Sunday, July 7, 2013

New York, New York

As much as my job sometimes put me in rather complicated situations, I have also been very fortunate: I got two internal grants that fit very well together, a grant for a teaching free semester (this is a lot since my normal teaching load is around two courses per semester) and a grant for travel and accommodation for a research project, four weeks in total. I will be working with a colleague at Cornell University, upstate New York for two weeks and then go down to New York city to collect data for another two weeks. I am planning to go to New York in August because that fitted the schedule of my colleague. Obviously I have to bring Zoe but I'm used to travel with her for work by now so I'm arranging for her to go to a daycare there for a week and I'm hoping to find a babysitter for New York city. Her dad will also be there to look after her for five days while I am at a committee meeting. I don't expect to be able to work full time for the whole month but I hope to be able to collect a lot of data and have interesting meetings with colleagues. And then I look forward to pretending to live in New York city for almost two weeks, something I still dream of.

I am very used to arranging these things and I'm also prepared for bumps along the road. My first bump was when the daycare who agreed to take Zoe in, needed a medical and vaccine record that included a vaccine against chicken pox. This vaccine is not given here in Sweden (and most of Europe) but it is required in the US. My doctor friend tells me it is because it is not 100% and that chicken pox is not deadly or even as dangerous as many of the other deceases that children are vaccinated against. But because we moved from the US when Zoe was 18 months, she doesn't have it. Luckily she is going for her last round of MMR in two weeks time and I can ask to have the chicken pox vaccine too. Then I have daycare.

I go her plane ticket on my miles, which means she won't make silver next year again, but I will not be financially ruined. I was lucky to get the only available flight in August to Newark on the 7th, ironically from Copenhagen via Stockholm. It would have been nice with the direct flight but saving 9000 SKr (~1300$) is even nicer.

I am hugely excited about the prospect of being in New York for two weeks where I can pretend that we live there. I hope to see friends, colleagues and spend time just living there with Zoe. Maybe one day it will be real.

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