We Have Arrived
After many many hours of traveling, we finally have arrived in Canberra. The flights were mostly good, just long. Little man was a trooper the whole way, and eventually was just too tired to continue. It was a relief to finally be able to put him in his "porta-cot" (which is what they call a pack-n-play here). As I type this, he is still asleep, catching up on his lost sleep from the trip.
The flight into Canberra from Sydney, was the most exciting, since it was on a little propeller plane and quite windy on the way in. Laura was concerned (and me too) that we would crash on the landing. It was pretty "gnarly." However I will say that flying in Australia is soooooo nice. It makes me never want to fly in the US again. They are really laid back, friendly, and will help you through security. Security only took a minute or two, no back-scatter (cancer-scanner), and you can keep your shoes on! It really is so much less stressful, and really refreshing to not be scrutinized for getting on an airplane.
Bruce Arnold (my project manager here) met us at the airport, helped us find the hotel, and showed me around the office. He is really nice and I'm really thankful for the help, since we would have probably been lost. The hotel is nice, a little one bedroom apartment, and we will put a picture up when we have it looking acceptable. It's a little messy right now.
We also had to figure out how to drive on the other side of the road. It is a little nerve-wracking, and Laura made sure to let me know that she felt like we were going off the side of the road. Bruce told us that the passenger side is the "death-seat" for those who are not used to driving on the "right side" of the road, which is the left side, since you often feel like the driver is going off the edge. I just had to constantly remind myself that I need to drive on the left. Making a right turn was probably the weirdest thing, since you have to wait for the green arrow, then make sure that you don't turn into the wrong lane. Also, the wiper and indicator knobs are flipped, so when changing lanes or turning I kept hitting the windshield wipers instead of the indicator. That will take some time to break, I'm sure, since it is a muscle memory type thing.
Now we are making lists of things to buy and do on our first weekend. It should be pretty laid back and relaxing. Hopefully we can see some sights before I have to start work on Monday.
As for work, I was able to stop in yesterday to say hello, meet the guys, and see some of the project that I will be working on. It looks like it will be a fun project, and everyone seems really friendly. Hopefully I will be able to get along well with them and make some new friends. It's a small office, so I should be able to get to know everyone. I will also have to learn how to communicate with them without looking and sounding like a complete American. It is funny to realize that we are speaking the same language, but it is really different. The lingo and style of speaking is very different, and they have phrases and different words that mean different things and are just lost in translation. Luckily we are speaking roughly the same language though, so the barrier in communication is very small. I do feel like an American though when I ask for water (w-ah-t-er) and they respond with water (w-awe-t-ah).