Saturday, February 02, 2013

Onwards & Upwards

The time has come for this globe-trotter to hit the road again. After three and a half years in Sydney, it’s onwards and upwards for me. Northwards and westwards. Vienna, Austria, is my destination.

When I submitted the application for this postdoctoral fellowship last year, I gave half a thought to the possibility of moving to Austria. But only half a thought. The possibility seemed remote. Then one day in late January, they wrote, seemingly out of the blue, and asked to schedule an interview. For the next week, I toyed with the thought of returning to Europe, not forming plans, not getting my hopes up. I figured it was still unlikely.

And then I came home late from kung fu Thursday night, checked my email, and holy dyin’ baldheaded Moses. Now I’m moving to Vienna.

The position is for two years, with a possible extension to three, depending on project progress. The project itself might as well have been designed especially for me. Not only is the topic right up my alley, but I will get to do motion capture! And there is a ready supply of musically-trained lab rats right up the road! I have a tentative start date of 1 March. Less than a month from now, assuming there are no hold-ups with the visa. This leaves no time to sit back and let things sink in. My list of things to do before leaving Australia is long and there is no room for errors.

Today was a day of ultimate productivity. I escorted a most unhappy Pi to the vet this morning, where we got ourselves an anti-rabies vaccination and a microchip. Yeah. The cat is coming with me. After lunch, I went and got myself a collapsible map of Vienna, a little German-English dictionary, and a book on German grammar. Also a UV filter for my new camera lens. I stopped at the library too, and picked up a Lonely Planet for Vienna and the Danube Valley.

I am excited and terrified. Relieved to have secured a proper job that will lead me on to the next stage in my career. Shocked to have secured this particular job, which seems too good to be true. But today, I have to say, what I felt overwhelmingly was sad. I love it here. Sydney is my home. I’m going to miss the gum trees and the birds, the smell of the patisserie on the corner, the fiery summer heat, and the little old Greek man at the fruit shop on Illawarra who gives me peaches for free just because I smiled. I’m going to miss toasted cheese and Vegemite sandwiches, steak pies, pizza Shapes, and the surplus of delicious summer fruit. I’ll miss the ubiquitous Havaianas and the relaxed Aussie attitude.

This time next month I expect to be all exclamation points about mountains and beautiful architecture and winter weather. First, though, I think a little bit of mourning over what I will leave behind is permitted.

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