes over vast open ocean. The good thing about this is that the air is clean and fresh. But there are no barriers to tame it, so it is wild. I assume it will get milder as summer comes.
I seem to be making a lot of assumptions here, but it can be hard to get information here. I find I have to be very persistent. I will get information that is tangential to what I ask, but not a straight answer. I feel like I'm being pushy and impatient, because most people here are so laid back and easy going. The pace is much slower that what I'm habituated to, and simple things seem complicated and inefficient. It's really frustrating. I'm so glad I have my sister here to talk to. And soon my husband will be here too- October 25th! I'm so excited to see my pets this weekend! They will be at the quarantine station for 30 days. I can't bear to think of the huge expense to bring them here, so don't ask me about it, it's a sore spot. But I wouldn't come without them. Here they are, Jazz (chocolate ocicat), Latte (white domestic), and Fargo (rottweiler).