Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Six Day Week

It’s been more than a week since I last posted so I guess I should hit you all with the latest news.

Last week was a strange one from start to finish. It began with me being knackered after the Hash, but pleased to have finally done something vaguely approaching exercise, and ended with me starting a full-time job. So what happened inbetween?

While recovering from my hashing debut, I had a call from Charlie BN and discovered he had once again spent three weeks in hospital, with some new ailment that the docs couldn’t explain. Kind of puts any woes of my own into perspective but thankfully he was out again and seemed in decent spirits at least.

By mid-week I decided it was time to stop hoping that a job would fall into my lap and start applying for things. Up to now my job hunting had largely involved hassling the contacts I have out here, and that had got me nowhere. I found a job website, much to my surprise, and applied for a couple of writing jobs and before I knew it I had two interviews on Thursday.

One was to help re-write a travel companies website, basically what I have been doing for Nir, but they were unable to pay much but I liked the guy and the company and said I would do it on a freelance basis. They also said I might be able to get a few freebies such as rafting trips or hotel stays so that’s a good incentive.

The second was with a company called WaitUK, set up by a Nepali guy called Sanjeev who lived in England for around 14 years. Essentially, they build websites for UK and US clients, so they undercut the opposition but still get paid in dollars and pounds, making them pretty profitable. I was offered a salary of R40,000 a month (that’s about £400) which is pretty decent and told there would be room for more. I am essentially writing content for the sites they are designing and while it is good to be working and earning again (despite the six-day week), this is a long way from what I had in mind when I came over here so I remain sceptical about how long I'll be here for. They have offered to sort my visa out, but experience tells me not to get too excited about that.

On Friday I also had a meeting with the Tourist Board in an attempt to get a job with them, which is far more likely to keep me here beyond July, but after being told I would have a wait of 15 minutes and that stretched into five hours, I was then told the metting wasn’t going to happen, I was pretty annoyed. Still, I was some amusing things in the office adjoining the CEO’s such as a Yak Attack 2010 plaque and a brochure entitled "Workshop or Training for the Training of Trainers", not sure why, but that amused me.

I had another meeting with them on Sunday and again never got to see the CEO, but will put a case in writing to them and see if I can persuade them that way to give me a job and help out a bit with Cricket on Everest 2011.

On Friday I had a call from new boss Sanjeev saying he had heard about a flat that is walking distance from the office and would I like him to show it to me on Saturday. Seemed like a good idea but when I got to the office we just ended up in some horrendous bar/disco drinking beers for the next five hours. All I’ll say is that it is useful to know you can out-drink your boss.

Despite the general progress that is being made I have felt a bit down lately, which I guess was inevitable at some point. I think it is probably a bit of homesickness combined with feeling a little cooped up in Nir’s small flat. Everyone here is great, but nothing can replace the easy banter and laughs you have with the people you have known forever. That’s what I miss most.

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