Well, I’ve finally arrived in Dallas. It was an exceptionally long trip, made all the more exceptional by delays to the flights, firstly in Melbourne where high winds shut down one of the runways, and then from Sydney to Dallas due to unfavourable winds slowing down the aircraft. It meant that in Sydney I had to pretty much run to the gate for the plane, and in Dallas it meant over 2 hours in the customs queue.
The flights themselves were otherwise fine though. I took advantage of the ability to book seats in advance and got a seat with only one other next to me and a nice gap to the window. Nice and spacious. Well, at least more spacious than usual, though the legroom was still an issue. Any economy-class seat makes sleeping an exercise in contortion normally reserved for members of Cirque du Soleil.
But in the end I got to Dallas intact, and have begun to settle in. I am staying in a studio apartment between Downtown and SMU, which is small but pleasant. And most importantly cool. I had been warned about the infamous Dallas heat, but nothing could have prepared me for the real thing, especially coming from the depths of a Canberra winter. The humidity was especially hard-hitting, it feels like you’re breathing thick air. The worst part is knowing that this is apparently “mild” by local standards. Hopefully I will have acclimatised by the time the really bad stuff hits. That or bought a car with good air-conditioning.
The jetlag has been a bit of an issue so far, though not nearly as bad as other overseas trips. Certainly the “jetlag body” has been more noticeable here, with the loss of appetite leaving me only able to eat small meals. Hopefully it will pick up soon. The “jetlag brain”, where you forget things and become dizzy and sleepy at random points has been less pronounced. Though I was wide awake at 2am this morning. Unfortunately you can only blame it for memory lapses for so long, so I’ll have to get working on remembering the names of people quickly as they aren’t going to accept jetlag as an excuse after a week or so. Just have to fight my way through it.
Speaking of fighting jetlag, and perhaps most importantly, I have found a good espresso bar near where I’m staying, called Origin. They’re an organic dairy-free gluten-free place with have a nice espresso setup using naked portafilters on a La Marzocco machine. The coffee itself is nice, slightly fruity but not overwhelming, with a longer extraction, low crema and low bitterness on the finish. Very different to a Sydney, Canberra or Melbourne shot, but nice in its own right.
Coffee geekout aside, the plan for the next few days is to get formalities and living stuff sorted out as much as possible. There’s also a few course-related events to attend over the next few days, which will provide some social contact. Beyond that, it’s a case of avoiding the heat…
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
Copyright © Gerard Atkinson 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the owner is strictly prohibited.