I didn't realize quite how big the company i joined was - i was one of about 15 new starts, and we had two solid weeks worth of workshops ahead of us. Normally it would have been three, but Christmas. Of course i still ended up missing a bunch of the workshops this week because i also got given my first case to work on and got all wrapped up in that. I have to say it is so nice to work at a company where i can have serious chats during the code review - having to defend my decisions and sometimes change my mind because i learned something. Hell, it's nice to even do code reviews in the first place. Although there is a shit-ton of bad code and the company is struggling with its transition from a start-up to an established business, there are enough people there who know what's up that i think i'll be saved from the spiral of my last company, where i felt like i was the only person there who wanted to write good code and build a great product. People here work past 6pm, not because being a workaholic is encouraged, but because they want to get shit done. And with 5 weeks of mandatory vacation a year (several colleagues were told to go on vacation this week to use up the end of theirs) i think it'll be okay.
Last weekend i didn't go out to any gigs, but i did do some "normal people" stuff. Saturday morning i met up with an old colleague and his wife who were up from Australia to interview at Soundcloud. We had brunch and talked about what it was like to live here. It was kind of nice to see Berlin through their eyes. They were thrilled by all this stuff i already take for granted - the cobblestones, the graffiti, the club posters, the winter markets, the goddamn snow. I also felt a bit silly when they said they'd been to this and that Berlin landmark i still haven't been to. I live very much inside the techno bubble. I realized that again at lunch with my colleagues one day when they mentioned how another colleague was playing Kosmonaut on the weekend... And not only had none of them heard of the club, they didn't even realize Berlin is the world capital of electronic music and that thousands of people come here every weekend just to party. It was reassuring, actually. Because of the neighborhood i live in i don't see much of the hipster/party people bubble on a day to day basis, but because of the parties i go to i tend to forget the other 4 and a half million people here don't give a shit about techno.
Then Sunday i went out for dinner with a DJ/musician ex-pat from Toronto. It was nice to do dinner and not meet up plastered at a club, but we were in Neukölln and everyone at the restaurant spoke English. Back in the bubble. I love the music and would love to hang out a bit more with him and other musicians who speak my (proverbial) language, but i can't make the ex-pat scene my life or i might as well be living in Brooklyn.
Anywho, somehow Sunday through NOT partying i ended up with a tweaked back, to the point i could barely walk for the next three days. Of course i still went to work because i've just started and don't want to take sick leave, but it hurt like you wouldn't believe. One day i was lying on the floor watching TV on my laptop and i rolled over and managed to spill a full bottle of beer on said laptop. Yes, the $1700 dream machine i bought before leaving Toronto. It is now a $1700 brick. I probably got $1700 worth of use out of it over the past 4-5 months because it was my full-time TV, stereo and internet machine, but it still sucks. It especially sucks because i also received the invitation to my Canadian citizenship interview, which is extremely unfortunately timed immediately after New Year's. So i will miss the epic KaterHolzig closing party. And because it was peak time, the cheapest flight i could get sucked up almost the last of my savings. For 3 measly days in Canada. The weekend of January 4, 2014 will henceforth be named The Most Expensive Weekend Ever. I am extremely thankful work gave me a MacBook Air, because without it my evenings would have been very boring. Yesterday i relented and ordered the cheapest Windows tablet i could find so that i can at least access backups on my external NTFS drive. Sadly i'm still going to lose a few things, but life goes on.
One of the big changes i've noticed in me over the past few months is that i've become completely laissez faire about everything. Which i always was in theory, but there were times i'd still let myself get awfully worked up over things. These days i'm pretty much emotionally dead when it comes to bad stuff. Or Zen - take your pick. Bad shit happens. Oh well. I will be broke for the next 2 months. Oh well. I lost a bunch of musical ideas i wrote since getting to Europe. Oh well. I have no computer. Oh well. I'm missing the closing party of my favorite nightclub. Oh well. Life goes on. I still have music on my phone, NetFlix on my work laptop, beer in my fridge and January 2nd at the KaterHolzig. Plus i get to see R again who is pretty much the only thing i've missed about Toronto. And eat a real burger again. Good times.