So, after claiming I would do it for many years, I have really gone and done it. That is, I have moved overseas to work. I have arrived here in wintry Bavaria in order to broaden my horizons, using as much German efficiency as possible.
To some this is joyous news, to others a trigger for despair (I would imagine most of the latter would be currently living in Germany). However, I'm here now, and I'm sure most of you are wondering, "How is a complete ninny like Smith ever hoping to survive in a foreign country?"
Well that is an astute question. The first step, of course, is to change my name to something more suitable. Therefore my name is now Michael Schmidtty von Schmidttelheim el Schmiddty von Schmiddteldorf. Note that the first name is the same as my current one, but it is pronounced in the German style.
So anyway I've been here almost a week now. I am staying in an apartment owned by the company, with 3 other people. The apartment is not far from the company - about 10 mins walk. This is fortunate, since I have no car or bike or any means of transportation other than the trusty runners I brought with me. The whole town is not large, so you can walk everywhere you need to go if you have time.
Buying items is a daunting challenge. It is OK if I can select the items and bring them to the cashier and simply hand over the cash. However it takes a fair bit of pluck to engage in some interactive purchase, such as often takes place when ordering food. However I usually end up with some kind of meal.
There is a better selection of shops than I had selected. There are some good department stores, quite a large electronics store and plenty of clothes shops. There are also many food vendors, and a seemingly disproportionate number of chemists. They seem to sell a wider range of goods than in Australia, so perhaps that's no surprise.
I don't have internet access at home, so I have to sneak some time at work to communicate with home. However, since I am still jet-lagged I am often waking up about 5:00am, so I have been coming to work early in order to email uninterrupted.
Anyway, this was just a brief hello. Hopefully I will remember to keep updating this blog, and furthermore I hope that not everyone has forgotten me! A few photos can be found here.