Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First post!

I got my itinerary for the orientation from the Fulbright people today. It lasts a full four days, and for most of it I am expected to dress in a "business" or "business casual" manner. I've never had a job in the for-profit (ie "square") world, and I am not quite sure what either of these terms mean or how they are different from each other. I'm assuming that business casual is what you would wear to work on Casual Fridays, so I'm packing pleated khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt for that part. For the other part I guess I'll just wear a tuxedo.

The orientation also includes a field trip to an ATM and a grocery store, which are apparently so complicated that people who have been awarded international travel research grants need specific instructions on them. I hope I don't commit some crazy faux pas like I did in Prague, when I neglected to print out the weight of my own apple before bringing it to the register. If that cashier's eyes had rolled any harder she may have gone blind.

I will also be attending something called the "Fulbright Alumni Association Buddy Event," which sounds suspiciously like the thing in 5th grade where they send you to middle school with a "buddy" who is supposed to show you the ropes, except this time there is hopefully very little chance that my buddy will get into a fight at lunch time and leave me wandering the halls by myself for the first part of 4th period.

One part of the week that I'm genuinely nervous for is a reception at the "American Embassy Residence," for which I am to appear in "business" dress. It very well may be the classiest event I will have ever attended. Note to self: learn something about US-Finnish relations that can be deployed in conversation but is also not boring. Possibly something about Nokia? Oh god this is going to be terrible.

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