Monday, November 17, 2008

My New Flat

My New Flat

It’s quiet Sunday evening as I’m pre-heating the oven to bake my Australian pie, or as the Aussies call them ‘piiies’ with a longing in their eyes. Dino was wrong, it wasn’t a pizza pie. Anytime I bring something to my desk that remotely smells like meat, one of the office women who is very nice, walks around sniffing saying, “Who has pie? Someone’s eating pie!” as if it was an offense not to bring enough for everyone. One guy who works for us told me, once he found out I was from Seattle, that he’d spent a couple years in Vancouver, B.C. and went to Seattle often. He confided in me as if this was a deep secret, only to be told to those who would appreciate it is, “Mate, there’s the Australian Pie Company in Seattle. It saved me life as I craved some real, home cooking.” So there you have it, I’ve spilled the beans, or…meat and potatoes in a crust.

I’ve spent another day spending. Buying all sorts of ‘necessary’ things to make living in a flat bearable. Today was garbage day. No, not take my rubbish out to the curb, but buying a rubbish bin, as they say, to make my garbage look more civilized. “How many waste paper baskets does a 2 bedroom flat need?” you might ask. I had thought only one, but then there’s the bathroom, and at least one (occupied) bedroom and…after looking at the prices for a small piece of plastic (probably recycled to boot) I decided to stop at 2 however did splurge for a stainless one with a foot pedal as there’s no room anywhere to hid a cheap one like I’d bought for the other rooms. Now, I can display my kitchen trash proudly.

In between excursions to the store, a woman came to the door looking to take my pole. Needless to say, I was disappointed to learn it was a Gallup poll and I should’ve been suspicious when she asked if she could come inside and sit while she conducted the pole. (On a Sunday?! I guess they catch people then.) She then brings out a legal sized document of about 20 pages (I later found out they were double-sided) and the accompanying book of over 100 pages for me to use as a reference. It took over an hour and for all my trouble, I got a pen! She was actually very nice and originally from Holland who married an Australian who emigrated from Holland when he was 4. I guess she visited here and it was love at first sight. That was 4 daughters ago as she’s about my age and they’re all grown.

Her husband is an Occupational Therapist and between the both of them, visit quite a few homes. She said that there are some very sad and disgusting places. One disabled guy her husband worked on had a year’s worth of empty pizza boxes laying around, complete with a rat for almost every one. She mentioned a young woman she’d just visited in the neighborhood who was obviously depressed and lonely. In contrast I must’ve appeared somewhat normal in comparison to the usual riff raff, so she invited me to a gallery opening of one of her daughter’s boyfriend. Apparently, he also does quite a bit of illustrations on archeological digs and was asked if he’d like to do some work and an exhibit somewhere for $10,000. He was thinking New York or something like but when the papers came in for confirmation, it was London and it was in pounds, so that more than doubled what he’d expected! I think the reason I was invited is because I had laying on the table, an invitation for another gallery opening on the same night and the competition must’ve been too great for her. Yeah, yeah…Mr. Social Butterfly.

Speaking of potential upcoming social obligations, one of the surveyors asked if I wanted to join him and his group that meets every Wednesday evening. I was thinking it was a surveyor function but he later clarified it as having nothing doing with any organization, just him and his mates getting together for drinks and dinner. Now THAT’S the Australia I imagined. He’s also a member of Rotary and invited me to a BBQ on an upcoming Sunday afternoon. I just hope I don’t get corralled into joining.

I’m writing this on my computer and don’t have internet access yet so saving it to my usb drive in hopes I can just copy it to the blog. You see, my big plan was to take the train to the office and write it from there this morning, risking the sober blog = boring blog result. I hope I’ve remedied that fear. So it was kind of a dry run to practice my commute. It was a good thing I did that because this morning, I’d forgotten the key to my desk. I’m required to lock up my notebook computer every night and keep it safe, apparently even from me. So I grabbed some else’s computer and sent most of you pictures of my new place with a few comments that again, I hope weren’t too boring.

Keep in touch and ask questions. I’ll try to answer them.

One last thing, I don’t know about tall cranes and safe ways to store them over the weekend, but at the main intersection in the business district where I’ve moved, is a huge crane resting for the weekend. Except what I did notice is the pulley and hook at the end of it is right over the center of the main intersection in town! I look at it every time I walk by. I’m sure it’s safe, it’s just…Murphy is at least MY co-pilot.

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