Oooh, it all sounds wonderful. Nice that you had someone to hang out with, too. You seem so brave about all these things.
Ho, well, as you know from my post, there was a pretty good dose of "scared" mixed in with the "excited" before I left. I made myself memorize the bus & metro routes from the airport, and where the ticket counters were and all that sort of thing. Being afraid brings out the control freak in me.
And yes, I highly recommend becala
as a traveling companion. She is ace.
I think you meant "she is a lush." Which can also make for good travel times.
I have added you to my friends list recently. I've read your journal in the past through a friend and I finally got one of my own. It has been quite a while though and I'm curious about when you moved to London. (A bit envious too I must say...)
(If you don't mind telling me, which friend would that be?)
I moved to London on October 9th, 2004. The first three weeks were absolutely terrifying. I was convinced I was going to get lost as soon as I stepped out of the house. It took a few months to get comfortable, and for me to figure out that carrying around a tape or MP3 player helped me to calm myself when lost in an ocean of busy Londoners. I haven't regretted the move, although it did cost me dearly in terms of career options, so I'll see how I feel about it once I start looking for work again. Anyway, I ramble. Hello!
She's never actually been on your friends list if you are worried about her showing me protected entries. She doesn't even have an LJ account (at least she didn't last time I spoke with her). She has a very boring office job with far too much time for playing on the internet. She likes to search for random journals and read as much as she has time for. She told me she was impressed with you because you have a PhD and are still willing to chuck it all and start over.
Are you planning on going back to school?
No, I wasn't worried about that, but thank you for the reassurance. I generally trust the judgment of the people on my friends list, and accept that putting anything on the internet, no matter how "protected," is a calculated risk. I appreciate the supportive remarks. There are an awful lot of people who saw the move as a terrible mistake on my part. I don't think so, of course, especially now that I can see how miserable I was as a post-doc.
I'm not sure if I'm going to go back to school yet. I don't know what I'd want to do. That's the first problem. There's also the matter of maintaining a certain income level here, to insure that I'll be permitted to stay in the country, so I'm afraid going back to being a full-time student probably isn't a viable option, unless it's either medical or law school, neither of which I'm particularly interested in. I will probably need to start work of some kind - I'm thinking consulting might suit my needs best - in the next few months. I do want to set up a few evening classes for myself first. I'm going to start Tai Chi in April, and a language course (Spanish and/or Catalan) in the summer. I would like to take more drawing courses and possibly a photography class as well. Anyway! I feel kinda corny asking this, but if you don't mind, please tell me about you. You haven't posted much on your journal, so it's difficult to glean where you're at in your life.
There are an awful lot of people who saw the move as a terrible mistake on my part.
Really? I think I must not have been attentive to your posts during that transition time, or perhaps you didn't say much about it. I think I didn't say much at the time because I sort of took it for granted that you'd be receiving support from all over the place. It didn't actually occur to me that people would feel otherwise. But I am I think a little more accepting/encouraging of sudden huge life changes and career switches than your average person. I guess I just feel like, unless you are highly likely to become homeless and destitute as a result of your decision, it's better to take a chance on something good than stay in comfort. It was a ballsy, exciting move and there's really not anything wrong with changing your life situation if you're not happy. Or if you have the opportunity to do something really fucking cool like move to London.
I'm sure that by now you're relatively comfortable that you made the right decision, but I just wanted to offer some belated support from someone that is not going to just mindlessly tell you that EVERYthing you do or think is okay, as is often the case on livejournal.
I probably should have been more specific. My LJ friends were pretty universally supportive. The dubious attitudes mostly came from people who don't read my LJ and from those who had a vested interest in my continued participation in academia. Yes, I am very happy with my decision, but it still helps to hear supportive words, especially when I am about to hit the six-month mark in my unemployment and I still am unsure what I want to do. I have some goals, but none of them are science-career-related, and I'm still wavering on making a whole-hearted commitment to being a starving artist-writer person.
I've mentioned that I'm full of envy over the Lomo, yes? (I do realize they're reasonable but it's too close to my birthday. I'm in the dead zone during which, by parental edict, I'm forbidden to purchase anything gift-worthy for myself. *sigh*) Love it. The shots are amazing. I cannot properly list all the pitures that made me head tilt and sigh wistfully. Now I want to go to Prague. You're feeding my wander-lust, woman.
Yes, yes. London first. ;)
I think the Lomo is dead now, sadly. It's shredding the film when I try to load it, and as I don't like to waste expensive ISO 400 film, which is what you need in order to take pictures with the Lomo in any other conditions than extremely bright overhead sunshine, I've stopped using it.
As for feeding your wanderlust, I'm afraid I'm not going to apologize for that. Besides, the great thing for me about encouraging my Stateside LJ friends to visit places is that in order to get to continental Europe, most of you will have to pass through Heathrow. Muaha.
Allright. Flying the "Ignorant" flag, here. Did some google work on "Lomo Cameras" and found this: http://lomo.kataan.org/
Is that about right? Lots of hit & miss but can be very charming, too? It's the 4-frame delivery that leaves me confused. ??
Yes, that's pretty much it. They're very basic cameras. Lots of them don't involve a flash and they don't auto-load the film. I doubt I'd ever buy one of the more expensive ones, as they're just cleverly packaged defective lenses, pretty much. The ones I like are the cheap ones that shoot multiple frames, like my Supersampler, which shoots four frames in a row on each exposure. You can set the timing between each frame to either 0.05 or 0.5 seconds. The latter is more interesting.
Anyway, here's the official Lomography