Long time, no see.
Went to Malaga Spain for work for what was supposed to be 1 week, which ended up being 2 weeks.
Hotel was fine. It was very close to the office, (which everyone else said was a bad idea, but I found it nice to be back to a short walk commute to work, like I had previous in Brisbane). Highlight was the Spanish TV channel Boing, which had Doraemon (both series and movies) in Japanese and Code Lyoko in English (yay for Dual Audio) .
Other then the 1 work dinner obligation, where I was told I couldn’t order a paella because it was for two people, and inconvenienced a colleague who said he would share, but rather who not have, (the paella was smaller than the one I had eaten in Barcelona back in 2000), the only adventure I had in Malaga was trying to get to someone’s house for a BBQ on foot with all my luggage , which was just me walking in a large circle like shape in the heat around Maqueda, asking for directions and having everyone draw blanks, although the most helpful was an old man, who was able to speak to me in French, when I couldn’t understand his description in Spanish, and drew me a picture.
2.5 hours of walking later, I returned to where I set off from, and attempted to have a taxi take me to the address in Google Maps I had been given, he took me to the top of the street which was over 5 km away from where I needed to be, so I then just told the Taxi to take me to the airport, where I killed time for at least 5 hours. The most enjoyable part of killing that time was meeting a couple from UK that have a house in Spain, and the woman worked in social services, and her partner was a criminology professor. They were both very happy to talk about their work and their children which was nice.
Trip back was via Dublin, and the 12 hour layover in the airport was fun , and long enough to be annoying, but ultimately too short to do anything other than take advantage of free WiFi and not sleep, until I had to fuss, because I had been mislead about my requirements for boarding based on Dublin being a US Customs Clearance area. Yay for scrambling to buy another ticket from my own pocket at the last minute (not!!!).
Lucky for with a receipt for a ticket leaving the US, I was able to board the plane to the US. As it turned out my account didn’t have enough money for that ticket , so American airlines cancelled it after I had arrived in the US, and despite my attempts to call them. I called US number, they said they couldn’t take my Australian debit card, despite their website taking it earlier, and to call Australian American Airlines office, which I did, but I couldn’t afford the cost of international dialing being on hour for more 25 minutes twice. In the end I ended up organising another flight returning to Japan, which had been the plan all along.
Arrived back in Japan in October, and was very happy to be back. Finally ate non kombini sushi in Japan, because I was hosting a work colleague that wanted to eat it. Caught up with Tim and Sarcha when they were visiting for IROS 2013 (Tim was presenting a paper), which was wonderful and I must catch up with them again.
Flew to Australia almost 1 month later for Christmas holidays with family and to attend my cousins wedding (after giving notice, and taking offer to return to US in the new year).
Had my birthday and Christmas with family and my mom’s family. Cousins wedding was amazing. Birthday highlights were the game of Mao (so much laughter) and the frozen ice-cream berry cake that I made for myself.
Currently located in US for work.
Ordered futon online with Rakuten, it was a great success. Was cheaper than just trying to buy a futon here even with the shipping.
Finally have internet at new apartment.
Same / similar job, different title and hiring organisation.
Have a glass jar with quarters in it for laundry.
I will finish translating this later.
Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234