I’ve finished my first week (or set of weekdays) here, and I’m now pretty much set up with everything for the next three months. Friday morning I went to the bike store, bought a helmet, a couple tools, and things that flash, so now I can bike around reasonably safely.

Riding on the left side of the road turns out to be easier than I expected, especially when other cars or cyclists are around. The example of other practitioners serves as a reminder of what I ought to be doing, and of course when the practitioners are buses or cars, you want to stay out of their way.

I paid the first of what will doubtless be many trips to Heffers, one of the big bookstores in town, to stock up on philosophy books. After years of avoiding philosophy in favor of sociology– my graduate program was pretty militantly anti-philosophical, a way of differentiating itself from what its founders saw as the excessive influence of philosophy on the history of science– I’m now having to catch up. But what better place than here to read about Wittgenstein, the philosophy of mind, and arguments about embodied cognition?

the menu at gardies, via flickr

I then wandered over to the Gardenia, or Gardies, a kebab place in town. It turns out to have something of a storied past, and it can become quite a madhouse late at night, but the food was pretty good.

After that I biked around for a while– having a bicycle makes exploring vastly, vastly easier and more interesting than just going around on foot– and then wound up at a pub near my house. I don’t drink much normally, so a week in which I’ve had anything on three nights is very rare; I don’t think I’ll try to keep up such a pace, though one never really knows. Cider is actually pretty damn good.

dinner at gardies, via flickr

The one unexpected bad thing was that the top to my Mont Blanc pen got smashed– it fell out of my pocket, and got run over. The rest of the pen is fine– it got stuck in my pocket and the ink ran on my pants, but otherwise it’s all right. Which is good, because I just had the body replaced last year.

I’m willing to think of this as the one bit of misfortune that balances out all the good things. After worrying about not being able to get a bank account, and being concerned about the kids’ adjusting without me (they seem to be doing all right), this is small stuff. But it raises the question: I got the pen as a graduation present, and had the body replaced after it got damaged; now, with a new cap, will it be the same pen? Maybe one of these philosophy books will tell me.