So this is what was running through my mind a few nights ago, when I suddenly realized that I didn’t have the key to my room. My first thought was, “Don’t panic,” and then my second thought was, “Panic!” Ordinarily, I wouldn’t panic – but the weird thing was that I had come out of my room, locked the door, had some cake in the lounge for 15 minutes and came back. Without my keys. Where could it have gone? So then I suspected the guy down the hall who I think has had it in for me ever since I got here. Maybe he doesn’t like Australians. Maybe he doesn’t like me. Probably the latter. Can’t see why you’d have something specific against Australians. Not like we ever hurt anyone…well maybe he’s angry our dollars doing so well.
Anyway, after finishing my paranoid line of thinking, I went to see the Resident Advisor (RA) for my floor and he gave me a condescending look (How pathetic! You can’t even hold onto your keys…how are you going to hold onto a job – well that probably wasn’t his thought, but it was my interpretation) and then rang someone to come and help me. I couldn't think where my keys could have gone, so I assumed it was the guy down the hall. So I went up to my room and slumped next to the wall waiting for the person to unlock my door. It costs $80 to replace keys – and I really wasn’t in the mood to pay $80 for keys someone took from me.
The girl turned up, unlocked the door with a smirk on her face and asked for $5 (the idiot fee for locking your keys in your room). Didn’t know what to do so I just sat in my chair wondering why everything was going against me. And then I noticed something jingling…BOO. It was in my OTHER backpocket. I never even use it! I dig my hands into the front two pockets, put my wallet in my right hand backpocket and never touch my left hand backpocket. Wow. I had it in my pocket the whole time. Doesn’t get much worse than that.
I’m not sure why I shared that story, but I guess the moral is to check your backpocket for your keys before you start assuming people have something deep and personal against you.
As you might have guessed, things have slowed down here, which is why I had to resort to opening this blog entry with another embarrassing personal moment. However, I did go on a trip to the United Nations last Friday, and that was interesting. The residence halls organize a variety of programs (the trip only cost me $20 because it was subsidised by Cornell), and this was especially good – the bus left Ithaca at 4 am, arrived at the UN at 10 am. That part wasn’t so pleasant but what do you do.
My impressions of the UN – I think it's an amazing idea, and a fantastic place to work. A lot of people complain that it's ineffective and doesn’t accomplish much – quite possible, but that says more about the member states than the actual organization. The concept of unifying nations for common purposes like peace and reducing global warming is great – and the ideals enshrined by the UN are similarly worthwhile. I found out that it's possible to work at the UN – you just have to do an exam, and an interview. I used to think working at the UN would mean you’d have to be amazing – but not really – you just have to apply online. I guess the lifestyle would be quite different to most jobs – you’d be posted in one of the UN stations around the world and you might get moved around quite a bit. Doesn’t really work with the idea of settling down and raising a family and sending your children to the same schools you went to.
The United Nations building is interesting – apparently it's not part of America – the space is actually owned by all the member states (isn’t that sweet!). And the flags of the 192 member states fly outside the building, and they are all lowered at night except the UN flag (which flies throughout the night).
After a tour of the United Nations building (we went to the Economics and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and the General Assembly) we had a panel discussion by 4 experts. One referred to the UN as a thin plaster on a massive cancer. One talked about global warming. Another talked about her experiences in working for the UN (one of the ways to get into the UN is through unpaid internships – a difficult proposition in the most expensive city in the world). And the last talked about the UN Women’s Rights group and the role of the UN in empowering women.
After this we wasted money at the UN gift shop and I got sucked into buying the UN bear because I have a soft spot for soft toys.
The land of the Small Unattractive Australian Icons, represented by the echidna and the wombat are once again being harassed by the Iconic Australian Icons – the koala, the kangaroo, the kookaburra. There’s a box of Junior Mints (American candy) that is rightfully the land of the small animals, but as so often happens, the big bullies have managed to get a hold of it. Happily, the friendly UN bear has hopped on the back of the SUAI and is attempting to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
Nothing much else happened - I went to a talk on Darwinian medicine which wasn't particularly interesting, but the concept was still interesting. Apparently some of our "illnesses" are actually evolutionarily preserved responses - for example allergies can be seen as our body's way of leading us away from environments where there are carcinogens.