As many of my friends are probably in the know, after having looked for a position in my home country for a while unsuccessfully, I was back again moving away from it. Thus, I have recently moved to Pittsburgh in the US to take up a Research position at Carnegie Mellon University.
Well, job details aside, it has been a bit of a hassle to get properly set up here. The first problem is that apartments are seldom rented furnished, so in order not to have my meals and my sleep on the floor (like real men!), I had to go and find me furniture. The solution was cheap furniture from the largest charity in the world: IKEA. Of course that was not a trivial pursuit, since IKEA is not close to the urban center of Pittsburgh and there was no way in hell that I would haul 50 kilos of furniture in public transportation. So I had to rent a UHaul van, and boy I did not remember how large these American trucks were. To top it off, UHaul, or at least the store I rented it from, had no option of a Satnav in the trucks, so I had to brave the highways and interstates of Pennsylvania with not much more than the instructions Google maps had for me, which, given my attempt at safe driving (and no paper reading in the middle of the interstate) invariably led to me doing many extra miles due to taking wrong exits and generally going in the wrong direction.
After the whole rigmarole of buying furniture and essential home items, I needed to do laundry after many days living out of a suitcase, which leads me to my other problem. The washing (and drying) machines are not only coin operated, but they accept only quarter dollar coins! Of course, I only realized I was short on quarters for drying my clothes, and did not have a drying rack at home. To improve things, the supermarket till attendant was also short on quarters, and a simple task such as doing laundry led me on a trek of spending little money just to collect these fucking coins!