Thursday, January 10, 2013

After a day and a half in Adelaide

Things are good.

Tuesday, I took a cab from the Adelaide airport to my dorm which is called urbanest.  I accidentally offended the cab driver by offering him a tip, oops.  Jon at reception checked me in and showed me to my room.  I'm in apartment 20, room b.  I have a lovely view of a parking garage outside my window and it gets a lot of sun in the afternoon.  The dorm room is nice, a twin bed, a desk, drawers and shelves, a wardrobe and a bathroom.  My room looks just like this:

I don't have the binders, map, or cute decorations though.
I got unpacked and then decided to set out to see Adelaide.  Our building is about 2 blocks off of King William Street which is the main street in Adelaide.  I walked down King William and found my bank and got my account set up.  I'm hoping my debit card makes it here before I leave on Saturday... I got to choose a pink one though!  Then I continued down King William Street to Victoria Square which is right in the middle of the city, or the CBD (Central Business District) as they call it.  I walked around the square looking for CMU and found it on the other side of the square after walking the whole perimeter.  I got there at about 5:15 though so it was all packed up and nobody was there.  It was clearly rush hour and everyone in town was heading home it looked like.  I turned back up North towards home and decided to walk through the Rundle Mall to see if I could find a cell phone shop.  Rundle Mall is like a big Old Orchard Mall, straight down one street with small mini malls coming off at ends where streets would normally intersect Rundle Street.  I found a Vodaphone shop and have a dinky little Android phone.  I walked around the mall a bit, but everything was closing so I headed home.  There's a Thai restaurant across the street from the dorm, so I had Thai for dinner.  At this point it was about 7pm and I was shaking I was so tired.  So I went up to my room and went to sleep.

Only to wake up at 5:15 the next day!  Since it was super early, I tried to go back to sleep for about 2 hours with no luck.  Finally I got up and showered and went walking around the city.  I just meandered the streets with no real goal or direction in mind.  Adelaide is only a square mile so it's small and seems like it's pretty hard to get lost.  The Aussies are so relaxed in the morning!  There are little cafes everywhere and people met up with friends for a cup of coffee and a pastry before heading out to work.  It was so much nicer than the frenzied morning rush of people at home who rush to get to Starbucks, don't speak to anyone but the Barista and then rush to work.  I stopped and had a quick brekky at one of the cafes and it was finally 9am, a reasonable time to stop by CMU to see if anyone was there.

I arrived at the Torrens building and met Sharon, the receptionist.  She helped me get set up with Deb who is the HR and Facilities Director for Heinz in Australia.  Deb was very nice and took me around to meet everyone and gave me a tour of the building.  The staff were all very nice.  She didn't quite have all of the paperwork ready for me so she asked me to come back after lunch.  I went and did some more exploring of the mall, looking for kitchen stuff and just checking out what there is.  I found Target!  Target here is more like Macy's than the Targets at home, their clothing selection is much bigger and seems like it's nicer quality too.  I also found the grocery store Woolworth's.  Everything just seems to be more expensive here.  A 24-pack of diet coke cost $19 at 30% off, it's normally $27!  I stopped for a quick lunch at a cafe and then went back to urbanest for my community induction.  I learned where the "bins" (garbage) are, the laundry room, the deck with the "barbies", and the rest of the building.  By then it was about 1:15 so I headed back to the Torrens Building to see if Deb had my paperwork ready.  I got my computer "Australianized" so I now have access to the Australia shared drives and printer and possibly have a email address.  Deb walked me through all the forms and then handed me the keys to my office to go fill them out upstairs.  I filled everything out and cleaned up my office a bit and then brought the forms back down.  I wandered around town a bit more and then came home for a quick nap.

At 8, the dorm had an activity to go to the Moonlight Cinema which is like movies in the park.  I met up with Jon, one of the urbanest RA-type guys and Vincent from South Africa and Becky from New Zealand.  We had fun during the 25 minute walk to the park and then rented these bean bag loungers for the movie which was way more comfortable than sitting on the grass.  I didn't realize it had cooled off (to like, the mid 50s) so it mad for a very cold movie.  We saw The Avengers which I hadn't seen before and it was pretty good.  We got back home around Midnight and I went straight to bed.  But, this morning I woke up at 8:30 so I think I may be doing ok on jet lag now!

Red Flag: CMU, Yellow $: Bank, Yellow House: Urbanest,
Yellow Shopping Bag: Rundle Mall, Pink Pin: Moonlight Cinema
On to more exploring today.  I'm going to check out the Central Market and Chinatown.  It's supposed to be 90 today so it'll be pretty hot.

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