Now where were we up to…
Oh yeah, I remember : Hobart, working a normal 9-5 IT Service Desk job as an experiment to see if I can become a mindless worker drone again.
As an experiment, it was a complete success. Mission accomplished.
The conclusion? A solid ‘Nup’.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m super grateful for the work; I met some lovely people and it really did open my eyes to the realities of the operations of the AAD and more generally what the Public Service has become since I left back in (jeez) 2004. It’s a different beast now, and add the built-in weirdness of Tasmanians in general (sorry Tassie mates) and it was a useful reality check.
Six weeks as an IT drone staring at 4 walls and a screen (and literally facing a wall as my desk was facing a blank wall with my back to everyone else), being surrounded by public servants was fucking unbearable.
So a resounding definite “Fuck that shit!” to 9-5 Hell, get me to the Hobart airport and the heck outta here.
(at least til I run out of money anyway – but let’s cross that bridge when I come to it)
So…what was up next?
A quick flight to Canberra to catchup with a few friends, get some new glasses and contact lenses ( yes I’m old and blind – meh) , then bus it to Sydney for a few days to catch up with another friend, an overnight in Dubbo and Mudgee for a short stint on the “Dr Dr” TV show shooting there and then finally up to Hervey Bay in Queensland to see my ridiculously
sarcastic beautiful daughter Isabel (after being far far far too long apart)
Three years (!!!) had transpired in the blink of an eye but we tentatively reconnected over a few short days (she had NAPLAN, school testing etc). A few hours over 3 days – working around school and her mothers whims – it was barely enough time but we did what we could.
THAT was the highlight of my year so far – dinner and a movie with my grown up daughter and a super fast catchup. She has grown so unbelievably fast in such a short time.
So super proud of my little lady.
Whew… such a busy week. After Hervey Bay it was time to move on again.
Always in motion it would seem, I jumped on a quick flight back to Sydney then connected to a cheap short flight out of Dodge City and now FINALLY I’m gone.
(Well, a relatively short flight in any case – 22 hours thanks to an 11 hour layover spent snoozing in Kuala Lumpur airport before heading back into Northern Thailand)
Where the fuck am I now?
Back in Chiang Mai again in my favourite Hostel, writing in my favourite cafe, sitting at my favourite table. I dont have to order – they know what I want before I sit down. Ahhh the serenity ….
… and the heat! I’d forgotten about that. It’s a balmy 38 degrees : a blisteringly wonderful hot and humid day.
Northern Thailand has become my bolt hole recently – a comfortable familiar home (or as close to one as I have) to find a little equilibrium, re-examine my life choices and hopefully find a path to wherever the Hell my place in this world is.
Where might that be?
At this time of my life it appears to be Antarctica 🇦🇶 short term – for at least 6 months of the year!
As usual there is always difficult decisions to be made as much like the Jundland Wastes, a trip down South is not to be travelled lightly.
My current dilemma is due to my Plan B tendencies (old habits die hard it would seem) – having applied for roles with both the Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Services this year – as a Science Tech at New Zealand’s Scott Base (near McMurdo – the big US base) and as IT officer for the third year running at Davis Station again for the Australian Antarctic Division.
…and bugger me if I haven’t won the NZ job – again out of the blue after a fairly slapped together application and stupidly casual Skype interview.
I got the NZ contract on Friday (shhhh dont tell anyone), but have’nt accepted yet as I’m still waiting to hear from the Australian Service (soooo sloooow) about this season.
Check it out >>>> NZ – Scott Base
It’s such a difficult decision between the two (assuming I get both, that is – hohum sucks to be me).
It’s not an easy choice though and it’s causing me some stress and sleepless nights.
I’ll spell out the pros and cons as I see ’em…
The role I’ve won with the New Zealand Service is as the Summer Science Tech/ Standby Winter Tech (ie if the existing Winter tech cant do it, they go home and I do the winter). It runs from 28 August for potentially 6 OR 12 months.
I get a months training before leaving, and Fire Team training, then fly in. It’s located at Scott Base (where I’ve never been) in Southern Antarctica (?) near the Ross Ice Shelf and close to the USA’s McMurdo station and Mt Erebus (volcano = exciting!!) – it’s IT, Science field tech work, part Laboratory manager and part Weather Observer, all rolled into one. So many new skills to learn.
Also the wildlife is insane, and they have Orca there in summer, feeding off the seal and penguin colonies!!!
They have less Tradies and more scientists which would be a nice change.
Experience and skill building wise the NZ role is solid gold but the pay is suboptimal (which would put me at least 12 months behind in my $$ goals)
The Australian Service role is a known quantity : primarily IT Support and not much else (probably) at a station I’ve been to twice before and know back to front but it pays almost double, and I get to sail on the Aurora Australis again for close to a month during what will probably be her last voyage before retirement and replacement. Davis has fast Internet and an awesome Cinema/Theatrette, plus the food is amazing.
Do I choose the $$ (familiarity and fuzzy comfort zone) or the Experience (scary newness , the opportunity to grow and push myself?)
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t?
Hmmm… it does’nt seem like much of a decision when I see it written out like that though, really.
My hear says I’d rather pick the new experience over the $$, but my head is going ” hang on there buddy …”
Hence the indecision.
Man, this is a WORLD away from where I saw myself ending up even as little as a few years back…amazing what happens when you decide to change your life.
Anyhoo otherwise Life is good.
I have 10 days to decide…
tick tick tick…
(writing this stuff down really does help with difficult decisions – I’d recommend it totally if you are having similar issues)
**actually I have to thank all the Tassie/ACT peeps that hosted me during my 6 weeks of housesitting in Hobart and my weeks in Canberra – I could’nt have done it without you all – you know who you are 😉 xx