Google Earth presents the place I’m at with a series of patchwork satellite photos… it’s ugly in a pretty way. Lately I feel like a band on tour, having spent time from Buffalo, to Brisbane and now in S_________.
I’ll be here for about a week, primarily to apply for a new US Student Visa which I believe has to go through a travel agent rather than directly from the local U.S. Embassy. NATAS (MrBig sez it sounds pretty evil backwards), which stands for National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, passes on your Visa application for a fee of S$170 + service charge. As seen on this U.S. Embassy guide, alternatives include mailing in the application in yourself, or walking-in for an interview, though do note the requirements before going (e.g. arrive no later than 10am).
While I’ve yet to call on old friends here, I’ve already made plans to meet up with several academic-related bloggers, including the RamblingLibrarian (Ivan Chew), Otterman (Siva), Tribolum and VanTan. Ivan has generously decided to take a day off to bring me on a tour of the swanky Library @ Esplanade as well as the new National Library Board where he raved about a section called The Pod (supposedly beautiful for viewing the city by night). After the tour, we’ll be catching up with the other bloggers for a chat over drinks (Hawker center only: cos I’m cheap and I don’t drink). I am hoping to documenting more of these bloggers’ daily lives (e.g. life of a Singaporean librarian / blogger), but we’ll have to see how comfortable they are with that idea.
Meantime, I’ve been continuously editing and uploading video clips from the AoIR conference in Brisbane. Stay tuned for more interesting interviews.