First Week: A Bumpy Road To Success

In Sina's Posts on August 21, 2011 by SN

When going abroad, I know from my previous experiences that the first few days can be quite chaotic. After all you are jump starting a completely new life that includes finding your way around, establishing new means of communication, and making new friends. Getting settled is a try-and-error process that involves detours, wrong turns, and sometimes even driving without knowing where you go.

Here are my top 5 bumps of my first week in Altanta:

  1. Getting to know my new best friend: 24 years old, beige, 4 wheels, has definitely his own character. For instance, driving on the I-85, a 7 lane highway, at dawn while realizing that the lights do not work.
  2. Odyssey to Emory (by car ca. 30 minutes): Leaving The Landmark at 6:30 am in the morning to find out that MARTA trains run only every 12 minutes. Got screwed by a cab driver on my way to the Emory shuttle bus stop at Grady Hospital, where the Cliff shuttles depart only hourly. Missed the 7:10 shuttle. 1 hour wait on the sidewalk. Arrival at Emory University at 8:40 am. Note to myself on the way back: Grady Hospital shuttle stop only 20 minutes walking away from our crib.
  3. Media Illiterate: Being without Internet or phone for one week. Handicapped with regard to means of communication.
  4. Tight Connection: The new network cable got stuck at my new Dell notebook. Emergency surgery by OU IT Services.
  5. Did I already mention that public transportation is a nightmare? Florian is so right when he said “this city is built on the car.”

Regardless of all the annoyances above, I am so thankful to be here. I feels really great to be in the States again, especially knowing that it will not be for three weeks or three months only. This stay is truly a gift. Therefore, I list my top 5 highlights of my first week.

  1. Big up for my colleagues and staff at Oglethorpe and Emory Universities. They are so welcoming, friendly, helpful, and efficient! Thanks a million times for your time and effort!
  2. Spectacular Apartment, Spectacular View: I absolutely LOVE our apartment on the 18th floor. It is really as great as advertised. No scam. No prank. Spectacular Skyline view over Hilton, Marriott, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Peachtree Center, Midtown, and I-85 highway. Minimalist IKEA style furniture meets modern American living. Did I mention the pool already? The gym? Our relaxed and helpful landlord?

3. Home Researcher: Although Tamás will only be arriving in September, he is already such a great help for me. While I am not able to work and research online, he takes over tasks like researching phone deals. Thank you for being such a big help in my settlement process!

 4. Driving: After 3.5 years of driving abstinence, I drove on  the I-85, a 7-lane highway, to work. I still cannot believe I did just like that. Driving feels great with the exception of annoyance 1 above (“new best friend”).

5. USAUSAUSA: Finally, just being here is already a ray of light: experiencing the Southern metropolis, having warm weather and lots of sun, getting motivated by the American “you-can-do-it” mentality, and  re-discovering many things from my previous stays. In short, coming back to the States feels like coming home.


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