In two weeks I will be spending an extended weekend in Philadelphia. After exploring New York City last year, I would rather get to know Philly better. I may look for a job in Philly if the economy worsens and budget cuts cost me my job. The Pennsylvania annual budget ends in July so that is when I would expect to hear some bad news. So far my preparations have only been to throw out some junk in my cellar. I also want to get used to driving down to Philadelphia so I can leave from their international airport instead of the Williamsport Regional Airport. My last vacation has taught me that leaving from a regional airport can only cause headaches. It is difficult to reschedule a flight when your final destination is a regional airport.
I have a long list of things to see and do in Philadelphia; Reading Terminal Market, Avenue of the Arts, South Street, etc. I may see the play Wanamaker’s Pursuit at the Arden Theatre Company. Wanamaker’s was once a landmark department store in Philadelphia but now it is a Macy’s. I am particularly interested in the bar and restaurant National Mechanics because it is owned by the e-commerce firm WebLinc. It is were all the local programmers are likely to hang out. Although I’ll be doing the usual tourist stuff, I also want to pick up copies of local newspapers and a SEPTA bus schedule as part of my research.
My next European vacation will be a trip to London. At least I won’t need to learn English! London is certainly one of the great cities of the world and England is an important country for Americans, but I put Paris and Berlin before that city because there is an extra thrill in a foreign language. It was more daring to travel to Paris and Berlin. I have begun to do my research on London. I have bought a lot of books on London. There are hundreds of novels set in London. It is as popular in fiction as New York City. I’ve bought; Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Soho Black by Christopher Fowler, Mother London by Michael Moorcock, Un Lun Dun by China Mieville, and The Runaway by Martina Cole. I also have many travel guides to read. Currently I’m reading books on British culture. I’m reading a book by an American expat on British culture.
I found my grandmother’s death certificate and was disappointed to discover that she was born in Philadelphia and not Ireland. This means I cannot apply for Irish citizenship with its many EU citizen benefits. However, I’ve become very interested in the Netherlands which has generous immigration policies for someone like me. They have a Dutch American Friendship Treaty which means an American can reside in the Netherlands as a self employed freelance programmer. And they also have a special knowledge migrant program to make it easier for IT professionals to become Dutch expats. I have bought some language learning resource materials to learn Dutch. Dutch is very similar to German but also closer to English. The country seems to have a special relationship with the UK because it lies directly opposite the UK on the continent.