Michael JasonSmith (mpj17) wrote,
Michael JasonSmith

Fourteen Days

I have now been in Australia for a fortnight. I do not feel settled, but I am feeling more settled. For those that have not been keeping an eagle-eye on me, I have moved to Canberra to be closer to Michele. While I have moved, my job has not: I have joined the ranks of telecommuters, operating remotely from their employer. All in all, things are going much to plan, with only one big hiccup along the way. Hopefully smooth sailing will continue, with the help of my whanau and friends.

Canberra may seem like an odd place to move to, as most Kiwis seem to move to the larger cities of Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. I have my reason: Michele. She is studying for her doctorate at The Australian National University (ANU) — which is in Canberra along with many other National things. For the last year she has been in Pasadena with her external supervisor, Mike Brown. I did not follow her to California, because that would have involved many a visa issue. (I did visit her, however.) There are no such issues for a Kiwi to move to Australia, so I have of off loaded a heap of stuff and followed Michele to Canberra.

I like my job working for OnlineGroups.Net. I like working with Dan and Alice and Richard, and it seemed silly to leave, just as I got our main client nicely trained up, just because of a silly sea. So I kept working for OnlineGrops. All I really need to do my job is a laptop, and they work fine in Australia. Here I have been working in my little room, which has been my temporary accommodation for the last fortnight. I use email to keep up to date, with some help from Skype when synchronous communication is needed. I spend most of my time online with Alice, who left for London the same time as I left for Canberra. We are the main development force, so it makes sense that I work more closely with her than our boss, Dan, who is in Christchurch. I miss chatting to our clients, but I still get to write email messages with Monty Python references. All in all, the first two weeks has been successful. Maybe too successful as it is hard to escape work when I sleep in the same room.

The reason the room is so small is because of the one hiccup that Michele and I have had on our trip over. We were meant to get a double room at University House, but we ended up with a single. For the last two weeks it has not been a problem, as Michele has been at Siding Springs Observatory, observing Haumea and attending the opening of the SkyMapper telescope, which she will be using for part of her thesis. Thanks to All Homes Michele and I managed to form a good flat-hunting team. She would look for ads at night, in between hand-holding the telescope. During the day I would send off email messages and phone people. We may just have found something, but I do not want to jinx it by saying too much!

Despite this little hiccup, things are going very well. I have a lot of whanau in Canberra — a sister, brother in law, two cousins and a wonderful aunt — who have helped me settle in. This weekend I went shopping for a matres (as Michele and I will need one when we get our new place) and I started to get a feel for Canberra, and started to feel like I could live here.

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