Finding a job and settling into Canada

It’s been 4 weeks since I got here, I now have a job, car and room where I live and so far it’s going quite well.

The second week I took a one week course related to the job I’m doing which went from 8-5 every day. The instructor was really great some of the stories you will hear when you work with people that have been in the industry for a long time are unbelievable.

On the weekend I took a First Aid and then a H2S course on the following Monday, two courses that are required to work in the Oil Industry. The H2S Instructor was an older guy who worked all over the world and also in the Gulf Of Mexico in 2010 when BP’s tragedy happened, so it was great talking to him.

If you want to read some of those stories here is a good book by another industry veteran: Paul Carter – This is Not a Drill

On Tuesday I got sick and took a rest day, the first one since I came here, I was doing things every single day since I arrived. I felt quite a bit better on Wednesday so I went out and started going around offices applying for jobs. I walked around 12km that day because the Bus system really sucks. I talked to about 12 companies and got a few positive responses. Most said with experience (1year) they’d hire me immediately.

This week I went with a friend to a different company and they interviewed me on the spot. A day later I got hired and I have my first work day tomorrow.

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My room

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The tools I work with. There will be a detailed post about my job, but here is more info: Nondestructive Testing

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Only the main roads get plowed so everything else has a thick layer of snow.
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My car. Heater isn’t working. Bought it for 700$ (400€). The drivers window wouldn’t go up so I had to get that fixed which cost 100$ (70€). After that the windshield froze from the inside but thankfully it’s warm now so everything is good.

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Car Auction. Best place to get a car, some great deals.

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Sold for just 14000$ (9000€). See the person standing next to it for size.

Moving to Canada

On Wednesday 5th February I flew from Frankfurt to Edmonton to work in Canada for 1 year; for now. I got into Edmonton around 2:30pm. After that I took a Shuttle Bus to my Hostel in the Center of the city.

In the evening 2 friends picked me up that are working the same job that I’m going to do. I also went and had a look at a room near the Hostel. The room looked good and I moved in today. After that we went back to another bar and got something to eat.

The coldest temperature so far was -32°C which is okay for 5 minutes but after that it gets quite uncomfortable. Thankfully the weather is supposed to get warmer because I’ll be working 12 hour shifts outside soon.

Next week I have a one week course (8 hours every day) to learn the basics for my job and then I will start applying for jobs.

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Standard size of cars in Edmonton.

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First Week in London

Tuesday the 27th August I got to London and it has been a very busy week. So far I have not seen a single tourist attraction.

It took me about 10 hours on my motorbike and it was about 800kms. Thankfully at my first stop to get fuel on the „Autobahn“ I met someone else from London who’s train was leaving around the same time so we drove the remaining time together.
Queue for the Train

Boarding the Train

Inside the Train

So far driving on the left hasn’t caused any accidents yet. But driving around London is defnitely crazy. First of all you are allowed to lane split which is something completly new and the people just don’t care about red lights and just keep walking. Oh and I also already got a parking ticket, which I might have to pay if they bother to send it to Germany.

I spent 5 days in a hostel just getting settled in, getting a sim card and meeting some Aussies who I went out with and a nice Swiss guy.
On Saturday I was able to move into my flat:
Flat
Grocery Shopping

Moving to London – a new journey begins.

After finishing school in July my original plan was to go straight to Canada but the timeframe between getting my diploma and getting the visa was to short, so I’ll reapply in January.

The plan now is to move to London for a few months and see what happens next. I’m driving the 800km from Germany to London next Tuesday with my Motorbike. I haven’t found a house yet, so I’ll be staying in a hostel for a week and will hopefully have found a flatshare when the week is over.

This blog will mainly be a diary of the things I’ll be doing in London which include:

Check out the Progress site to see how it’s going along.

Exploring Kuala Lumpur during my 16 hour layover

I took a four week trip to Australia last month and I had to wait 16 hours for my connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur (KL).

I started my trip in Frankfurt at 12noon and got to KL at around 7am. When I landed I stepped out of the airconditioned airport and even though it was only 7am it was already about 30°C and really, really humid. I wanted to take a picture of the airport tower, but that didn’t work, because the camera lens immediately got foggy, so I had to use my iPhone to do that.

After that I took the KLIA Expres, a train going up to 160km/h into Kuala Lumpur Sentral. KL has got two Centrals, the KL Sentral and the KL City Centre (KLCC). My plan was to go to the top of Petronas Twin Towers, but I met a Czech and an Egyptian, who were volunteering in KL, outsite who told me it’s not worth it to go up there. I asked them if I could come along with them, because they also just came to the city and didn’t know where anything was. We walked around like that for a bit, but due to it being Sunday nothing opened until 10am, so we just sat around at a mall and got something to eat and to drink.

At 12noon I went back to KLCC and met up with a girl I met through couchsurfing.org. She is a local and she was going to show me around a bit more. Kuala Lumpur has about zero traffic laws, except for traffic lights. She and a friend picked me up in her car, so I got to see all the reckless driving firsthand. There are a lot of motorbikes/scooters and they just ride between the cars, even if they are going 60km/h or more.

The first place we went to were the Batu Caves. They are a series of caves and cave temples outside of Kuala Lumpur and they are one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.

At the top of the stairs were monkeys which stole stuff from people. I witnessed a monkey go up to a little kid and grab a chocolate bar out of his backpack, check out the video to see how he eats it. I got close to some monkeys, but I was only able to hold hands with one of them, the other ones opened their mouth as an aggressive emotion. His hands felt really soft :D.

Our last destination was the Central Market (Pasar Seni). Food, clothes, fake watches, whatever you can think of, you can get it there, and everything is really cheap. T-shirts start from 2€. It was really crowded so I was a bit worried about pickpockets, but thankfully nothing got stolen.

While we were walking back to the trainstation we came along a film set, if you can call it that which was probably shooting a film for Bollywood.

Errina, who was showing me around is a Muslim, so she explained me everything about the religion and also about Ramadann which was going on at the time. Most of you would know that you are not allowed to eat, but they aren’t even allowed to drink anything, no water, even in 35°C. The only time they do eat is before sunrise and after sunset. They told me they get up at 5:30am at the moment just to eat, in the evening they eat at about 7:30. They actually do pray 5 times a day, I had just finished eating something when they asked me if it was okay if they go pray, which of course I didn’t mind.

Walpurgisnacht 2012 auf der Thingstätte in Heidelberg

Ich war dieses Jahr zum ersten Mal auf der Thingstätte in Heidelberg um die Walpurgisnacht zu feiern. Die Thingstätte wurde um 1934 von den Nazis errichtet um vor allem für Propagandaveranstaltungen genutzt zu werden. In der Walpurgisnacht kommen immer zehntausende Menschen zusammen um dort friedlich in den 1. Mai zu feiern. Auch dieses Jahr gab es keinerlei feindliche Übergriffe und es waren wohl mindestens 15.000 Leute dort. Als wir so gegen 24:00 den Rückweg antraten gingen immer noch Leute den Philosophenweg (Gehdauer: 1 Stunde) hoch. Allgemein war die Stimmung sehr freundlich, es wurde gegrillt, gesungen und natürlich getrunken. Zum Höhepunkt zählten natürlich auch die zahlreichen Feuerdarsteller. Im Folgenden Video habe ich ein paar Impressionen fest gehalten.