I left Chicago, my home for the last five years, on Thursday afternoon. The leaving followed a long stretch of dissertation writing, defending, and revising; travels in the U.S. to see family and friends; packing, sorting, selling, and storing; and trying to maintain some sense of dignity and composure. I think I failed on the last bit, as I was *very* sad to leave my friends, my city, and my bike; however, the leaving itself was accomplished, and after a long flight I now find myself very far away.
In Singapore, to be exact. I am currently sitting roughly 9,375 miles away from my most recent address.
I arrived into Singapore Changi Airport at around 11:30 PM on Friday, after a short layover in Seoul. Both airports were lovely (particularly after the wonders of O'Hare's Terminal 5, where no coffee is available past security(!)), but I was anxious to see the back of Changi and the front of my residence for the next few days, as my ability to sleep on airplanes is negligible despite copious quantities of Benadryl and Advil PM. A few hiccups in the registration process, but a wonderfully helpful cab driver, a nice front desk person, and strong biceps for my ridiculously heavy baggage made it as good an experience as it could be under the circumstances. I crawled into bed at around 2 AM, and woke up at 7:15 AM ready to start the day.
And it has been a day! I've walked a few miles in the interest of exploring and running errands, ridden the bus to go see a possible living space, met some nice people, and thoroughly exhausted myself. A few notes, to self and otherwise:
* While it was a very good idea to pack your adapters, perhaps it would have been a better idea to remember where you packed them so as to be able to find them.
* Maybe that shampoo wasn't necessary, though the front two pockets of your very large bag are now extremely clean.
* People are really nice, particularly when it's obvious that you have no sense of direction and are a bit of an idiot American.
* Mangosteens are DELICIOUS and make a perfectly delightful lunch.
* While the excess of choices at the hawker centers may be overwhelming, you're eventually going to have to suck it up and make a decision. It all smells too good to do otherwise.
* Appreciate the fact that you can see over the majority of the crowd.
So, a good time thus far. Hurrah! It's a beautiful city/country and I can't wait to be able to explore more.
Today's guesses as to where I'm from: New Zealand, Ireland