Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

First Week-iversary

I've been working for a whole week. With longer office hours than I'm used to, that means I've been working for 48 hours. Today, I even did something useful!

I'm not getting as much use out of my flat-rate travelcard as I thought I would, though. The 10-minute stroll to the Monkey's place is a lot more appealing than the half-hour journey on a crowded train ride to my own home. This sort of carry-on means that I'm not spending much time writing—but now I know how to make cranberry sauce, apple crumble and even a bizarre American snack mix made from name-brand cereal coated in Worcestershire sauce.

Incidentally, I've also eaten this party mix with a chap from Worcestershire.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I am employed

It's time to dance and sing for joy: I have just had a phone call with some excellent news.

There's a formal written offer coming in the mail on Monday, and the salary is not a compromise. Goodbye, money troubles!

Provisionally, my start date will be two weeks from next Monday. This leads me to consider a spot of travel (taking advantage of those ridiculously cheap flights ). Sweden? Germany? Croatia? Perhaps just a little jaunt around the rest of Britain.

I don't need to unwind on a beach in Greece -- it's been six months since I was at work, so I'm pretty relaxed already. I saw posters suggesting snowy Russia for Christmas break, and that looked very cool (no pun intended). I think I'd want to travel in a group, though, to enjoy it properly. I don't read Cyrillic (other than the letters for vodka) and besides, I'd have to fiddle around with their visa system.


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Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I have just been informed by a reliable source that this month is Mo-vember. This means that every man should aim to grow a 70's pornstar moustache by the last day of the month.

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Haunted by the past

I have a policy for posting only boring trivialities, so I hope you'll understand some of the glaring omissions in my postings. Instead, I've written up my experiences on my outbound journey to Japan. I have a lot of barely comprehensible notes in a notebook that I expected to turn into postings as I lounged around Europe. Lounging around didn't really happen.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thought for food

It might suprise you if you're familiar with my cooking habits from The Old Country, but I've rediscovered the beauty of home-cooked meals.

It's true that I lived at SEF for several years and bought my dinner almost every single night. Oh Burgerfuel, how I miss thee! On the rare occasion that I did make my own dinner, it was undoubtably either a butt-load of pasta bolognese or an butt-load of nachos. Either of these meals would be stripped to a minimum of ingredients, prepared in a way that dirtied the minimum number of dishes.

Lately, however, I've been treated to a variety of delicious Mediterranean cuisine, courtesy of the Monkey's Italian flatmates. Wonderful salads, focaccia bread and stuff I couldn't pronounce even if I did know what it was called. I've been treated and inspired.

The Monkey's traditional American cookies aren't half bad, either. I still don't understand what American biscuits are, though. It seems that they are something like bread roll, and they're often served with fried chicken.

I sometimes feel bad that no matter how I try to curb my anti-Americanist outbursts in front of the Monkey, I still bag her country on an alarmingly regular basis.