Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Super mega long post about our first couple of weeks

I started out calling this post "Our first week" until I realised that actually we've been here nearly two!  It has gone so fast already - but then there's nothing like an intense new job to make you really feel like you've been somewhere forever.
After we arrived we pottered about a bit, opening accounts and buying new iPhones (extremely important obviously).  Then on the Saturday we shamefully stayed indoors because it rained and... well... jetlag.  Yeah, jetlag.  On Sunday the weather perked up and so did we.  We did a little trip out to Coogee (pronounced "could-jee",  although any way you pronounce it sounds rude to me).  This is a seaside surburb and has a beautiful coastal path all the way to Bondi beach.  After much lecturing of Jan about his lack of suntan cream usage, we both got stupidly burnt due to the evil trickster clouds making us think it wasn't that sunny, so neither of us put cream on until it was too late.  Needless to say there was much angry muttering from me about having to turn up to a new job looking like a stupid English tourist who had never seen the sun before... dammit... grumble.... mumble.... snarf.  The day trip has definitely won us over to living near the coast though - it's just too beautiful not to.  

On Monday Jan made me breakfast, put my backpack on my back, took me to work on the bus and proudly took a picture of me before he left. 



Just like the first day of school all over again!!  I didn't get a Schultüte though, so that was disappointing.  Still, I hitched up the backpack and went bravely into unknown territories, sending prayers to the gods of steno.  Turns out they listened because everyone was lovely.  People kept coming over to tell me how pleased they were I was here.  I felt a bit like royalty for a while and even started practicing my special hand wave - until I had to type.  Then it rapidly became clear that Australian news is ridiculously fast and contains an enormous amount of names and people I know nothing about (Wollongong anybody?! Indooroopilly?  No?).  And the weather reports.  Oh the weather reports!  And the sports.  TOO MUCH SPORTS.  

The rest of the week was then spent abjectly apologising to my trainer/boss and trying to reassure him I had actually seen a steno machine before and was au fait with its workings.  God, I felt crap.  Then on the Thursday, I had an HR induction and was informed my contract was changing and I was to be on six months' probation instead of three.  Cue existential breakdown tantrum of epic OH MY GOD I CAN'T DO THIS AND I'VE UPROOTED OUR LIVES TO MOVE ACROSS THE WORLD AND I WILL BE SACKED WITHIN A WEEK, WHAT HAVE I DOOOOOOONNNNNNEEEEEE.... proportions.

Poor old Jan was also starting to worry - both about my sanity and the fact that we might have to get into the shipping container back home with all our things.  But wise man that he is, he told me to man the heck up and just ask what was going on.  Which I did.  Turns out everyone is on six months' probation and it was probably just an HR error.  My trainer thinks I'm doing fine.  So that's alright then.  Ahem.

Last weekend - well you have seen what we did last weekend in the previous post. If not, check it out - Jan makes a good video!

To recover on Sunday we went shopping.  A peculiar role reversal occurs when we do this.  Jan is a master shopper, he goes through men's departments like a whirlwind, tries everything on, it looks good (annoyingly so.  Everything looks good on Jan).  Boom.  Done.  New Wardrobe Achieved.  Me?  I umm and ahh and can't be bothered and reluctantly try stuff on after much nagging and - it all looks crap.  And so it continues through every shop.  I finally found some jeans I really liked (yes, people wear jeans here in the summer!!  Special summer jeans though.  The nice lady explained).  Let's not talk about the price tag.

This week is going well so far.  Jan is still on the hunt for places to live and I am still on the hunt for any ability to perform my job.  Which is hilarious considering that next week I will be live on air.  LIVE ON AIR!!  That scares the bejesus out of me.  Especially as so far I have called the dearly departed Nelson Mandela a FLAN PISS* and also written "DONG COCK*" whilst shadowing along to major news programmes.  Boy, are the innocent people of Australia in for a treat.

*  A small prize to anyone who can guess what I meant to write...