Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"We Sail Tonight for Singapore"

Here I am waking up on my first morning in Singapore, our new home for a few years.

WOW. As I told my mom on the phone from the gate at JFK: This may be the craziest thing we've done yet. Or not. It could also be one of the smartest of our good decisions -- like the one to move to New York in 2000 or to marry James at a wee 23 years of age. Only time will tell!

Now because our dearest friends and fun-loving families put together the most delicious three weeks of memories of you all for us to savor, I don't feel all that homesick yet. I probably won't until I a) get through these mix-cds and b) lose these extra five pounds of po-boys and BBQ and watermelon mojitos and c) this feeling that "we're just away on a long shoot" for a few months wears off. Since we have plans to return to the states in December and again next June, I hope we can keep up this cycle, at least for the first year or two. Or until you all get yourselves over here for a visit.

Yesterday I made it through the first half of my orientation at the University; they thankfully postponed the complicated bits about health insurance and all that for today at 3:00pm. I got the keys to my office, and an email address and faculty id card.

We discovered the grocery store about 20 minutes walk off campus-- we explored this map's worth-- and bought a month's worth of kopi (strong coffee with sugar) in single serving tea-bags for the hotel room, and six Australian oranges. Our total = S$ 5.80 or US$4.00. They had the most beautiful live "flower crabs" for sale. At the bakery near by, we bought four buns -- one cheese, one red bean, one sweet potato, and one coffee for S$2.00 or $1.30. Two hawker centers were there too, with the usual menu items. More on that later. There was a GIANT and architecturally gorgeous (water falls, Gehry-esque curves) Protestant church across the street that had a box office line up of teens for evening services. We passed big groups of people on our way home, getting off buses and pouring into the church.

Today, I could barely make myself stay in bed until 6 am. I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking of my office, whether getting a MAC is a battle I'm up for, how to organize it, who to keep my research going in two places at once. Then I'd nod off, and get back up, and so forth until morning, which broke rainy. Made some instant coffee, read a little, and headed to the gym at ....7 AM! Now James has finished his workout too, and we're off to one of the student canteens to get breakfast, then to the bank to open accounts.

Heard on the radio at the gym, that there's a solar eclipse in this part of the world this afternoon. Quite a strong omen for one's first day, don't you think?

More soon, Jessie

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