Monday, 1 October 2012
i have travelled through time and space
And so I find myself, to a considerable extent, to be in New Zealand.
Myself and another colleague shall be here for three months as part of work placement in which I will get to poke at aeroplanes, which is a novel experience for most engineers involved in the design of aeroplanes. I had originally intended to go to Canada for my external placement; but the company I was to be seconded to quite selfishly decided to go bankrupt - so now I'm here instead.
Despite being a work placement, work is profoundly unsupportive of the entire shenanigan and generally takes the view that it's all a bit of a free holiday. Which of course it is. However, it does mean that the support we get extends no further than a subsistence allowance (half of which will be paid after the placement is completed) and the advice that we should try to sort our accomodation out as soon as possible. Thanks, work.
Sorting out accomodation has been tricky; partly because being on the other side of the planet is somewhat inconvenient when it comes to viewing properties, but mainly because a lot of the buildings here have either fallen over or mostly fallen over. Short term accomodation is hard to come by because so much of it is snapped up by people who having their houses repaired, or by the people that are repairing their houses. In spite of this, it looks like we might have stumbled upon somewhere that is not upside down or on fire, and if all goes to plan we should be moving in on Wednesday.
In the meantime, we've been lurching between motels. Motel number one was perfectly acceptable. Not as luxurious as a Premier Inn, but also not as squalid as a multi-storey car park stairwell; finished in exquisitely functional shades of grey and brown, my room included a decent shower, a kitchenette thingy, a comfy bed and a TV with no porn channels. Motel number two isn't a motel at all; it's a fabulous B&B. Fabulous.
In between checking in and out of temporary accommodation, I went to work. Day one at Sinister Foreign Workplace was much like day one anywhere - lots of meeting people with eminently forgettable names and faces, wrestling with nefarious admin systems to obtain access to the various computer gubbinz that will be needed, and mandatory pre-employment drugs tests. Disappointingly, the drugs test did not take the form of a Pespi Challenge style blind tasting; instead I had to pee into a cup for a nice lady who will send it away to see if it is possible to get high by smoking it.
So, all good so far. Once things have settled down a bit I hope to do a bit more roaming about, seeing what there is to see and attempting to catch hobbits.