Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First Day Here

So can I tell you about my fantastic day yesterday…?

After finding my lost glasses in the least likely of places, I set off to the car rental place nearby to pick up a car I’d reserved…to drive my carload of books and files to my office in New University City. This plan had been a source of apprehension for me, since I just learned how to drive and am a very nervous driver, having only rare opportunities to practice. I was terrified to drive it alone. I was able, in the end, to wrangle my best friend, S, into coming with me. S, sadly, lives in London now – but is here and staying with us right now. And he knows New University City well, having spent a fair bit of time there…So we were able to set off on this little road trip – exactly the kind of time together he and I needed. It also enabled me to get there in normal time, because it wasn’t just skeert me taking the back roads.

The drive there was wonderful, hilarious – S and I were in our “on”, “us” mode, with me behind the wheel laughing so hard, so giddily that I learned the dangers of driving under the influence of hilarity. We arrived at the university and instead of unloading, were told by the very kind departmental secretary to sit tight and wait twenty minutes, because the folks from physical plant would be there to move me in. What? Good lord. I didn’t have to lift a finger to move into my own office.

I went in to say hi to the Department Chair, who greeted me with a hug and fresh baked goods…She’d stopped off at the best bakery in town that morning, she said, to pick me up a muffin and cookie, fearing I’d be flagging after my (actually not terribly long) journey. The treats were ridiculously delicious. We chatted about our dogs. Again, what heavenly sphere have I entered?

Then the departmental secretary handed me a package – the appropriate number of syllabi for each of my classes, all copied and ready to go even though classes don’t start for two weeks. My jaw dropped.

My office is huge and beautiful, and has a wall painted a rich, deep green (my favourite colour), and two windows. I am sharing it, and it is so spacious and so liberally bookshelved that it will be hard for my new officemate and I to get in each other’s way (though we won’t be using it at the same time).

S and I then went downtown for lunch at a place I remembered fondly from visiting friends in this city when we were undergraduates, a long time ago. To celebrate the greatness of it all, the luck of my being here at this place I’ve dreamed off, I reveled in the decadence of afternoon drinking. We met up there with a friend of S’s, a lovely gay boy who says he and I should hang out soon at one of any number of excellent coffee shops. Yes, please.

Then S was on his way and I came “home”, to the house that I’ll be staying in for the four days a week that I’m here, with two dear friends of mine and their gorgeous, eighteen-month-old daughter. This child kills me. Kills me, I tell you. She is the sweetest, most gregarious, and funniest toddler I’ve ever met. And she’s my roommate!

To top it all off, the four of us went out for noodles. I love noodles very, very much. And this dish was noodle perfection – the dish I dream of.

I couldn’t have imagined a better first day in New University City. All bases were covered – work, friends, food…No matter what comes of this appointment, I’m so lucky to be here.

Today has so far been a frustrating day...bureaucratic hassles as I try to get settled in...and the apparent implosion of my iPod. (Fuck you, Apple.) But I still have the remains of yesterday to float off I go to empty files into cabinets and books onto shelves.


Flavia said...

How unimaginably wonderful!

I'm so glad that you're off to a good start, glasses, office, new friends, and all.

MaggieMay said...

Wonderful! It sounds like a great start for the year.

Sfrajett said...

A hug and baked goods? Your life is awesome. Good luck on a good semester.

medieval woman said...

I'm honestly so glad that you had such an amazing time - I'm really keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you that the line becomes open and you chomp on it!

And your friend lives in London? You should go visit him....and have coffee with....other folks as well....!

Hilaire said...

Thanks, folks...I'm excited!

MW, I wish I could say that S lived in London, Ontario - that wouldn't be as far away as London, England. But sadly, he is across the pond. Don't worry, though - I'm sure there will be opportunities for me to check out southwestern Ontario, and for certain bloggers to come to cities I live in - I'm all for blogger meetups!

medieval woman said...

Yeah! London, UK is such a wonderful place to live, though - I'm green with envy...!