It has been a very good fourteen years in the States, but an unfortunate sequence of events triggered by a good number of bad decisions meant I cannot remain here, at least not for now. So I will head back, spend some time with the folks, and use that time to take up a number of personal and professional interests/projects I had never quite found the time while working here (and off-balanced because of that sequence of events).
|My little "contemplation glade" on campus, for when I needed some quiet to think.|
My departure can be described as generally stressful, but bless my friends and the people I meet here. They became my support network, both emotionally and practically. I've spent a great deal of time with that family I met while trying to dispose of my stuff in storage (http://houganger.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-quintessentially-un-singaporean.html). They've had me over to their place for dinner several times now, and have helped me so much with moving things from my apartment to the hotel during my transition out. And now we keep in touch on Facebook. The support staff who have worked with/for me (new and old) were so supportive - asking if I was excited to be headed back, expressing sympathy for my woes, and asking if I would show them around if they showed up in Singapore while I was there (of course!). The awesome guys at the campus food truck who cheerfully gave me free meals two days in a row after they found out I was going to be gone for good. My banker who told me he'd love to stay in touch by email, after he had helped me complete the paperwork for the eventual closing of my bank account. The post office staff who wished me all the best as I made the arrangements to have my mail forwarded to Singapore (yes! They would happily forward first-class mail to a foreign address for free!). The people at the moving company were fantastic, doing their best to make it as smooth as possible to have the bulk of my stuff shipped back to Singapore quickly and efficiently. Finally, all my colleagues and my boss were so wonderful. Cards, chocolates, and best wishes flying in every which way. "Don't worry about the remaining tasks, Chee Wai," my boss said at my farewell lunch. But I want to, because I'd like to help to round the project off as best as I can so others can use it well.
Such wonderful wonderful people. I will miss this place. But then again, if I have my way ... I'll be back.