Sunday, 20 January 2008

How To Conquer Jetlag

In keeping with my “post every 5 days” aim, and to make up for the fact that I have struggled to hit most of the deadlines, I am up late on Sunday night typing furiously so that I at least make the deadline of Sunday in this time zone! I had planned initially to release this post at one minute past midnight this morning (Richmond time), which would have been at 8am back in the UK. In keeping with that aim, I had sat down at my laptop in my recently-tidied room last night and begun typing.

Unfortunately, just as the previous paragraph only applies to this point in time, last night’s opening few paragraphs only really worked for yesterday. This would have been great if I had been able to finish my blog post and publish it before exhaustion took over but in the end, after a long day, I was forced to get into bed and go to sleep – hoping for better concentration in the morning. Consequently, I am starting again tonight from the top.

The reason that I hadn’t begun the blog post in the morning was mainly because I had spent the morning tidying my room instead. It hadn’t been messy as in dirty; it was just that my possessions were not arranged in a very ordered fashion and I was still in “living out of a suitcase” mode rather than “this is my room and I should actually take the time to make it look really nice and ordered for when I come to need something, or even have someone come in it” mode.

After about an hour of clothes-folding and drawer/shelf arranging my room looked awesome and I was much happier. Luckily I have a lot of storage space available (for even newer clothes/possessions!) so fitting everything in wasn’t too hard at all. Inspired (and fuelled by a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast) I jumped on my bike and headed to the Reed’s house.

My newly painted and freshly furnished room

The Richmond-based Reed’s are my Dad’s eldest brother, Ron’s family. He is married to Carole (Who added the “e” to her name after moving from the USA…) and their children are Thea (nearly 22) and Katie (19). They also have a small dog called Chloe. Katie was out visiting her boyfriend, Phil, at his university in Victoria. Thea was home doing assignment work for the weekend, having also made the trip back from Trinity Western University to see her boyfriend, Brad.

I was shown Thea’s Australia photos from a 2½ years ago, when she went there for a few months, after I had mentioned that I had stayed in her room when I’d first visited their house the same summer. The photos were amazing and I am now really keen to spend a few months “down under” in the next few years. I also discussed my time so far in Canada and played with Chloe. Brad arrived a little bit before I left, beaming with pride having completed his “College Pro Painters folder”, complete with numerous examples and positive comments.

College Pro Painters is a house painting franchise run by students. Brad is the area manager for a third of Richmond and it is his job to employ people to do cold-calling in the spring and house painting in the summer. He spent a few hours training me to cold-call a few nights ago because it seemed like an easy way (though not a warm or overly-respected way) to get a bit of pocket money from time to time, with each “lead” for the free estimate earning me $15.

After my few hours with the Reed’s I was picked up by my other new boss, Larry McPherson, and driven to “Mark’s Work Wearhouse”. I picked up some rubber boots, waterproof overalls and thermal underwear for my new job as a landscaper. The temperature is apparently expected to be around -5oC tomorrow morning so I am going to be wrapping up warm for my first day!

Upon arriving home in time for dinner I sat with Cory in his room and we talked for a few hours, comparing music and watching YouTube videos of football (soccer) and ice hockey. By the time we had finished and I had downloaded Colbie Coillat’s album* on to my computer, it was getting late and as I began furiously typing I realised that I was going to struggle to make my Sunday morning deadline.

It is actually quite a shock that I am still awake at 11:30pm, especially considering that this is the second consecutive “late” night! My “movies that I have fallen asleep during” count has been steadily rising since the plane journey and this morning was the first time that I woke up after 7:30am! To make matters worse, on some mornings I have been wide awake at around 4:00am, with no chance of returning to sleep (something that I’ve never really been good at) and with nothing to do but lie there and think.

Not the sort of thing that you’d expect from a “How to conquer jetlag” lecture I grant you but hear me out. The difference between this trip and the other 5 trans-Atlantic trips that I have made in the last 10 years is that this time I have been allowed “time to settle in” instead of a rhythm and schedule, so I have been sleeping when tired and waking up when fully rested. Ironically, I’d have probably adapted to the time difference quicker if I’d only had a few days before starting work!

On the other hand it was also nice to have the time to get everything sorted out (Social Insurance Number, work clothes, meeting up with people, exploring the area, unpacking my bags, etc.) so although 10 days was probably too long, I wouldn’t have wanted anything less than 3 days!

My “Rubik’s Cube Challenge” went well and I can now solve a cube unaided (actually only really had help on the first day in the end). Although I have yet to solve one in under 2 minutes, I have the knowledge at my disposal and theoretically could. I am not keeping score though; instead contented in knowing new skills. My challenge for this week is to learn (from scratch) how to be a landscape gardener.

If I fail this challenge, who knows where I’ll be next week…

*Colbie Coillat [Co-lay] is a female singer from California.
She was made famous through MySpace and is a big hit over here.
I really like her music and recommend “Bubbly” and “Oxygen”.


Luke Lichtenstein said...

When you eventually come down here, you'll quickly realise that "Down under" is really on top... In short, we're better than you!

Ok only kiddin but we are pretty damn cool... When you do come down here I'll be your own personal tour guide of Sydney if you like. I'm quite expensive but worth every cent.

Sam Reeves said...

I'm going to make i sure read these posts chris ^^ it seems like one day you'll be making a book out of these journals. Nice to know its all going well out there, talk to you soon man :)

Katherine Hirst said...

Congratulations of the rubix cube achievment!! andddddd good luck with the landscape gardening, i'm sure you will kick some ass =)

Matt Reed said...

Saafe man.
Nice to see your settling in! Just thought I'd keep you up to date with the important stuff.... United are top of the league but level on points with Arsenal (54) but we have a higher goal difference. Cristiano Ronaldo is top scorer with 17. Have THAT!
I have the house to myself this week as everybody's where you are so it's a bit of a mess at the moment (but Dad doesn't need to know that) Lol.
I have a trial day with my new electrical company tomorrow and have to be in Cheltenham for 8am! I am relying on Google Maps to get me there!
Anyways, speak soon dude, sound! x

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