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I was able to get a family friend who had a truck (actually a large SUV) to help me move nearly all of my stuff, and we were able to do it in one trip. o.o

The only things left right now are my desktop and laptop which I need to chase Acer about next week, various personal belongings and a few clothes. Everything else is in my new apartment~

I don't have pictures of it yet, but I will take them tomorrow and upload them somehow. <3 It's really empty right now, though, because there's no furniture in it.
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I signed my lease agreement today, and I also found out the apartment will be ready as early as tomorrow, so I can move in on Saturday morning at 9:30 am Friday afternoon, although that means the lease will start/end earlier...

I probably won't be online for a few days/weeks after moving, depending on how fast I can get cable/Internet access (my apartment is already wired up, though), so I'll only be able to check mail from work, and not too often. ^^;;;

But I'm really looking forward to it. ^^;;
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I still haven't gone apartment-hunting with my relocation consultant yet, because I've been so busy this week and had so many meetings that I just didn't have time to go anywhere. But I definitely need to do that soon, together with taking my written test. Probably on the same day...

I also need to watch my finances. Having about $4000 per month (after taxes) sounds like it would be a lot, but rent, utilities, buying groceries and other essentials can easily take up one-third of that amount at least. Plus I have to save for my future. I have more savings than current money now, but that's a freak result There are also some people whom I'd like to buy presents for, too, so I need to budget for that.

I had a pretty ordinary day at work, although I was still pretty tired from last night, so I didn't do a lot and left early, but I made up for it with a great dinner with [livejournal.com profile] itsacz at Thai Ginger in Redmond Town Center. It was really filling and definitely much better than reheated (somewhat overcooked?) turkey. ^^;;; I might even skip breakfast tomorrow

Tomorrow, it's off to the gym, after putting in a bit of time at work~
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I've been waiting for this moment. :P I can't wait to get settled in with all the things I've been missing (more jackets/pullovers, cooking items, my collection of music CDs, scores, etc.), although it'll only be for about another month or so before I have to move...

But at least I got to keep the boxes. ^^;;

Out of curiosity: The three boxes weighed 21 kg, 18.2 kg and 36.1 kg. ^^;;;
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It turns out one of the windows in my bedroom can be raised a little bit. That helped. ^^;;

Yesterday was a pretty exciting, although somewhat eventful and busy, day at work. Two of my colleagues were leaving, so we went out for lunch, and had a nice informal gathering. It's great and I really hope there will be more of these on a more regular basis, not just when people come and go. I also finally managed to apply for my Social Security number in the morning, and there were no problems with my documentation, so everything is just peachy and I should be able to get my number next week (the card will, of course, take somewhat longer).

I also had a meeting in the afternoon with my team manager, at which I was basically assigned two items to work on (in stages, of course!) They're huge, but I think if I can execute them successfully, my work will really get noticed. The converse is, of course, also true.. ^^;;;

I went for a CNY dinner with [livejournal.com profile] itsacz and it was pretty good to see people there, even if we didn't really have chances to interact with them much apart from at the buffet table. There was some dinner, which was tasty enough that I didn't mind that the satay finished very quickly... And some musical items that we listened to before we left (I was feeling tired and had to cycle back from work) were really nice. :)

Two Chinese pieces (if only I could remember their names) - guzheng (古箏), a 16-26 stringed zither with movable bridges (so hence somewhat similar to a harp)

Spanish Dance by Sarasate (not from it, as per [livejournal.com profile] meganemagic's comment, though I don't know which one was performed) - solo violin (not sure who the composer is). I'm very sure that the girl who performed this couldn't have been older than 8, and she was so good, too, especially performing it like it was a solo recital (from memory) and with so much emotion and musical richness... ^^;;;

Mozart's "Eine Klein Nachtmusik", 1st movement (allegro) - string quartet (unfortunately, I forgot their names)

All the performers are already very talented and not nervous on stage. ^^;;; They also have very American accents, but that's not surprising

I've got some plans lined up for Saturday evening and Sunday (hopefully the whole day), so I probably won't be around during those times. If you celebrate Chinese New Year, have a happy and prosperous one! If you don't, then you can either enjoy Monday off (if you're in the US and don't have to work on that day, which doesn't include me or [livejournal.com profile] itsacz), or have a great weekend!

See you all soon. :)
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When I left for the airport, my family saw me off, even though they didn't really have to. :P After all, my flight was at 7:30 am and it's not like it was a really big thing. ^^;;

Send-off at Changi Airport )

There was this poster/sign at Narita airport in Japanese, but I have no idea what it really means...

Something about dogs and food? )

Upon landing, [livejournal.com profile] itsacz took a picture of me at the airport. I didn't return the favour embarrass him by taking a picture of him in return, though. So he'll always be a red blob...

Flight of the Bumble basket Bee )

Today was a really foggy day. When I woke up, I could barely see the parking lot...

Fog over the parking lot )

And while walking the 3 miles to Crossroads (a shopping mall), I was able to get some nice pictures of Unigard Park covered in fog:

A foggy, mysterious plain... )

A bare, desolate tree, powerless against the twin forces of fog and winter )

Yet, all hope is not lost... )

Even the road I was walking on wasn't immune:

Fog over 156th NE Ave )

But after buying my groceries, it was time to return to home sweet home. ^^

Back home~ )

The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful, and I went out with a family friend for a very nice dinner at an Indian restaurant. :)

And on that note, I'm going to try and sleep. :P
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Before I leave for the airport, that is. :P

I'm nearly done packing after procrastinating for ages sorting out my clothes and doing my last laundry for a while at home, and waiting for the jeans to dry. ^^;;

I'm not sure if I can get online at Narita while in transit (or whether I'll even have time to try), but.. I'm hopeful ^^;;

I'm looking forward to meeting [livejournal.com profile] itsacz~
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I'm amazed it proceeded so smoothly! And they were really efficient at everything: assembling the boxes, wrapping the items, packing them, weighing them, and transporting them upstairs to their lorry... *swoons*

The only minor problem was about the weight... Apparently during the pre-move survey they'd estimated I had 32 kg (70.5 pounds) of items to carry, but during the actual weighing I had 75.3 kg (165.3 pounds), which needed a confirmation phone call to verify that I wasn't going to be over the limit. But that was sorted out pretty quickly. :P

My room feels so much emptier now ^^;;; It'll be even emptier after I finish packing my suitcase which I should be doing instead of posting on LJ.

But... I leave you for now with a picture of a huge gecko that died the day after..., and two pictures of what I packed (I don't have any pictures of the boxes, unfortunately). And some YUOisms...

Teh hueg gecko!!!11 )

Books, CDs and boxes )

Clothes and household items )


Lots of YUO/s*ybot talking to itself... )
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See, I always knew I was a dedicated reader ^^;;; That's why half of my museum shipment consists of books, including various novels and textbooks. :P The other half is my clothes and CDs. And I'm always hoping to read more new things...

What kind of reader are you? )

In other news, the movers are finally coming tomorrow~ Tonight is the night of no sleep folding clothes... ^^;;; And I'm going to be flying off really soon... I hope I will be able to meet everyone whom I want to before I go...
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I have and don't have an address. :P

I just found out where my temporary corporate housing complex is, and where to collect my keys from. But it's only temporary, and so I don't have any permanent address as yet...

A question for all the people living in the US: Should I apply for a P.O. Box (and keep it even after I find a place to stay after 2 months), and if so, how soon? And how much does it cost (one-time plus per month)?
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If you want to see me off or anything, I don't mind. :P Then again, it's early on a Sunday morning, so...

Itinerary )

Now... what am I going to do for 3 hours in transit? I don't want to go broke, so I'll probably take along a few novels and so on. But at the same time, I wouldn't mind buying something small to eat, or maybe a meal...

Decisions, decisions. ^^;;;

Edit: As of Feb 1st, they're confirmed now. ^^ I still kinda wish I'd gotten an aisle seat, but oh well...
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I decided to push back my starting date by a week. I don't really know what that means in terms of flights or anything, but perhaps I won't be leaving this week after all. ^^;;;

Visa GET~!

Jan. 29th, 2007 06:29 pm
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And now, time for the other stuff. :) I have a feeling (though it's not confirmed) that I'll be leaving before this Friday...

*returns to sorting out clothes*
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This afternoon (after my previous entry), I went to get a suit tailored for myself using the money my aunt gave me. The suit cost $750 (originally $850) from Justmen, which is slightly expensive, but the material is suited for colder climates and is a much better fit (because it's tailored) than any off-the-rack suit. It even includes some provisions for "expansion" ^^;;; And it should be ready by Wednesday morning~

After that, I finally bought a good laptop bag; not branded like Eminent or Samsonite, or even Targus, but the BHPC (Beverly Hills Polo Club) which is the same brand as my suitcase too brand for $78 (originally $89) at Sim Lim. It was quite interesting at the shop I went to because the person there recognized me from when I'd gone there 3 weeks earlier with my cousin and we had quite a friendly conversation while I bought the bag and afterwards as well. :) The funny thing though is that when I'd gone to that shop last week to look at suitcases, I'd got a completely different reaction from the person there that day that put me off the shop. I suppose the fact that I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and shoes probably made a difference. :P

And... Things are going to be really busy this weekend, possibly including some violent unexpected surprises. ^^;;
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I had a nagging feeling when I woke up that something was wrong, so I went to look at my documents again and decided to re-type my DS-157 (which I'd originally handwritten) and attach that to my package to replace the handwritten form. I think that helped quite a bit in the end. :P

I had to wait under a tent outside the Embassy until I was called to enter and submit my documents, but the actual process didn't take that long and within 2 hours I was done, though I need to go back on Monday afternoon to collect my passport. That must have been one of the fastest visa applications I've ever done, and it certainly beats out waiting a week through a travel agent especially one who doesn't know what documents are and aren't required.

After that, I wanted to go to Marks & Spencer to look for a suit there, but I got off at the wrong bus-stop (whether by accident or choice, I don't know) and ended up at HMV instead. 30 minutes and 8 CDs later, I came out with the CD that I'd been looking for for over a year: William Bolcom's Music for Two Pianos. I'd ordered this CD back in December at HMV and completely forgot about it until today. :P But now it's in my possession! ^^;;;; Muahahahaha! The Serpent's Kiss (one of the most famous pieces) features foot-stomping, tongue clicking and piano-drumming as various special effects. :P

I did end up going to M&S in the end (at Wheelock Place), but they don't seem to have anything in my size. Guess I'll have to either tailor it or see what can be done.

...I should seriously update my CD collection post one of these days now. :D
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I'm going tomorrow to the US Embassy for a walk-in interview, with all my documents ready, including the cashier's order (for which I made a special trip today and ended up staying in a bank branch 30 minutes past closing).

*runs through checklists*

I'll be trying to sleep relatively early and well (I didn't have an afternoon nap today for once even though there was the temptation to), so I may not be around.

Hands!

Jan. 23rd, 2007 08:53 am
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For the person who was curious all the people who were curious...

Hands? XD )

Now that I can fill (and have filled) up my visa forms, it's time to get pictures~ *goes*
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I was overjoyed that my visa documents finally came this morning, about an hour after my last entry. Perhaps the only problem now is that I'm very much buried in paper. ^^;;; (edit: just to clarify, these are the documents that I need when applying for a visa, not the visa itself ^^;;; )

I went out for lunch with my ex-NS colleagues (including my CC) for lunch at Ajisen Ramen in Lot 1 to celebrate a colleague's ORD (and as an unofficial "makan" which there wasn't time for when it was my turn last October) :P

The ramen that I ordered was pretty good (ton toro, with fried pork I believe), and it came with a side dish of chicken teriyaki. It wasn't very spicy and was easy to swallow. ^^ The same couldn't be said for the "volcano" ramen, though, which lived up to its name with a 4-chilli (for hotness) rating. :P Nevertheless, everyone who ordered it was able to finish it, and according to them, it tastes really great, if you can handle the spicyness. Perhaps I should try it next time. Any takers?

After that, it was time for a bit of brief shopping in which I bought two large spindles of CD-Rs and DVD+Rs respectively as well as a 60-page file clear holder for my loose scores, and then checked out the Winter Time warehouse sale at Jurong East. The prices are quite attractive, and I'll be going there tomorrow on Monday afternoon with my mother to actually buy stuff.

The cooking items may also be back on the agenda, because I don't believe that the import/customs duty will be that much. It'll certainly rebut show [livejournal.com profile] itsacz that I'm not that underequipped lightweight. :P

And... oh yeah, if you happen to be in the Esplanade/Raffles City area tomorrow evening, do come down to watch NUSPE perform "Da Capo" at the Esplanade Library from 5 to 5:30 pm. ^^
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Just one, but... I think it shows just how little I have to pack ^^;;;;

I estimate all of this to weigh about 100 pounds (45 kg) at the very most. Probably less than 75 pounds (34 kg)...

Snapshot of packing )

I'll probably post an inventory of what's being packed, together with what's not (meaning that if you want to borrow it, etc. you can ask then XD), once the list is finalized.

I hope the consultant won't throw a fit at how little I have to pack...

20 minutes later (and post-consultant)... his tablet PC is so sexy~~! And there weren't any problems at all with the packing; it should all be going by air and I may even get one or two extra boxes for clothes and other things.
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Scratch all the cooking items and bed sheets (and probably the blanket too). :P

I found out this morning (via a massive 7 MB email) that import/customs duties are applicable on all items that are less than a year old. I feel bad about using the dishes before going to try and convince Customs that they've been used, so... I'll be buying all that there instead, whenever there's a sale on.

I'll still have to buy my clothes, towels, electrical items, suitcase and laptop bag (as well as the camera bag and some batteries) here though.

The moving consultant (why is everyone a consultant now? :P) is tentatively coming on Friday at 9am to see what I have to pack.

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