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Melbourne report

I find it really hard to believe that we've been here for a month already. Feels like we just got here! On the other hand, New Zealand seems forever ago, and Melbourne is starting to feel familiar. There's only seven weeks to go, one of which will be in Sydney, so it also feels like it's all going to be slipping away soon. :( I don't know if I can handle going back to a place without five cafes on every block, and worse yet, a place where they don't have flat whites. There's no brewed coffee here, just espresso (short black), espresso with water (long black), lattes, or something like a cappuccino but with micro-foamed milk (flat white). So coffee is always freshly made and always really flavorful. And it's everywhere. Sushi bars, Thai restaurants, fried chicken shops, pizza parlors, ice cream shops, etc. I decided early on to set myself the challenge of having coffee from a different place every day, and so far I haven't had to deviate more than a block off my usual walk to campus. :D

So I'm loving the coffee, and I'm loving living on the 16th floor overlooking the city and one of the many parks/gardens that fill the city (and are great for running in; thanks to pedestrian overpasses and riverside paths, the distance you can cover without having to cross more than one or two streets is incredible), and I'm loving that I'm missing one of the coldest and snowiest winters the Midwest has ever had (sorry not sorry). Here's the view from our bedroom, followed by two shots from the balcony:


That glass-walled unit on top of the building next door is winged!Jared's place. I'm convinced of it. :D

It was fun watching the Olympics from here; nighttime viewing was of the live daytime events in Sochi, so we saw almost all of the skiing and snowboarding as it was happening. We especially liked the "cross" events, even though most of the Australians wiped out before reaching the finish line. :( I didn't see any figure skating, which is the first time that's happened, and barely any speed skating.

Oh, work is going well, too. :)  I've got a bunch of research interviews done and leads on a bunch more. Melbourne is different from Chicago in some ways I hadn't expected, but I think that's going to make the study more interesting in the end. Also, I've been regularly getting up my courage and e-mailing strange professors and asking to meet for coffee, and even if some of them are like, "Well, what you're interested in doesn't sound like anything I do, so I don't know why you wanted to talk to me," it's been good for me. Coming out of my shell to a certain extent. Hopefully it'll stick when I get back home.

I'm also getting a lot of non-Melbourne things accomplished due to the pressure of the guilt of not getting much done last fall and wanting to have something to show for my sabbatical. Funny story: there was an article I originally submitted about a year and a half ago, and when the reviews came back, the editor said, "Sorry, these criticisms are too major, we can't accept the paper." Sad face. Then six months later, the journal e-mailed me to say, "Where are your corrections?" And I replied with, "Um, you said you rejected it." And they were like, "Nope, our files say revise and resubmit," and I'm like, "Okay!" Two rounds of editing later, it was accepted. Moral of the story: don't give up, even when they tell you to give up. Cross your fingers and hope for a computer error.

Oh, and we sold our house. \o/ Six months without a nibble; switched realtors and hired people to fix up the place as she instructed; three days back on the market and we got an offer. It's a low offer, to be sure, but we're working out the closing from here, so once we're home, the house will be someone else's problem forever. *knock on wood*


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 2nd, 2014 11:02 am (UTC)
Ditto, though of course, I'm already more or less in Sydney, lol.
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC)
Hi! I'm not sure I'm going to be getting to Canberra after all, but I'll be in Sydney the first week in April, if that helps!
Mar. 2nd, 2014 02:09 pm (UTC)
What, not sorry to be missing snow and cold? How could you think like that..... ;-). As I'm writing this it's -13F. Lucky, lucky you.

It's great about the article and the house.
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
You must be so ready for winter to be over.
Mar. 9th, 2014 06:07 am (UTC)
We got above 30F today and I think we're supposed to get 40 tomorrow. The sun was out and the roads are melting off. I'm starting to feel hopeful again. It's been a long one, that's for sure.

Was it you that told me about the Blue Bamboo quilt shop? I got to go and it's awesome.
Mar. 2nd, 2014 02:37 pm (UTC)
So gorgeous! You sound happy and productive, so I love that too!

Cross your fingers and hope for a computer error.

Mar. 9th, 2014 04:27 am (UTC)
Funny story: the day after I wrote this, I had a little meltdown and actually rescheduled one of my research interviews because I didn't feel like I could handle it. /o\ But I got better. :)
Mar. 9th, 2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
Sometimes you just need a second to re-group. Nothing wrong with that!
Mar. 2nd, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
Hurray on *all* of that! Getting out of the US Midwest during the worst winter in memory by far... lovely coffee and jogs... getting out of your shell, interviewing folks... getting your paper accepted (high fives!)... and sold your house! Woot!!

(And imagined a little winged!Jared along the way... hope more fic past/present/future? s lurking in your brain. I still hold out hope for the last Bourne-aka-Winchester action-adventure epic extravaganza installment!)
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC)
Hurray indeed!

(Part 3 of winged!Jared is halfway done and will have more amindaya art. *squee*! Now if only I could stop signing up for other challenges and just get it done.)
Mar. 2nd, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you're enjoying yourself Down Under; what an awesome opportunity! Hope the rest of your sabbatical is just as great. <3
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:29 am (UTC)
Thank you, bb! :)
Mar. 2nd, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
Yay for all the good news on your experience, go you! I loved Melbourne and wish I could have spend more time there, your view is glorious! (I don't drink coffee, but my mom was a big fan of the long black;)

When you pointed out the winged!Jared building, I immediately remembered that cool prompt image, *happy sigh* I don't think I ever came around to reading the 'verse, will have to fix that!

(FYI, in speedskating the Dutch won all the things;)

Continue to have an awesome time Down Under! If you haven't already, try a Cheddarmite from Brumby's: a very Australian flavoured breadroll with cheese and vegemite;)
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:30 am (UTC)
It's going to be so hard to leave here. And not just because of the coffee. ;)

You should! It's my favorite 'verse of all that I've written.

(I know it! And I would totally have been cheering for them if I'd been able to see any of it.)

I don't do vegemite. :p
Mar. 2nd, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
So jealous! So thrilled for you that it's going so well! Continue having all the fun adventures and yummy coffees! \o/
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:30 am (UTC)
Perfect icon is perfect!
Mar. 3rd, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
Melbourne is one of my favorite cities. :) So glad you've had a chance to visit. If you get a chance be sure to visit Lygon Street in Fitzroy (busting with cafes too!). It's been a while since I've been there but I imagine it hasn't changed that much. Oh and St. Kilda is prett cool. Enjoy the rest of your stay.
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:32 am (UTC)
I love it! Lygon is right next to campus, so I'm walking through it almost every day. I'm planning on St. Kilda next week after an interview I have scheduled around there. :)

Wish I was able to get farther west, though. :(
Mar. 9th, 2014 09:58 am (UTC)
So are you at Melbourne Uni then? (that's where I went - many, many years ago).

Mar. 11th, 2014 07:12 am (UTC)
It sounds like a great trip so far. And congrats on the article -- academic scholarship can be so aggravating.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )