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Goodbye, Seattle - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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Goodbye, Seattle [Aug. 27th, 2012|12:13 am]
Just me.
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I'm moving to Fiji. Yes, really. Most everyone reading this already knows this from FB, but just in case...

I'll be working in an academic library there on a 3 year contract. Part of the reason for taking the job is the adventure, and the other part is the general suckiness of the job market for librarians here in Seattle. Over 2 years after my 2010 layoff, I have yet to obtain a FT permanent job, despite working two different short term (6-9 months) gigs that did not lead to permanent positions. So if I have to move to find career-level work, why the hell not go somewhere exotic?

Yes, Paul is coming with me. No, the cats aren't. We found them a new home with a friend I've known for a decade, and while I miss them terribly, it's what was best for them. They'd have been uprooted anyway if we had to sell the house when my unemployment ran out, which was beginning to look like a real possibility. Quarantine procedures precluded them coming with us.

I sold the art car. We're selling the house (have an offer, and it's currently in the inspection stage). I've divested myself of lots of stuff (though to be fair I still probably own 10x the amount of books/LPs/CDs as the average Fijian) and am preparing for the movers to come (supposedly this week, but that's a long story and may not happen on schedule) pack up all our crap and put it on a boat to reach us in 6 weeks. I will be moving into a furnished place but will basically be living out of a suitcase with only my laptop for entertainment for the first month.

I'm excited and scared. What if I hate the job? What if my apartment has mildew, or bedbugs, or mildewbugs? What if Paul hates it? I am trying not to dwell on the what if scary parts, but let's just say this last week was the worst possible time (biologically speaking) to be dealing with things that provoke an emotional response. I'm better now, honest.

Supposedly Suva has reliable internet, and I'll be on a campus with lots of wifi should the apartment DSL fail to live up to US standards. But it will be a far cry from having free wifi at any Burger King or Starbucks, notably because Fiji does not yet have either a Burger King or a Starbucks (there are 2 McDonalds on our island though).

I'll still check in here from time to time, though I'm mostly on FB these days. If you have any questions about daily life in the capital city, I'll probably be able to answer them in a few weeks.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ringbark
2012-08-27 08:25 am (UTC)
I worked in Vanuatu (close neighbour of Fiji) for 3.5 years in the early 1990s, and travelled through Fiji a few times.
Although the perception of the island nations is that they are quite backward, in fact they are quite technologically advanced. You will certainly have internet access and your property may well have air conditioning. Local TV isn't much good, so be sure to have lots of DVDs with you.
If you want to know more about living on an island in the SW Pacific, ask here or drop me a line to my LJ email. Happy to assist. Happy not to.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2012-10-02 09:11 am (UTC)

TV-

TV is indeed bad, and now that my antenna is broken and I poorly reprogrammed my channels, I'm down to one channel from 3.

So far, so good. the hardest thing (for an american) is not getting hit by oncoming traffic at odd intersections when you know people drive on the left but don't account for the sharp turns! :-)
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[User Picture]From: rimrunner
2012-08-27 05:58 pm (UTC)
I am very excited for you. Above all else, it'll be an adventure.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2012-10-02 09:16 am (UTC)

oh man...

It is thus far. imagine a world where IFLA and whatever the hell the UK org (CILIP?) are more important than ALA. Imagine a world where your library has a million volumes and still doesn't belong to OCLC.

But we're not remote enough to avoid the RDApocalypse, as we are planning to adopt when the rest of the US does. Blargh.

Also am hoping to get an ALA presentation out of this. there's gotta be room for "how to get international library jobs" amid all the "social media for your library" and "intergenerational computer tutoring" programs that are there every year.
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[User Picture]From: erikred
2012-08-27 08:08 pm (UTC)
Fijian coworker (in HR, no less) offers more advice:
-- Make sure to register with the US embassy; they'll need/want to know you have a work visa, and they can keep you up-to-date on any potential unrest.
-- Rent a safety deposit box at a bank in Suva, and keep your most important documents (Social Security Card, birth certificate, marriage certificate) there. While likelihood of theft is low, you just really don't want to have to deal with that.
-- Suva is the capital, so there will be wireless access points available (possibly even at the McDonald's).

More tidbits as he drops them.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2012-10-02 09:23 am (UTC)

wifi and mcdonalds

nowhere has free wifi, which is a shock after seattle. the good news is that places like Mcdonalds that are pay wifi spots are very cheap. I'm not used to paying for it but USD$3-5 per hour is certainly acceptable.

still havent emailed the embassy but will. Had to arrange the voting thing and thought I'd contact them for that but it turns out they have nothing to do with it. I -already- have my King County ballot to print and scan so I'm feeling more connected since I get to vote for president and governor!

I am opting to lock my documents in my desk drawer at work. No one can get to it without clearance and I imagine my passport wouldn't be useful to 99.8% of all the people in the nation since I have one of those newer RFID ones that are harder to tamper with.
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[User Picture]From: therobbergirl
2012-08-27 09:24 pm (UTC)
I'm very excited for you. Adventure!
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[User Picture]From: holyoutlaw
2012-08-27 10:51 pm (UTC)
Good luck to you and Paul, and I hope the adventure goes well. Yeah!
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[User Picture]From: alanna_cooper
2012-08-29 02:59 am (UTC)
Wow, this is awesome! Have fun and I hope you like your job!
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