Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Our apartment!

Wow, you lucky people. Not only do I fix the blog to it's former glory (thanks to Googles image hosting) but you get a video! Well it's not too exciting I'll give you that. And the quality isn't exactly brilliant, but I think you can see the apartment quite well. I'll post some still images once Shaun's taken some decent pictures with his DSLR.

The apartment is a short walk from the office. As usual the length of the journey is doubled by the crossings, which haven't improved since my last visit. The other advantage is that the apartments are close to some of the supermarkets in Bellevue. We did a big shop on Monday, hoping to get all our food in for the week. We decided to go to whole foods, which is just across the freeway from our apartments. It's a hard shop to describe: It's big, everything is 'Organic', most things are specialities, and it's also very expensive. We decided it would be a good place to get any Meat and Veg as there was a proper butcher counter, and the vegetables are all kept in shelves that have built in watering (something apparently most stores have). The meat was expensive and amazingly, chicken is more expensive than beef. We picked up two huge steaks for $7, and two chicken cutlets for $9. Apparently the chickens were privately educated or something. For the remainder of our shopping (the basics) we went to Safeway near the center of Bellevue. The prices there are much more reasonable and there are lots of deals, especially when we had a clubcard!

The cooking utilities in the apartment are good. Probably ranking somewhere between Student and My First House(tm). The hobs ("range") are electric, and the oven is also electric. It's a non power assisted element heated oven. It's also massive, measuring around 3 feet in length, 2 feet high and about 2 feet deep. I should thing 12 square feet of cooking space is enough for chips. And it smells. And it's in Fahrenheit. Above the 'range' of slow heating electric hobs is a microwave that also serves as an extracting hood. The microwave is also huge, however it isn't as deep - and one thing about microwaves is that you can only put something as big as the turning dish in there, so the extra several inches either side is... well pretty much useless! The fridge is also massive, and our 'groceries' are rattling about inside.

My bedroom is of decent size as you can probably tell from the video. It has a built in wardrobe which is big enough for a horse to stand in, and certainly big enough for a toilet and sink, however the architects in their wisdom, put a shelf and a rail in there instead, and I'm reduced to walking out of my room to the off-suite bathroom. Shaun has the room with the on suite.

We have three televisions which is handy as it means we have three extra sockets to use. The television in America is pretty awful. Occasionally there will be a program of some worth on, but the pain of channel hopping some 40 channels continuously all night far out weighs any entertainment that may be had watching C-List American Celebrities 'Boxing on Ice' (or whatever it is). Thankfully the apartment operators had the decency of including a DVD player that by some stroke of luck supports DivX, allowing us to watch the stacks of 'backup DVDs' we brought in the comfort of the living room (and not huddled around a laptop). There's also free Internet. Which is nice.

I'm dreading the fact that at some point this week, I will have to fathom the doubtlessly impossible controls of the washing machine and dryer. I shall be lucky to have a single item of clothing its original size by Monday, and may potentially have bed sheets the size of hankies. The best I can hope for is I don't flood the apartment with bubbles or strip the paint from the walls.

So that's pretty much the apartment. It's very tidy at the moment and it's actually nice to come back to after working all day. And before any body thinks I'm being one sided against everything American, I have to say that I really like the radio here. The alarm clock was tuned to a classic rock station when I arrived and i haven't bothered changing it since as it's pretty damn good. Unfortunately they host a chat show around the time I wake up so I miss the music.

Tomorrow I'll aim to get some pictures and maybe videos of the magical world of the Bellevue office. I'll also aim to delve in to as much detail about what the hell I am doing here without upsetting the companies Non-Disclosure Agreements.

I'm off to eat my massive steak. Hope you're all well!



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