Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We got our permanent resident cards today. It’s the final step in settling here. I expressed my thanks to the lawyers and staff that made it possible. For most people, this would be the happiest moment imaginable to legally live here. The ease to which the cards where given shows that proper connection counts in achieving seemingly difficult goals. Some people I heard have resorted to things like fixed marriages, forged documents or just extending their visas to live here. But strangely I don’t feel any elation as it came without any contrived plans or seeming difficulty. It’s as if fortune has finally smiled at me after all my tribulations at work in Asia.
Recently, I have been receiving emails or notices from social networking sites from friends in my past. A lot of my former friends have settled here and it’s good to hear from them after all these years. From their pictures, they seemed to have reached the local proportions, i.e. close to obesity. Reading their mails in Yahoo Groups is like going back to college. There are a lot of accounts of drinking sessions, golf games and get together sessions. The brothers’ reminiscence about the good old days in college and relive old jokes and memories. Mails from the current members also keep the connection to the university alive. Traditional events are discussed and advise given to the neophytes. I recognize a lot of names but I forget their faces except for my old group at UP Manila.
Through the Internet, we re-establish connections. I talked to old friends over the phone having not met each other for more than 10-15 years. It’s like the past coming alive but with the breathlessness of the present. It’s a bitter sweet feeling where one feels the urges to meet and drink and relive the past but unable to due to present obligations, family and work. A call to youth and relive the care free days at the university. But money, health problems, family concerns all weigh in and one can only drink silently with memories in the mind. But sometime the memories themselves are also fading, replaced by the urgency of new dreams and adventures.
I was evaluated by my boss yesterday and I got a good review. My adherence to the policy and my experience and steadfastness has distinguished me. I guess I need to stay the course, advancing slowly without any ripples. I have carved out a role in less than a year and I need to see the project completed to the end. A major milestone is coming soon and likely the project will pass. Everything seems to be working well and the plans and efforts are moving forward with out obstacles. I guess this is the greatness of this nation where everything is designed to make the common man succeed. The way of life is organized in a way that allows the best to come out if one consciously strives for it. The bureaucracy, old ideas, superstition and indolence of old Asia is nowhere here.
My thoughts these days are about the time in Singapore. Old friends write and send pictures and I see their old joys and remember the great times we had. This is the recent past when our last contact is less than a year ago, where memories are still fresh. I guess the thing I missed most is the Asian food, freedom of public transportation, local delights and friends companionship. But company and the climate are changing. Some old friends are moving home or transferring to a new job or location. Still it’s the country to be in South East Asia in the near future and I hope to return someday.