Sunday, May 28, 2006

15/5: Starting at Nemerix

First day and week of work at Nemerix were really positive.
I like very much the atmosphere: everyone seems to be so excited about what we are doing and it looks there is really a strong common goal. It should be natural, but for some reason it impressed me.
I like very much also my colleagues: everyone looks to be so kind and prone to help.
About the task I am demanded to do: I am going to be the only one working with a particular platform (which it is what I was exactly hired for). Honestly I am a bit afraid: the amount of work seems to be huge and... to whom I could ask questions about it if none knows that platform?
Still I have the feeling I am not going to be alone. I am sure that my colleagues will help me in some way.
And now comes into my mind a concept that I read time ago (probably in "Code Complete" or in "The Pragmatic Programmer", or both): when you have a software problem, sometime you go to one of your colleagues, you explain the problem and on the while you talk you even tell a possible solution, and then you give thanks to your colleague who didn't say a word!
It happened to me in the past: some time it is enough that people are willing to listen.
So I am very excited and committed to the goal.
I am afraid as well... but I believe it is normal.

A negative thing.... latest days at Nokia me and my colleagues were making fun about the issue: "are you going to miss Sodexho?" (i.e. the canteen).
Obviously it was a joke, since it was usually bad food for some one grown up in Italy. Again England doesn't have a great food reputation neither...
But what happened this week was that every day (except than Monday when we had a welcome and Friday that is a tradition) every one goes out, buy a sandwich, comes back and eat it in front of the screen of the pc!
This was sad for me and I guess I cannot adapt myself to that custom.

In the picture: a different concept of "work"

11,12 /5: Back again. Goal: to settle.

One week in Italy was enough to rest, even though it wasn't really a rest, meaning that I had to care still about several things (regarding the shipping of the container, money transfer, house agency bureaucracies and so on).
The 11th I take the plane with Davide.
We should be lading at 14:50, then we are supposed to run, if there is not time Davide takes care of the luggage and I run to the train of 15:25 in order to be in Cambridge at 16:00.
This because I have to be at the house agency before closing to sign documents, pay and get the key.
But the aircraft is on time and we do it without any trouble.
I get the key and we spend the afternoon for a sight see of Cambridge, which looks really lovely.

12/5 The container comes in time. But it is locked and we need iron big scissors to open it. Just as a note, when the container left my place in Finland it was not sealed and my understanding was that they would have put a lock which wouldn't have required any tool to open it (just a plastic lock that can be broken by hands as I've seen previously, since the point is not to secure it, but just to show that was not opened during transport. Anyway in my case it was totally pointless because they secured it at the harbor and not at my place, so potentially they had plenty of time for steal things or load drugs and so on).
Davide finds in a shop a bend iron that we call "piede di porco" (pig foot). And he manages to break it on the while I was astonished: I could not believe it was possible!
So after 40 minutes we start the unloading. We have 2 hours.
But with a great, amazing work we are in time.
The house now is plenty of boxes and furniture.... we did it.
We spend the rest of the evening and the next day on assembling furniture and putting things in place.
Then we take a break and we go around in Cambridge we the bikes that were in the container. It looks really to be a nice city.
The morning after Davide leaves: he was of a great help! Thanks a lot!

Not being able to open a lock, I will not have success as a thief. As these in the picture.

3,4,5 / 5: The house hunting

First morning in UK was fantastic: warm, full spring season, flowers, plenty of green: a marvelous welcome!
But the house hunting started badly: every visit we booked last Friday (Monday was holiday) was for apartments that were already gone today.
So we spent the morning and afternoon seeking for new opportunities and visiting two flats that were not suitable for our needs.

The day after (4th) we visited 3 flats in the morning.
First one was fine, even thought small for our needs and furniture, and a bit far from my working place.
The second one was so & so... but we had ten minutes to see it, we exit and immediately another couple entered. I didn't feel to say yes in 10 minutes of time, because we were not so happy with the location.
3rd one was fantastic: big, completely renewed, cheaper than others and very close to my working place.
I went to the agency office and applied for it. There was another woman filling the same application. It was 16:00 and they submitted both of the papers to the landlord on the while I was begging to get a decision as soon as possible, explaining my situation.
After very long 45 minutes, the agent came with the decision. The land lord said: "that woman doesn't have any kids, you do... I will give the flat to her".
I still have 45 minutes before the other agency closes (about the 1st flat).
I cross the city by bike and I am there in time to apply for the flat.
I fill the application but... it is 17:30 and the land lord was not available.
We have to leave UK without knowing if we have a place where to stay.
We said before that in this case I would have stayed more time hunting, but now I decide to leave with the rest of the family since I need rest.
Anyway, beside the unlucky experience, we couldn't have done the half of these visit if it was not for the great help of our friends Giacomo & Barbara.
Thanks a lot guys!
A small note to emphasize the feeling of all of us.
We were approaching for last night at the bed & breakfast Ashtrees when Agnese asked: "Where are we going? don't we have an house?".

5/5. We are at the airport and we have done the check-in.
Before jumping in the air bus, I call the agency.
The landlord has agreed to give us the place.
We have a roof.

The picture shows a different approach to the same problem.

2/5 Unbelievable: the value of time!

6.45 Wake up. I run to K-Rauta to buy extra plastic for mattresses
Container is waited for 8:30-9:00 o'clock.
9:00 I call: "it should be coming"
"Should"... does should mean that the driver has some recovery problem after Vappu? (this is my neighbor theory).
The short of the story is that because of some organization problem during planning, Finnlines company realized a bit too late that they were missing one truck! They kept on telling me: "it is coming".
11:40 The container arrives. The driver doesn't neither say "sorry" (but he probably was just a taxi driver for the container). Anyway he was the only physical person of Finnlines I could see and many thoughts came into my mind. But I decided to save my energies for loading rather than for kicking his ass.
My neighbor was more angry than me... (or let's say that I could hide it better). So she went to have a talk to him asking for apologies (he didn't).
Furniture was already on the ground, thanks to brave guys: Cyril, Andrea, Visa and Christopher.
We loaded the container in one hour.
Agnese helped with her little chairs and other small things. Then she wondered:
"Where should we sit?". Understanding that we wouldn't have traveled inside a container she started to cry because of loosing her kitchen toy that "she liked so much".
If sometimes it is difficult to explain things to a woman try to guess how it is to explain to a little girl!
Lunch on the floor: a dream for Rachele who could reach everyone else dish!
Then we prepared bags for the trip to UK: basically everything it was left behind on purpose... but it was too much! it doesn't fit: the throw away plan starts.
Cleaning, deep cleaning of the house because of the coming exhibitions (thanks to Ritva for baby care service and for supplying cleaning material).
16:00. Time to leave. Anna Maria claims that is not yet really ready: I have to tie her in the car. Rush our.
17:00 We are at the airport. Our friend should be there to pick up the car as agreed. He is not, he's coming (did I heard that before today?).
Few minutes later we give the car to them and we enter at the airport.
There is a too long queue: we are going to miss the flight. Self service check-in never works when it needs to (this is my experience at least) and the error given at this time was: "it is not possible to use this service with this kind of ticket". I don't want to know more: we skip brutally the queue. Even the one at security check, but this time politely.
We have to run. We run: Agnese falls, but she is brave and she stands up and she keep on running while crying.
We achieve the terminal: the farest in Vantaa airport, probably not even Vantaa any longer.
Obviously we are the last: but we are on board.
Now everyone is sleeping and I am terrible tired too, but I cannot sleep.
I don't know how we could make it, meaning the whole thing.
We wouldn't if everyone who gave help to us wouldn't have done it.
Each help, even 5 minutes, was so precious. Thanks a lot my friends!
I was dreaming about this moment few days ago....

1/5: Time to panic!

Now it was time to panic.
We were very late with everything.
It is amazing to realize that box after box, shelves becomes so slowly empty...
or worst... almost empty.
How many things could we gather in five years? and still I think we don't have much!
Funny to think about the value of these items: every single piece seems doesn't deserve a euro cent (or a penny) but if you have to go buying all of them (without considering the time needed) then is a huge amount of money.
Anyway, we couldn't have managed if:
1) Massimo wouldn't have come in the morning and cared about Agnese
2) Juha wouldn't have come in the afternoon to help dissembling the furniture.
Still.... at midnight we decided to go to bed, even if it was not yet over.
We didn't have any longer any bed assembled and we slept in the floor with
mattresses. After five, I've stopped counting the number of times Rachele felt down (and cried).
As revenge (?) Rachele was sick with strong cuff: we could sleep about at 1:30.

29, 30 /4: Packing

These days the packing is a full time activity.
Luckily we still found some time to enjoy the spring:
a pic-nic beside a lake in Espoo.

Then packing again...
The 30th we had another pic-nic with our neighbors.
Many of them were there and they were greeting us with presents!
That surprise was really touching and we were really impressed and moved.
We always liked very much all our neighbors: they were gentle, nice and
very kind to us all the time.
When agents came to evaluate our flat, I told to all of them: "please
write in the add that here is the best neighborhood of all Espoo".
I really think so. And sincerely, because of them leaving Tyrskykuja
was even more difficult.
Many thanks to all of them, for every thing they did for us during our
staying there.

We had a last walk in Kivenlahti Bay at sun set: such a wonderful place!
How many evenings we spent there since we moved to Finland....
how many thoughts, projects, reading and prayers there!
We always look at it as our little paradise behind home.