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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2005/07/17 01:46:44 (July 2005).

[Monday 11th July]
So today was the day of my big interview - my reason for coming all the way to Seattle. It was an all day event, starting at 9 and finishing after 5. As always seems to be the case with these things it is hard to say exactly how it went - they weren't giving much away on the day. As usual, I can at least say it could have been much worse! I didn't think jetlag would affect me that much going this way round, but whether it was this or something else I didn't get a particularly great night's sleep. Breakfast was an early highlight to the day - the hotel had a Japanese breakfast on offer, so I enjoyed a bowl of rice, some miso soup, and a couple of umeboshi... oh, and a bagel - I was in the state after all! I got a taxi to the interview in the morning, but decided to walk back to my hotel in the evening as I wanted to clear my head etc.
Over the past few months I've developed a couple of rituals to do with exams and interviews. There is a CAKE song called Wheels from their most recent album which I have got into the habit of listening to immediately before the event in question. I then typically have it going round my head during the exam/interview, and I find this galvanises me somehow or other. So far it has helped me to pass one driving test, one PhD viva, and the first two interviews for this job I am applying for. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will continue to be a winning formula.
The other ritual I've developed is to have a few drinks after an interview (and definitely not before). After the first two interviews - in Japan - given that I was in Tokyo I was in a prime location to find some really good whisky bars (see here and here for details). This time round I didn't know of any whisky bars in the viccinity, and I was some distance from the centre of Seattle... So instead, I decided to go for a Mexican - this seemed somehow appropriate what with being in America and everything - I guess Mexican food to them fills a similar role to that which Indian food does in Britain. Conveniently there was a branch of Azteca just a short walk away from my hotel. In fact this was the only thing just a short walk away from my hotel. After consulting their website I was very pleased they had a decent looking vegetarian menu - America has proved surprisingly good for vegetarian food. The food was really good actually, the service was fantastic (they kept calling me "buddy" and "amigo" which I though was both hilarious and great in equal proportions)... and also, perhaps most importantly the beer was great too - I had a Corona first, which OK you can get in England, but it was somehow different... After that I had a Pacifico - one I hadn't seen in England, and was very nice.
After dinner I felt like going somewhere else to carry on my drinking spree, but there wasn't really anywhere that appealed - only the bar at the restaurant or back at the hotel. So instead I had a fairly early night, being somewhat knackered after a hard day of interviewing, and a long flight the day before, without having had much sleep inbetween.

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