Wednesday, October the 22nd, 2008

I keep working on these in-depth introspective pieces that don’t really go anywhere, and never seem to get done. I think it’s about time I tried something different.

My move to Scandinavia has been far more pleasant than I’d imagined. (Which isn’t really saying very much given my imagination, but you know what I mean.) I’ve gotten to spend far more time outdoors, the people are open, friendly and drag me into their fun, and recently, as the weather has turned unfriendlier and everyone’s spending more time indoors, work has begun to pick up as well.

No longer just a “lowly student,” I’ve taken it upon myself to expand the scope of my work and my responsibilities. I now split my work time roughly in thirds between new, challenging work (which is hard and takes a lot of effort for little payoff), expanding on stuff I worked on during my Ph.D. (which is easy, and involves little effort for sizeable payoff), and finally, helping lost kiddies around the lab who seem to gravitate toward me (which takes substantial effort and offers a reward of a very different kind). All in all, between the intelligent and friendly company, the nearly unlimited resources, and the heavily subsidised food, it’s been a very positive intellectual environment.

The only thing that has irked me thus far has been my ghetto living conditions. Actually, it hasn’t really irked me that much (or you would have heard me whine about it every day), but what really has bothered me is how hard it has been to find a decent replacement. How much ever I enjoy mocking and deriding the U.S. (doesn’t everybody?), things there were usually a lot more streamlined and systematic. If you were willing to pay for something, you usually received it without questions. Here, well, I don’t want to use words like racism, nepotism, and xenophobia (Hey, I just did!), but things are just a lot more convoluted and arbitrary (to my detriment). As a colleague remarked of my experiences, “It’s not surprising, but it’s regrettable.”

Even so, I’m relieved to report that through a recent sequence of events (fortunate or not I am yet to decide), I’ve found myself a nice place to move into. It’s a chic little flat in a quaint little neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It’s ridiculously expensive, but what the heck, I’m fairly certain I can afford it. (What could possibly go wrong with that kind of logic?)

But I know that still leaves some central questions in your minds: “Why aren’t you ecstatic? What is it about this mysterious ‘recent sequence of events’ you chose to mention but not elaborate upon?” You see loyal reader, the reason this flat even opened up in the first place is because a cute girl I know is moving in with someone else (who she’s known for even less time). And while I am delighted by the location, the view and the ambiance, I’m not particularly thrilled by the context.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Sense and sensibility” from actuality.log. Visit to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

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