Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Lesson 1: Never make a job decision based on which routes low fare airlines fly.

When my partner had a job in Chicago, I commuted back and forth during fall and spring term. Fall term, there was an direct flight from a near by airport at a good time. By spring term, that had disappeared, and I had to go a bit further to a larger airport to make the commute work. This is part of the reason why it was a 10+ hours door to door commute twice a week for me. You'd think I'd learn. When I accepted my post doc at University F, there were several direct flights a day from the local airport to an airport an hour away from University E. All told, it would take me 4.5 hours each way. Not great, but it could be worse. Those flights don't exist any more. Now I can either fly at odd times from a different small airport an hour away by train, or I can land at a major airport 2.5 hours and a couple transit changes away. Not cool.

Lesson 2: Craigslist is better than a rental agency.

We spent the last several days looking for rental properties. We saw 13 houses in 2 days. We found a house that we really like, with a very friendly and helpful landlord in a good location. The landlord would love for us to have moved in last
weekend. We would love to have moved in last weekend. The rental agency
couldn't possibly have us moving in until Wednesday. Some of the delay is
understandable. These agencies exist to take the risk off of the renter and the
landlord by providing credit checks and other screenings. Some of the delays involve steps that could have happened before we saw the house in the first place. At least it's almost Wednesday.

Lesson 3: International moves always take more time than you expect.

The movers have been bugging us about where to send our stuff for the
last few weeks. It's been sitting in port accruing fees for a while
now. However, we haven't had an address to send our furniture to until
Saturday. Calling them on Monday with an address, we find that they
need 2 weeks notice. Lovely. We begged and cajoled and just heard that they will try to have our furniture to us by Friday. Every time I visit the country of my parent's origin, I think about buying a mat for sleeping on the floor. Every time, the hassle of transporting it overrules and aesthetic or practical desire to own one. Too bad really. It would have come in handy for Wednesday and Thursday nights.

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