zubeneschamali: (mdw)
[personal profile] zubeneschamali
I find it really hard to believe that we've been here for a month already. Feels like we just got here! On the other hand, New Zealand seems forever ago, and Melbourne is starting to feel familiar. There's only seven weeks to go, one of which will be in Sydney, so it also feels like it's all going to be slipping away soon. :( I don't know if I can handle going back to a place without five cafes on every block, and worse yet, a place where they don't have flat whites. There's no brewed coffee here, just espresso (short black), espresso with water (long black), lattes, or something like a cappuccino but with micro-foamed milk (flat white). So coffee is always freshly made and always really flavorful. And it's everywhere. Sushi bars, Thai restaurants, fried chicken shops, pizza parlors, ice cream shops, etc. I decided early on to set myself the challenge of having coffee from a different place every day, and so far I haven't had to deviate more than a block off my usual walk to campus. :D

So I'm loving the coffee, and I'm loving living on the 16th floor overlooking the city and one of the many parks/gardens that fill the city (and are great for running in; thanks to pedestrian overpasses and riverside paths, the distance you can cover without having to cross more than one or two streets is incredible), and I'm loving that I'm missing one of the coldest and snowiest winters the Midwest has ever had (sorry not sorry). Here's the view from our bedroom, followed by two shots from the balcony:



IMG_7812
IMG_7810
IMG_7811

That glass-walled unit on top of the building next door is winged!Jared's place. I'm convinced of it. :D

It was fun watching the Olympics from here; nighttime viewing was of the live daytime events in Sochi, so we saw almost all of the skiing and snowboarding as it was happening. We especially liked the "cross" events, even though most of the Australians wiped out before reaching the finish line. :( I didn't see any figure skating, which is the first time that's happened, and barely any speed skating.

Oh, work is going well, too. :)  I've got a bunch of research interviews done and leads on a bunch more. Melbourne is different from Chicago in some ways I hadn't expected, but I think that's going to make the study more interesting in the end. Also, I've been regularly getting up my courage and e-mailing strange professors and asking to meet for coffee, and even if some of them are like, "Well, what you're interested in doesn't sound like anything I do, so I don't know why you wanted to talk to me," it's been good for me. Coming out of my shell to a certain extent. Hopefully it'll stick when I get back home.

I'm also getting a lot of non-Melbourne things accomplished due to the pressure of the guilt of not getting much done last fall and wanting to have something to show for my sabbatical. Funny story: there was an article I originally submitted about a year and a half ago, and when the reviews came back, the editor said, "Sorry, these criticisms are too major, we can't accept the paper." Sad face. Then six months later, the journal e-mailed me to say, "Where are your corrections?" And I replied with, "Um, you said you rejected it." And they were like, "Nope, our files say revise and resubmit," and I'm like, "Okay!" Two rounds of editing later, it was accepted. Moral of the story: don't give up, even when they tell you to give up. Cross your fingers and hope for a computer error.

Oh, and we sold our house. \o/ Six months without a nibble; switched realtors and hired people to fix up the place as she instructed; three days back on the market and we got an offer. It's a low offer, to be sure, but we're working out the closing from here, so once we're home, the house will be someone else's problem forever. *knock on wood*

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