30 March 2009

Day 2 in Melbourne

Housekeeping did not make up my room today. I had to call housekeeping and then it was well after 1700 before they came up. The lady from housekeeping claimed that I was in the room all day, but that was incorrect, I was actually “out and about” exploring the lay of the land and having a quite decent lunch of fish (flathead) and chips at a nearby spot called The Cricketer. The fish was nicely fresh. I find that Australian food is generally quite fresh and care is employed in its preparation.

I didn't make it to the zoo today, sticking rather closer to home today. I think I'll go out for Chinese this evening. The hotel is right across the street from Melbourne's China Town. There should be some good eats. I'm also going to try to fine the local IGA as I still don't have any Nice biscuits and Earl Grey.

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Things are interesting right now in Sydney...the power has gone off in the CBD, just in time for the afternoon rush-hour, and there seems to be a war between rival biker gangs. In Australia, they call them “bikeys” (as opposed to bikkeys and breakky) actually, this evening, I'm rather glad that I'm not in Sydney.

Right now, I'm going to save this and go off for dinner and the IGA.


I found an interesting Greek restaurant for dinner. The saganaki was excellent, although I prefer mine flamed with ouzo. The lamb kebabs were wonderful as only Australian lamb can be. There are generous in their portions. I also found the IGA again and got my Earl Grey and Nice Bisquits.

I did more walking today than I've done for a long time. I've managed to not need the cane since I've been here. I know that lots of my pain is stress related to the job and the location. I'm looking forward to the day I really leave Korea and get to somewhere else...

Another thing that's a tiny bit disconcerting is that there's a two hour difference between Melbs and Seoul. The body things it's 1950, but it's 2150 here. I really think it's harder to shift the two hours than it is to shift 13-14.

Finally, it appears that the lights were off in Sydney for only two hours.

Going on Holiday

28/29 March 2009

I'm on the way to Melbourne, VIC, AU. I left from the same gate that Michael and I used when we made the Sydney trip in 2007. It was a bit bittersweet. I would've given anything to have had him with me. I honestly wouldn't have made this trip, but I'm sure that he would've been disappointed with me if I had bailed on this. He would've understood that I needed some down time from work and from the whole hospital saga and he would know that Australia, being one of my favorite places in the world would be a good place for me to rest. My ever thrifty darling would have also appreciated the current exchange rate.

The actual trip was surprisingly good. I got a real bargain on business class and since the plane was not full, we all had empties next to us. I actually got some sleep on the plane this time. It was a good thing, too, as the flight from Korea to Australia is an overnight flight. I got to Melbs around 0730 Victoria time. I still had a wait at the hotel, but I wasn't as shattered as I was when Michael and I got into Sydney.

I'm staying at the Rydges-Exhibition St. in the CBD. It's a tired hotel, the rooms need a serious refresh. The curtains are old and puckery, the bathroom is tiny and oddly put together. It's generally clean although there is a bit of mildew in the bath/shower.

I went walkabout for a bit this evening. Was panhandled by a fellow who seemed to think that the $1AU I gave him wasn't quite enough. Ah well, that kind of thing is the same, everywhere. You know, it's a shame that I have to waste the first day of my holiday just trying to unwind and get “Korea” off me. You don't realize how tightly wrapped you get just living there and doing the job. I spent some of the day, just laying around, napping, eating, staring out the window, and watching the cricket on telly.

Tomorrow I think I'll go to the zoo. I also want to find that little nest of alleys where the graffiti art “lives”. There are also museums, an aquarium, and all sorts of other “stuff”. I will have plenty to do in Melbs! I also have another job while I'm on holiday. I need to build a decision matrix to evaluate the tow jobs I have on the hook. I'm all but nominated for an interesting job in Georgia. One that apparently could lead to my succeeding the fellow that's currently the Lead Systems Engineer. This is a real opportunity, the best one I've had since I joined the company. The other job is basically the same only in Hawaii. I will know more about that one when I get back and have my phone meeting. I need to start evaluating now, though...clearly working on what I want so that I can find the job that most closely matches what I want/need.

Damn it, but I miss Michael!

25 March 2009

Hitting it again...

I seem to run into the "wall" at the oddest times. I can be sitting in a meeting and will start getting misty because I find myself thinking of my husband. I seem to be especially vulnerable when I'm tired or in pain and I'm both right now. I know that the stress contributes to the pain, which contributes to the stress. I'm hoping that the upcoming holiday will help to ease the stress. Beach time NEVER hurts!

Adding to all the crap that I'm dealing with, learning to live alone again and missing my DH so much is the fact that I have been here in Korea on a somewhat temporary assignment. My job will be over no later than 1 September. I need to find a new assignment before that date or I will have to return to where I was before we came here. No offense to anyone who's from there or currently lives there, but, frankly, I hate the place. The DH and I hated it before we came out here and I already know that I can not go back there to live yet. I would still hate it, because the problems that made me hate it before have not changed, and I would NOT have the man who was my rock and supported me so that I could do my job successfully even though we both hated living there.

So, the hot ticket is to find a job somewhere else. The strain of needing that new assignment and the current level of uncertainty are just adding to my stress and the circle just spins faster. I currently have two possibles. Both are EXCELLENT opportunities. One is in an "acceptable" location and one is in what I would consider "heaven". Somehow, I have to decide which one. I will be honest with myself and I will exercise the SE in me and do a thorough analysis before I decide.

The timing of these opportunities and the holiday is perfect because I can get away from the pressure cooker that is my current situation and have some relaxing peace and quiet, good food, new friends, a little beach action, some salt water, and new environs to clear my mind and really meditate on these next steps.

Here's a little cuteness to relieve all this "heavy" life stuff...

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and another because I can't resist and I have all the space in the world ;-)

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19 March 2009

It's been a while...

I've been just living day to day. I never know when I get up if it will be a good day or a rotten day. I still trigger on little tiny things, but they serve to once again remind me that he's gone and I have to go an alone. It's hard to get much enthusiasm built up to do much. Somehow it's just easier to curl up with a book or knit. I'm forcing myself to cook and eat. You'd think with no appetite, I'd lose weight, but nooo. Oh well.

I'm getting ready to go on a two week vacation. I don't really want to go and it's been really hard to get motivated to make the arrangements. Really, why would I want to go without him? BUT, the driving need to get away from work and Korea is driving me to make the arrangements and "get the hell out of Dodge" as it were. I'm also working on getting my next job assignment. That's one thing I'm really hoping for is that I can find a new assignment in a place that the DH and I never shared together. The memories are why I can't stay here and I can't go back to where we lived in the states BEFORE we came here.

One other thing...I finally got the ring that we had picked out together after I told him that I wanted a wedding ring for our anniversary. I was late ordering it because of all the mess associated with his transition. I'm glad I have it now. Once I get it engraved with our initials and the date we were married, it will never be off my hand again. The particular symbolism of this particular ring is not lost on me, and it actually makes me feel a little bit better seeing it there all the time.

Finally, I want to talk about friends...the true kind. The ones who stand with you no matter what. The kind that offer up little random acts of kindness (like the beautiful gift I found on my work desk today...a bouquet of orchids and a card). The kind of friends that will listen to you whine, or bitch and moan, laugh like an idiot or sob. I, daily discover that I am surrounded by friends and am truly grateful.