Sunday, May 31, 2009

Florida - Prelude and Arrival..

Time flies, and it flies fast. As I am writing this (this part of the blog), I'm on the way back from a chillaxing conference/ end-of-course tutorial/ holiday from Flo-rida.. yup yup.. the sunny and currently rainy Florida of USA. This was a sponsored trip to the AMIA Spring Congress, in which I attended the 10x10 end of course tutorial session by OHSU. Met up with the course coordinator and lecturer – Bill Hersch- and had a good discussion about furthering my studies... hehe.. could this be a start to more visits to US of A.. hehe...

OK, lets start from the beginning. .. or the prelude itself. My flight was at 7.30am from Changi, Singapore.. which is faaaar fro my Holland Village. So, stayed a night at Sok Theng's place at Paya Lebar. She picked me up and we had dinner at Carl's Jr ECP (nice grill sandwich.. mmm ) before heading back to her place and attempted to wash and wax the car... Haven't had this much fun in washing a car, and the skills learnt back when I was young came in handy. After a shower, Sok Theng and I just chilled and chatted the whole night and morning thru till it was time to go. She dropped me off at the airport, at around 5am.. and so, the Flo-rida journey begins.

Check-in was fast.. and as usu, since this is the first time I'm chking in luggage since a looong time.. I totally forgot about a luggage tag. Oh well.. think about sth on the way back later. Zombified and half dead (note that I did not sleep that morning to help adjust to USA time), headed to the departures lounge and .. lounged.. omos fell asleep a coupla times on the bench so tried as much as possible to roam the small duty free shop and 7-11 to stay awake (extra note to self later.. need to top up on SK-II)..

Don't remember much about this flight to Narita, cos I was sleeping the whole way through. Only woke up for drinks and pretzels and food. The flight was not full so I had 2 seats to myself.. hehe.. extra leg space.. nice. Landed in Narita with only 1 hour to transit and pass the slow security chk.. everybody was transiting too.. so it took ages, but got on to the next plane.. the plane proper to USA!! - Washington.. to be exact.. yay!!!

This flight from here on was interesting... firstly..an unexpected little surprise to me.. was walking the aisle all the was back to the Economy class seats.. when suddenly.. I looked up and saw that I was passing seat number 30 already.. hmm.. my seat number was 21. hmm... took a few steps backwards and lo and behold.. I was UPGRADED to Economy Plus. Twas a small upgrade, but the extra leg space was good for this 15 hours journey... love that chking-in lady in Changi. I brought Ivy's Crime and Punishment with me. Its a classic. so.. a bit boring la.. snoozed so many times on it (no worries, gurl, did NOT drool on it). Nvm that.. talked to a coupla passengers who gave very good tips on what to do in Flo-rida, and one guy who works for an environmental evaluation consulting company... who evaluates pesticides usage in farms.. hehe ….(wink wink to Ivy).. he gave me a lowdown on all the rides in Disney World.. and tt came in useful later on. Somewhere at the end of the flight, got a few new contacts who said to call them if I need any help.. including one very interesting one from the US Dept of Defense Technology.. wow..

After 15 hours on the plane, finally landed in the Dulles Airport in Washington. Collected my bag and went through security, barefooted. Seems that the shoes get extra special treatment of getting x-rayed as well.. no frisking tho.. damn.. I wanted to be frisk at least once in USA.. like on TV.. thought that would be cool... haha.. made it to the departure lounge safe and sound.
Browsed through Borders and found the book I wanted – Dante's Inferno from the Divine Comedy- yes, Terence, managed to get the book, but not in Singapore. Great read, but really scary as he goes deeper. Also bought Bram Stoker's Drac.. good time to reread it since I cant remember much about it anymore.. hehe.. so my FIRST purchase in USA were BOOKS!!! haha.. I am such a nerd.. but a wholesome loveable one. Anyways.. settled down floor at the pillar nearby (the seats were full) and set the books on the floor to take pics of them (I was actually proud of 'em) and.. out of the blue, a voice asked “Hey, are you a college student?” from the other side.. I was stunned for a sec.. but the owner of the voice (a real cute prof) come round the pillar to reveal himself. “Hi.. and nope.. not in college anymore” I replied.. We had a good chat right up to boarding time and apparently he was on his way back from roughing it out in Turkey for three and a half weeks, where he was researching the religious tolerance there.. and he was paid to do that by the University he works at.. damn.. how come I dun get that kinda oppurtunities.. but hey.. he asked me to come over and further my studies one day.. hehe.. well.. it'll be like my dream job.. to study sociology, anthropology, history.. I'm still so dreamy....but for now, I gotta get myself settled before mum gives me one of those lectures again (which by the way has restarted since my 2 yrs of fun and games are already up) To those who know my family better (esp my cousins).. pls pls pls help me out.. you guys know my mum.. and I really dun wanna worry her cos I love her a lot :).. my first ever personal plea of desperation.. well, sorta

Ok... boarded the plane to Flo-rida... finally, gonna reach the place I set out for. Another 2 hours.. just another 2 hours.. tired liao.. but the flight was smooth.. and ta-da!!! In sunny (by then was already dark la) Flo-rida.. Grabbed my bags, and cabbed to my hotel. Here, the cabbie missed a turn while chatting, but he gave me the flat rate anyways... so no worries there.. just that.. cabs in America is EXPENSIVE!! The ride was looong, about an hour.. but managed to catch a glimpse of the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. Chked in and zzz...

1 comment:

Ivy Chai said...

*wink* *wink* All I can say is that book was a bit too heavy read for me too.