3 March 2011

The first week at work has been surprising in how unsurprising it has been. Much like Wikileaks - all the stuff you didn't know, but strongly suspected - turns out it's true!

What was a little unexpected was the 'party' atmosphere. Also, people don't overwork like I worried they might. Although I've been working very hard this first week - but I can see it's just the first week. There's a deep river of thought here to run things rationally, and they have the resources to try and make it happen. That feels very good. On the less positive side, I've not come across an interesting concept or idea yet, I'm worried I'll miss academia for that, but I guess it might also be the first week of introductions is naturally administrative. Missing my academic friends in Edinburgh!

I've been making a morning ritual of walking to Grumpy's, reading a little with a cappuccino and croissant, and then making my way into work. A nice start to the day. Sleep has been a little problematic; hard to get the right temperature, constant sirens and horns are also a little unusual for me. I just bought a couple of blankets, and a non-feather pillow, so that should help me avoid sneezing and getting some reasonable sleep. Last night I dreamt. The dream took place in a big white box, with some rocks, and water at the bottom. There was a big hungry green lizard who was chasing, trying to catch, and eat a terrified frog. There was also an aggressive hungry fish taking big bites out of the lizard's body and legs. The lizard didn't seem to notice, he was totally intent on catching and eating the frog. I could feel the mad urgent chasing hunger of the lizard, and also of the fish. I was also very worried for the frog, he was leaping out of the jaws of the lizard, up into the air, and hard against against the plastic of the box, and sliding, falling back down towards the lizard's gaping mouth. Several times the frog lading on the lizard mouth, but managed to push against it's jaws and jump up again. Full of angst, I watched the scene, feeling for all 3 creatures, terrified and hungry. Then, the lizard managed to jump up as the frog was falling, and the frog was caught this time in the throat of the lizard, who hungrily gulped him down. I woke up. It was 6am-ish. I fell back to sleeping shortly after, this time dreaming that work didn't allow me to grow a beard, and I remember feeling terrible about it, scared and shamed because I hadn't shaved, and also frustrated by the crazy requirement. Luckily, when I wake up again at 9, I realise it was just a dream, and the disarray of my facial hair is not an issue.

Sorry there are no pictures this post, no pictures allowed at work, and I've not been anywhere else.  Having said that, I did randomly meet a lovely couple while queuing at a restaurant yesterday; ended up sharing a table and enjoying dinner together, over a kind of Korean sake.  It was very popular Korean place (Woorijip); discussions about ranged from marxism and radical left wing politics, to technological revolution, and the existence of rationality. It was food to my hungry mind, who was aching for some good chat. The Korean place itself was amazing, with 2 tears of queuing, first by the door, then inside at the back. The place has an atmosphere of hot chaos, while outside it was bitter cold. As I watched I realised the bustling waiters who rushed here and there, and directing people to tables, and urgently but gently pushing people out of their way - that these waiters were a powerfully efficient mechanism, they made the place work, they were the blood of the place. It was wild and delicious, and also very homely tasting, not amazing, but good. I loved it.

Also started writing a short story about the life of a conceptual artist... more on that another time. Til the weekend!


Moa said...

When you leave Edinburgh Uni you realise that it's quite a special place in terms of creative academic atmosphere... I miss it too!

Anonymous said...

My friend Sam says you should get in touch with him (if you want to). I think you'll like him. I have his cell phone no. X Ben

Liz said...

Ahem, we are a collection of people called Korean and not "Korian". Ahem!