Monday, February 18, 2008

Home Bloody Home

A change! This was the first time in a long while I got home and wasn't excited by that. And it was also one of the first business trips I truly enjoyed in a long long while. But its all much more complicated than that.

Firstly, the trip. The training course was invaluable! After a year of fighting with software I didn't understand, and working with a computer that wasn't working properly, my course has solved both problems. (Hopefully!) In addition, I worked all week with some great people. Some I knew and had met, others I have emailed and phoned but not met in person. And still others whom I have never known are now coworkers I will see often and look forward to working with again.

Add in my friends the van Bekkums and it was a great week! Hiking, dinners, great friends and nice times. Super! The van Bekkums moved from Holland to Atlanta just before I moved to Holland from Canada. I met them in Atlanta nearly two years ago when I started diving with their local shop (Adventures in Diving, Duluth GA).

Even the flight was enjoyable. We arrived late, but my "elite" airline membership allowed my (non-member) coworker and I to walk right past the impossibly long line and up to the ticket counter. For the first time ever, I managed to get through a metal detector in the U.S. without setting it off. In no time flat we were early at the gate, and then I once again walked through the line and boarded with priority. I love my KLM Skyteam membership!!!

And on the plane I met a guy with a brand new problem. He couldn't stand window seats. Not the lack of space, but the window itself. As soon as we took off he moved to an empty middle seat in the centre row of the plane. So I had two seats (window and aisle) to myself. A little extra space makes a huge difference in how comfortable a flight is!

And I tried a new nicotine replacement. A lozenge, it kept me nearly free of cravings, and even slightly sedated but without other side effects. (Patches have made my heart race and gum can give me a headache.)

Alas, while an entirely successful business trip, coming home was less than perfect. The "acceptable" mess I left had grown in my absence. I've heard many people complain and attribute dirty local air, but it is amazing how much dust can settle over a week in an empty apartment.

But I would have been happy if the dust on the floor had simply stayed there. Instead, I added water and made mud.

Well, I didn't add the water. And it wasn't really mud. But an overflowing washing machine filled the hallway with water. Very very not good for a hardwood floor!

While in Atlanta, I had mentioned that I wasn't afraid of flooding since I live 15 metres high in an area "only" 3 meters below sea level. The washing machine wanted to show me otherwise. Thankfully the landlord isn't worried.

And very ironically I also explained to people that using the glass return bins was illegal on Sunday due to strict noise restrictions on that day. So the neighbour who decided to spend one hour with a hammer drill into a wall above (or below?) my bedroom was a complete $(@$ing @$$#()%#.

Having been up all night in the airplane, I planned a few hours for sleep. It didn't happen. And each time I tried to isolate the location responsible for the noise, it stopped, for prolonged periods. I was ready to call the police! Although I recognize that would have been over reacting, I really wanted to sleep.

So "come home, sleep, and rest" became "come home, get angry, absorb flood, and clean until passing out from exhaustion."

Today? I think I would like a little bit of balance.


quilly said...

I am glad your trip was fun, and am sorry your house did not welcome you home as it should have.

J. D. said...

Hurray! Home again safely!

Overflowing washing machine? Ah, Boo! How did that happen? And what is a glass return bin and why does it make a lot of noise?

Remember, Dad did the same thing by turning on the kitchen faucet, then going outside to chat with the neighbour?.....big mistake.....big disaster. Maybe it's in the genes. ha-ha-ha!

Hope you get lots of rest before doing it all again next weekend:-)


Diesel said...

It definitely sounds like you are better off staying away from home.

I Dive At Night said...

I cleaned the whole apartment and from then on it was welcoming and warm. Alas, now that I have time to reply to the "Home" comments, I'm actually packing for tomorrow's flight.

All laundry got done... with no further signs of trouble from the machine.