So it has been an extraordinarily busy week here in the US. It’s also probably the last day of relative quiet before kicking into university mode. From now on, the updates might be a bit sporadic, but I’ll try and maintain some semblance of regularity.
Last Friday I moved into my new apartment. It’s a two bedroom place, newly remodelled. Disturbingly for one moving into a "student" lifestyle from professional life, it’s bigger, nicer and cheaper than my last apartment in Canberra. It also has air conditioning, which is sublime considering it has been averaging 38ºC all week.
I’ve also managed to get transport, in the form of a refurbished bike from the good people at Transit Bikes. It’s a 1980’s Trek road frame, but converted to a commuter setup. As a result it weighs about half as much as a normal commuter bike. It’s also got a leather seat and handlebar grips for comfort and style. It wasn’t the cheapest option, but it certainly is fun to ride, even in the heat.
My housemate moved in on Monday after an extremely long roadtrip from Arizona, and so far we’ve gotten along really well. He’s also doing the MA/MBA course at SMU, so we’re in the same boat as far as study, responsibilities, and the need for copious amounts of coffee.
Since we both were relatively short on furniture, we decided to go on an EPIC IKEA ROADTRIP (imagine a Scandinavian Viking death metal musical motif playing at this point). My views on Ikea deserve their own blog entry, so I’ll skip it over for now, except to say that we now have furniture. And a coffee table made from cardboard packaging for said furniture. It’s surprisingly solid. My materials engineering professor would be proud.
Rangers Stadium, Arlington
With furniture sorted out, my housemate decided it would be a great idea to introduce me to some great American traditions, starting with baseball. He’s an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, and it just so happened that this week they were playing the Texas Rangers in a one-off match. He managed to get two tickets in the “All You Can Eat” section (another great American tradition), and we went along and gorged on hot dogs, nachos and popcorn. My body was not thankful.
We get baseball on Australian television, but it hasn’t really captured much interest. However, seeing it live was a much more exciting experience. It may have been the game itself, but I found myself paying much more attention to the action than I ever did with televised games. And whenever the action flagged, we’d just head back up to the buffet and load up on food until our blood pumped pure hot dog.
So far, I’m really enjoying being in Texas. People have been really nice and friendly, despite my likely failures of etiquette and stupid questions (e.g. How do you write a cheque? - Seriously, the concept is virtually dead in Australia, I've never had to write one). The students that I have met so far in the course are intelligent and motivated, with a lot of experience to share. It’s been so comfortable that it only kicked in the other day that I’m halfway around the world, undergoing a major career and lifestyle shift. Moreover, the accompanying feeling of the rug being pulled out from underneath the feet seemed to pass quickly.
Tomorrow things start to ramp up, with orientations and bootcamps for the next two weeks, and then the start of classes proper. It’s exciting but a bit scary, but then again, all good challenges are…
Spotted on the freeway on the EPIC IKEA ROADTRIP! Apologies for the portrait video and poor resolution. This guy was trying to book a spot in Valhalla with this performance:
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
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