Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Visa at Last

We just got the visa approval this morning. We went to the embassy early today and waited in the 7:45 am queue. I had to go to the office first to get some papers that may be needed in the interview. I arrived at the office at about 6:30am and was afraid that the alarm was still on. But it was not and I was able to print the documents. It turned out that they were not needed. But I felt I had to get them just in case. Yesterday before I left for home I thought about bringing them with me which are actually my payslips. But I thought they weren't needed until I got home and read the instruction again from the lawyer. So I got fearful and felt that I would need them. Better safe than sorry.

I met my family at the embassy waiting area at about 7:50am. We were ushered in, our phones taken, went into the interview room, had our photos taken, submitted the application, sat down and waited, got called and interviewed and got out at about 9:40am. The visa will be stamped into our passport and returned to us this Thursday, 26th March. My wife will be getting the passports as I will be in Changi hospital for my check-up. Hopefully I can get my operation soon before I leave next month. Finally things are falling into place disproving all my previous anxieties and fears. I was tense and fearful these past weeks but I now feel better now that the visas have been approved.

Last Saturday, I went for my annual medical examination. At my age, I have more tests to do and hope the results are out soon. I don't think there will be much improvement on my cholesterol though I still try to exercise. My blood pressure was up but I told the doctor that I was stressed and not getting good sleep these past weeks. But now I should take things easy and prepare for the last days of the my stay. My wife and kids looked a bit bored while waiting for our turn at the embassy but I think their spirits went up during the interview and when we were informed that the visa will be ready by Thursday. As we stepped out of the embassy, our local personnel called to tell me that they are arranging my final pay. It was raining very hard so we called a taxi. I dropped them in the nearby train station near my son's school and I was brought back to the office.

The remaining major task is to rent out our place, prepare for the shipment of our stuff and complete the turnover. I have a few personal goals during the remaining time which is to do the area speech contest on Saturday and complete the remaining 3 prepared speech for my advance project manual. I am also rushing to read about writing the natural way, Kiran Desai's 'The Inheritance of Loss,' books on Japanese Prints and other art books. I also reserved a book on the meeting between Mao and Nixon and one of Robert Kiyosaki's book on successful investing. I hope I can rush more things to read before I leave because I don't think I can get the same quality library as here.

Last Sunday, I rented a car and brought my family to Joo Chiat. We had the famous Katong laksa, Ota and dessert of ice shaving with syrup and fruits. We walked around the area looking at the old houses. When I got back to the parking area there was a ticket in the wind shield. I have to pay S$ 30.00 for the ticket. I forgot to buy a parking booklet. We enjoy these Sunday trips to eat at popular and cheap food centers. I think it helps my family adjust to the coming move. At least I get to practice my driving to prepare for my relocation. I hope my kids would not burn their bridges here because it's a nice place to retire here as well.

I placed some drawings I made using visual thinking techniques discussed in Dan Roam's book. It helps me think better together with mind mapping. I am also reading 'Writing the Natural Way' which speaks about 'clustering' another visual tool which in this case, to help people to write. The drawing I did is to try to express my desire to be organized. It's one of the ideas in the book I just read called 'Why Am I Disorganized? I think being better organized (by using ideas from Getting Things Done,etc.) and visual thinking are the best tools to learn in today's distracting world. If anything, my learning and experience in these areas is enough to say that I have hopefully spent my time well here.

No comments: