10 March 2012

My Month in New Jersey

My first month of working and living in Newark, NJ has past by ever so quickly. I am loving every single second of this experience, since arriving into Newark Liberty International Airport the pace of this journey has not slowed down. From my first day in New York City discovering Times Square to then watching Madonna's Super-bowl halftime show, it's been immense!

Yes, I literally love the Ironbound! The infusion of cultures, shops and restaurants all work together fabulously. Over the last four weeks I have taken it upon myself to try as many Portuguese barbecue restaurants within my side of Newark's City limits, I want to be a part of the Ironbound life. This task has been great and it will definitely carry on for the remainder of my placement. Well, the first time I ordered in one of these restaurants I literally did not understand my food order but ended up with some top quality food. I still need to try the Portuguese bakeries and to seek out the best pastries and cakes on Ferry Street to see what places to show the family when they visit. If they do? I guess all this trying new foods could be classed as a form of research? I have definitely got a feeling that travelling will be on my agenda throughout this coming year. Away from Disney World this place feels truly like America should!

My life has changed so much, I guess that I haven't had much time for everything to settle sink-in really? My friends from University College Birmingham are currently all over the world, some are working their industrial placement in other North American states such as; Connecticut, USA and South Carolina, USA. Others are completing their work placements in places like England, Shanghai, Dubai and Hong Kong! We'll all be sharing our journeys through the medium of Facebook and I shall try my best to send some postcards throughout the year. This year will bring us so much more than just work, I just have a hunch that life will never be the same again! The process to get to where I am hasn't been an easy one, I feel blessed! I see this year as the chance to live a dream that I have wanted since I was a little boy, to work in an airport has been a childhood dream! Meanwhile, Newark has shown me a few flashing lights that I don't want to get mixed in amongst! No! I need a fierce persona!

Even though its been a hot minute since I arrived back in the United States of America, I am reevaluating my view on sleep! The first AM shift seemed like a breeze waking up before the sun had risen, but as those 'on the job' training hours have finished I have slowly got into a routine and with a new-found confidence I know I'll be fine. I froze the moment a lady gave me her passport, it was such an overwhelming experience for me at first but as soon as the initial fear evaporated I grew a new skin, dusting myself off and moved on to the next check-in! This first month has shown me that I have changed my life in quite a dramatic way, working full-time hours for the first time and being on a split shift schedule, realigning my sleep and changing my diet to a lesser structure compared with my previous student life. I can look forward after getting my GUI software training passed and the initial first chapter done! Get it!

Do I miss home? At the moment there's been no time to think about home! I have to say that I am living a dream as mentioned previously, its been a long road to get to where I am now and the interviews both for the job and for the work visa were definitely character building events without a doubt! I feel a certain Clubhouse role being something that I would like to pursue, I aim to get the most of this placement because January 2013 will creep round sound enough! My colleagues are so funny, they make the shifts more fun and its going to be great working with such a diverse team of people who culturally hail from different backgrounds but are definitely all American in the same breath! Work wise I know its going to be challenging but I can safely say that this placement will be the right one for me in the long run. It's definitely early days, I know its going to be a learning curve but I am ready for the challenges that will come my way! Yes, I'll improve my skills to enjoy airport life!

Living less than forty minutes away from New York City has been something that I seriously thought would never have happened to me! I simply cannot get my head around that I live so close to the Big Apple! From Times Square, to Chinatown it has so far has been an eye-opening experience! New York City is as good as it's portrayed in the movies! It actually looks even better in real life! Actually, its the real deal! Everybody all say, New York City boy! As for the Chinese food it turned out to be Vietnamese and Paolo Fiorello, I'm sure that chicken we ordered barked once in its life! I am looking forward to the next day out! Get me on that PATH train already, BB! Seriously speaking, I am having the best time, just let me have more sleep! No joke!

BB, who? She's about to get me into a lot of trouble! Let's just say the streets that I am living in and the places that I am experiencing have unleashed a persona that doesn't need any introductions! The streets of New York Cty and of Newark are teaching me and my persona to be tough, to get on with what needs to be done and to be god damn fierce at the same time! I plan to visit the city more and more, when it comes down to it all I am having the time of my life. I don't need to elaborate because that could mean absolutely anything! Let's just say there's a few tricks being played and I know a few more will be played before I return before my university semester recommences! Yes, I know full well that I am going to get all of this living done now! Yes Brit! Brum, watch out now!

NJ's Calling...

Joseph Harrison

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