It’s been 50 days, folks.
It’s been a weird 50 days. First, the last bit of our Europe trip:
Day 136 was a tour of various Dutch towns: Delft, Rotterdam and The Hague. My special pic for that day was a look from the top of the New Church bell tower (New Church, started in 1396. The nearby Old Church was started in 1246. Gotta recalibrate your sense of what’s old in places like this). This was not nearly as much fun as the Bruges belfry escapade 8 days before. The New Church tower staircase was narrow and steep, the day was hot, and the top of it? Wide open. Instead of a safely contained space that let us take great photos through nicely solid windows, we dealt with a narrow balcony-like structure that went about 3/4 of the way round. Fucking hell. Martin and I spent just a couple minutes taking a few photos and hightailed it back to Terra Firma.
Delft was quite a lovely place, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if the weather wasn’t so bloody hot. Rotterdam and The Hague were quite nice too; Rotterdam is too modern a city to get much of a feel for, and we just didn’t spend enough time in The Hague. Also my phone died, so I couldn’t take photos of the royal palace, parliament and other landmarks. Oh well.
The following day we stayed in town, checking out some more of what Amsterdam has to offer: the Artis Zoo, the Portuguese Synagogue, and the Tropenmuseum. All good stuff, but nothing really super-grabbed me. Though now that I think about it, the synagogue was pretty special. Never been in one before, you see, and it’s a fascinating look at a place that’s kind of like a church, but also kind of not like any church I know.
Our last full day in Amsterdam, we spent at the Rijksmuseum. It is an absolutely amazing place, full of the most amazing works of art you’ve ever seen. I had the hardest time deciding which should be my daily pic (The Night Watch? too cliché) so I instead decided on a view of a little garden outside, near a statue of Mercury. I’d originally planned to come back later, photograph Mercury against a dramatic setting sun backdrop, but that was a total fail. The little park closed when the museum closed (6PM) and the angle was all wrong anyway. Well, it was worth a shot.
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And that later trip wasn’t wasted time, either. On this last day, I finally worked up the nerve to visit a gay bar. It was still super-early and there were only 2 people there, so I drank a soda for 20 minutes, briefly chatted with the bartender, and left.
And then… back to Vancouver. Back to the routine and a job I was increasingly dissatisfied with. My head wasn’t in a great place. But, there was hope. I’d been talking to a couple of recruiters before the trip, and then I spoke to a couple more. One prospect moved from “send us your resume” to “phone interview with HR” to “in-person technical interview” to “we’re making you an offer” in the space of just a couple weeks.
Meantime I kept taking photos. My blogging might have fallen off, but my photography didn’t. Some of my faves from that period were: a closeup of some flower or other, a shot of a gorgeous rose by the Mole Hill houses, the sun going down on Sunset Beach, and that time a ladybug landed on my WordCamp t-shirt. I just had time to turn my phone on myself before it flew away.
And then, on July 4, day 185: my first day at the new position. The end of an era… and the beginning of another. This is a good place, and I think I have a future here. It’s been a while since I’ve felt positive about my career. But hey! Better late than never.