It's been a slow few months - being permanently back in Australia has brought with it the painful truths of reality. First, I'm back working in Australia. This coming back from working eight (or nine) months in another country is already impossibly boring, and simultaneously I have been replaced (well more correctly, there are extra people in the team now to make up for my prior absence) and the amount of work has decreased overall. Now it seems that filling eight hours is the job, rather than the job filling eight hours. It doesn't pay to be efficient. And I don't know why, but doing so little is counter-intuitively exhausting. (How do people work in government jobs all their lives?)
Another slap in the face is actually having to do things. Not work things, but everything else. Like cooking a meal, or going out of the building to get lunch, or for dinner not just walking to any of the hundred restaurants within maybe 1000 metres of the hotel. (Not kidding, in one eight week period I didn't double up on any restaurant for dinner - with only a couple of exceptions.)
Let me paint the picture of my daily routine in Korea. You see besides food, living in a (fairly classy) hotel means about the only thing you have to do is shower and dress yourself. Same-day laundry service is awesome.
The trick, you see, is to have two laundry bags. One for clean clothes, one for the cast-offs at the other end of the day. When the former is empty you hand the later to the laundry staff, and reverse the cycle. Life is easy. Keep it simple in the mornings and don't even bother to pick the shirt, just pick the first Uniqlo number from the top of the bag every morning. Shower, dress (carefully pick a pair of shoes), catch lift, wait for taxi, work 10-odd hours, taxi home.
Shoes are about the most important thing (outside of work), because you have to predict if the likelihood of having to remove your shoes for whatever restaurant you end up at. If you have to, you want to kick them off and pigeon hole them, without even once looking up from your Samsung - just like a local. Laces are a rookie move; next thing you'll be asking for a fork or turning down another soju refill (because its only Tuesday).
Two hours later and a swipe of the corporate Amex you are a heading back to the hotel, stopping by a GS25 to pick up some toothpaste (Actually you know what? While I am here I might as well pick up some beers). Then you can settle in for a night of some Korean-language television and some of impossibly fast (albeit filtered) internet downloaded English-speaking variety. You haven't spoken to a native English-speaker outside of Skype in a fortnight, so you probably need a refresher anyway.
Repeat that six days a week, write yourself off on the sixth night and go visit some cultural or historical landmark on the seventh. Repeat this same week thirty-odd times with nothing much changing but the crows-feet below your eyes and the number of leaves on the trees.
It doesn't so much feel like a routine, until you come home to the real world and you have none.
Coming home also means driving myself to work, and that means driving the god damn R32. Absence hadn't really made the heart grow fonder, and the time apart seemed to only accelerate the march of entropy (mostly speaking for the car here). I repaired an issue with the radiator (it's never sat right since biting the dirt and seems it had split an end tank, again). I rewired the electrics to fix whatever had prevented the stereo from working, and replaced the rotors and fitted decent pads all round. The first sign of a storm (ok, an ex-tropical cyclone) and the fuel pump relay packed it in - the first flat-bed of the year (and probably not to be the last).
The catastrophic failure of the week (last week was the starter motor), is the headlight switch burning itself out (see above). I managed to hot-wire the headlights, the dash and the taillights in the work car park. (Racing the twilight home is unlikely to be cost effective.) I wasn't really angry, I was more disappointed that the rest of the car didn't go with it. At this stage, it is the easiest option. I am bored of this car. (My job, too.)
Possibly related, I'm thinking of booking a flight to LA. It's been nearly four years since I was there. (Statute of limitations, and all that, right?)
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