Monday, February 13, 2006
Meet the New Lair
After having procured the keys, we now have full access to our new home. Dave and I have been scrubbing the place down, and it's amazing what difference it makes already. The walls and windows are much better, and the kitchen ceiling has even changed colour. Well, half of it has -- there is still a fair bit of cleaning to be done, and the kitchen in particular could still benefit from a coat of paint.
Daves' job has been to evict the spiders, then to hunt us a couch. Strangely, there seems to be a lot of blue couches on the second-hand market right now. As luck would have it, this goes well with the art-deco style of the flat itself. Filling the place with plants will be a lot of fun, as there is a ton of light in the place. Not a lot of direct light, mind you, but quite a bit of ambient light. Plants are very happy here.
Speaking of plants, the hibiscus in the backyard is a monster. I have never known a hibiscus to be so hardy as to hold its own against weed strangulation from all angles, but this one does it with enough leftover energy to blossom like there's no tomorrow. I look forward to taking better care of it, not to mention the other neglected plants in the yard. In doing some rudimentary deadheading, I was startled to find some weird-mutant-New-Zealand-grasshopper-thing perched on my hand. Upon closer examination, I saw him extend his two very distinctive front legs, which had been curled beneath him beforehand. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Matthew, the praying mantis living in my yard.
(I'm still stunned I'm living somewhere where a praying mantis can live in one's yard.)
What's even funnier is that, in my recounting of this story, a colleage of mine stopped me before I mentioned the bug was a mantis to say, "Oh, so you've met the prehistoric mutant grasshoppers, then?" I then said no, it turned out to be a mantis... but apparently, in all seriousness, I have prehistoric mutant grasshoppers to look forward to as well. Will keep you posted how that goes.
Other than that, Im still getting used to working in a new environment. I only know the names of about 15 people there, but the good news is that that is about a third of the people there. The survey workings in and of themselves are getting less mysterious, and I hope I will be able to contribute soon. What is encouraging is that it seems very common for people to have new-employee-itis, and thus are very understanding to others with the very same condition. In fact, this high degree of movement among the nations' working populace partially explains the booming job market, which in turn explains the significant number of immigrants drawn here. At a team meeting (7 people), I sat down to notice that the co-op student was the only Kiwi at the table. Today I even met someone from a country that I had not even heard of -- that certainly doesnt happen everyday! Then I got to hear about how Tuvalu is making royalties off websites that end with .tv (instead of .com, etc) because that is their country's official web domain. You really do learn new things every day. :-)