I thought jet lag would catch up with me my first few day at the office. But, not so much, I felt pretty good all week. The team greeted me warmly, and immediately had questions and request for help (nice to feel needed). Much to my surprise my office shipment was in my office waiting for me, and like a good worker bee I went about setting up my office and went on the hunt for supplies. Lesson one; pack any office supplies you use when moving to a new country. I asked the office manager for a stapler, ‘sorry we don’t have one’, Tape, ‘sorry we don’t have any’, OK, what about scissors?’ Sure we have those’. Guys, I have to tell you, bring your own scissors if you want to cut paper.
My daily work routine made the long days fly. I was surprised when the driver told me it was time to go home, but once back at the hotel, I crashed. Day two, repeat of day one. I see a pattern here, not sure how much I’m going to see of this new world.
Midweek our HR rep tells me there is a house ready for me. We drove over to see my beautiful home, 3 bedrooms, a study and 4 bathrooms. WOW all this for me? The news houses are part of an existing subdivision, the only problem with my house is it’s at the end of the street next to an open field, and at the other end of the block there is a beautiful park with a group of teenagers on bikes, did I mention, there are no neighbors, just a lots of empty house, yeah, not feeling all that safe being a single woman. New team members are flying in over the next couple of weeks so unless they can find me another house with neighbors I’m a hotel dweller for a while longer, which isn’t a bad thing.
Friday afternoons when we went to lunch the roads are extremely crowded as the nationals go to the temples and pray. It appears all the citizens attend temple on Friday. Businesses close for extended lunches to allow the employees time for prayer. Churches as we know them aren’t readily available here. I definitely need to get creative for my worship.
All week the days have flown by, but Saturday, not so much. Everyone starts slowing down around lunch and the clock crawls to 6. Most of the team goes to dinner at local place call the Jook Joint, so I tagged along. It’s was my chance to meet the wives of the guys I work with. First thought when I walked into the restaurant was of Cheers because the waitresses knew everyone’s name. It was a nice, friendly atmosphere. It was lovely to sit on the patio and really get acquainted with my co-worker and their spouses.
Sunday, finally, YES, a day off, and a field trip to the stores. The company hired driver, Alex, and a group of co-workers pick me up at the hotel and were off to explore. Stop one, Tesco which is similar to Wal-Mart. While one of the guys bought rugs, others bought groceries. I figured I would look for hair spray. Mine didn’t get packed. The stores here have sales clerks and they like to suggest products to improve your appearance. I asked for hair spray, I was offered facial spray because it’s good for your skin. No thank you, hair spray is what I need, she says, this product will protect your hair and it’s good for your skin too. I’m starting to think I look like a piece of sea weed. I declined her product again, and walked away, I found what I hope is hair spray, I’ll know tomorrow.
After shopping Alex took us to a local Chinese restaurant for a wonderful lunch, then we had a quick tour through another local store where the fish selection was interesting, I have no idea what kind of fish were staring at me. The carrots and snow peas were HUGE. I’ll definitely return to buy some carrots once I’m settled.
As I settle into this new life, I continue to pray that I learn to appreciate this adventure and my new friends. I’m also hoping this is hairspray I bought at Tesco and not facial lotion or foot spray.
One thing for sure, I don’t think life in Mountasia is going to be dull.