She Interns: The Commute

Jeans: Topshop , £40
Shoes: Clarks , £32
Jacket: Zara, £30
Bag: As Before Urban Outfitters, £22.50
Top: Own Acrylic Print, Fabric Top, Zara, £5 Sale

TOTAL OUTFIT: £129.50

THE COMMUTE

Yesterday was the second proper commute of my life, and as I sit here typing, I’m making my third, joining what looks like a futuristic, dystopia-imminent horror movie. The train is pretty full on this pre 9am service, the air is hot and muggy from many suits pressed into unfortunately upholstered seats, and the 70 bodies exhaling in this compartment are all jacked into various devices. It’s all feeling very Watchowski Bros (usefully a brother and sister) and ominous to my Tuesday morning mindset, as I realise that 7AM is the weeks’ routine beginning; from the alarm I’m in the system and ‘online’ now that I have an iPhone. Mild sympathy is what I’m used to when I whip out my phone, until Sunday a nifty little Sony Ericsson k500i, but my fairly shockingly efficient iPhone fits right into the commuter life, where all my train companions sit in an early morning zonk with their consoles.

It’s the same pang of regret I get when I pull out my beautiful matt Kindle, another bewildering technology update for my 21st year; it’s not necessarily just nostalgia for childhood things, but the reluctance to feel the strangeness of holding items that, as far as I used to be concerned, were for the ilk of Captain Janeway and her starship crew. At least I can thank my Dad for his Star Trek education, or else, as it is, I’d be completely unprepared to accept these gizmos*. Even in the office, the use of email over speech is at first baffling, but again a blindingly efficient way of tracking responsibility, decisions, deadlines and documents.

Maybe it’s just that the edgy ear cuff I’ve taken to wearing this week that’s rubbing off on me.

THE WORK LIFE

Back into real work – it’s the day after and I’m typing up the work that I covered yesterday, which involved handing in the finished article I was writing yesterday, and getting straight into learning about client’s media booklets, a way to store their press coverage and provide not only a record of useful contacts and a backlog of old work, but provides a tangible demonstration of the company’s output ie. The Results. After helping compile a media booklet of my own, I was free to take an lunch break with my trusty packed box and kindle. Belfast is truly baking in this heatwave, and the hour is a welcome break from the office and shiny screens (which are nigglingly weirding me out today like it’s some episode of Black Mirror).

When I return, seeking shelter from the heat, I chat to Bob, the absolute old gentleman who looks after the permanent War Memorial Exhibition down stairs; can’t hear a thing, bless him, but we manage to communicate some form of happy friendliness regardless! I’m sent on errands with a long-term intern of the office, and she affirms some fears I’ve long suspected of the unpaid intern world (which is a self-perpetuating, studentential nightmare in certain respects) but encourages me to keep at it. Thank goodness for to meeting people on the same path for some thoughtsharing and morale-boosting. I spend the afternoon cataloguing some goodies the company receives from beauty brands and am released to chirpy freedom to catch the 1714 train home.

Today I donned my work clothes and played the (reluctant) commuter, scoped out the industry and took a sneaky peak into the perks cupboard.
It’s looking like staying in education forever is the key. Sorry Parents…?

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* Some academics have given this feeling a fancy name: premediation. Cheers Prof. Grusin!
You can check out his blog, Premediation, or his academic paper of the same title via Project Muse or JSTOR.

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Taiwan: Taipei Transport MRT

I love the efficiency of the Taiwan MRT: Mass Rapid Transport. Trains that arrive on the minute with mathematical precision; lines of peaceful silent passengers waiting with regulated, white-paint lines; aircon, slippy sticky plastic steat, and insulated quiet. I’ve never been late because of the metro, never head a train arrive late, and heard an announcement of a late train. We just don’t do lateness with trains here apparently.

Let’s just not talk about buses today; I’ve no idea how they work. They’re something else altogether…

Scenes of Taipei City Transport.

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Taiwan: Laptop Tech

In my on-going quest to become more Asian, I have finally got my laptop to become bi-lingual.

Now to catch up…

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Taiwan: Surreal Structures

Sometimes I really have to stop and just stare here. Even though this huge structure is looming overhead in an incredible mass of solid concrete, I feel like it’s too surreal to be true. It’s hard to grasp that this isn’t the set of some sci-fi movie, and that this enormous overpass for the MRT has been built over these streets of Nanshijiao. It obscures the sky, and the rush of noise from the overhead trains is barely noticeable through the resounding echo of traffic below. It’s incredible.

I have a similar feeling just moments later, when we step into an elevator in the block of flats, just on the opposite side of this road, and I realise that the MRT line has not only been blocking the sky, but just how high the surrounding flats go. If I’m honest, I’m also feeling slightly uneasy as we keep going up, and I’m more than happy to get off at the 19th floor. But not before I pass a friend the camera and ask her to take a quick picture of the elevator buttons – I’m just happy just to get out…

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