Eight days. Leaving in eight days. I haven't packed. I haven't been obsessing about travel details. I remember what it was like before I left for Oz over three years ago - excited, nervous, ecstatic. Now I feel strangely calm. Like my trip isn't going to take me to live in another country for the next four years. But Singapore is close, so maybe my subconscious figured it would be like a trip to Davao or something. I don't have a place to stay yet, and for the first week I'll be slumming at a student hostel. But I'm not panicking. I guess age brings chill.
I've been looking at Youtube videos of my new uni. It is spacious and clean and orderly. Like I imagine the whole island to be. In my online pre-registration I am asked to tick a bullet that says I give leave to the uni to "share information" about me to third parties and not necessarily for educational purposes. My libertarian sensibilities were offended. But I am intrigued. What is it like to live in an authoritarian society?
Family is flying in from Canada tomorrow. Like family flew in before I left for Oz too. Weird. I'll be meeting a cousin I last saw a decade ago. She was just a little baby then. I'll be seeing an uncle I've never met. He and my aunt were old flames. Then they split up. Years later she moved to Canada. He worked in Saudi Arabia. Some more years pass and they eventually found each other online. Old feelings were rekindled and voila - marriage and a kid.
People are coming and going, coming and going. A cousin flew in from Dubai to get married a couple of weeks ago. Her fiance flew in from Georgia. Lots of other people flew in from nearly every continent. Nobody can sit still. Me? I just want to be free.