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I never thought “I’ll be back” to the United States of America

Of late despite all the grumblings and mumblings, providence was kind and I have managed to squeeze out time to have a little fun myself.

I never dreamed that I would become a globetrotter but the fact is that it is happening more and more which does make it a little scary. I would rather have my feet firmly rooted to the ground for I fear heights, i fear water, I have been known to run away from crowds and I like to be alone.

Travelling to foreign places inevitably brings me to all of the above: tight confined spaces in planes and in proximity with lots of strangers, that high in the sky feeling flying over large expanse of ocean. Let us hope nothing goes wrong 🙂

In the event that things do go wrong, I have as always, covered myself with ample life insurance and travel insurance. [This time round i bought an annual travel insurance policy] should there be a mishap, at least its a small windfall for the family.

Now i am not being pessimistic. I had a number of losses these 2 months. Talk about being sued for the 1st time in your life, i have to shelve out time and money and energy to entertain a frivolous claim [More on this on a separate blog post]. My other expenses included further repairs to the Suzuki GSXR 400, SGD700 in repairs so far. A couple of parking summonses to be dealt with – talk about bad luck. Even worse, my favourite El cheapo bike service shop folded up – never to be seen again and without a trace of how to find them. This resulted in my first ever servicing on my Honda Shadow 400 using 3 litres of fully synthetic “Motul” engine oil – a costly affair compared to my Honda Phantom 200 and Yamaha SR125… and so on.

I also think it was in this month that I …. hee hee that I…. well … maybe i should not say anything for now… [this can also be subject of an entire blog post altogether]. In any event, in short it was a money wasting exercise once again.

Now to make this trip, i had to buy travel insurance $320/-, i had also to spend $222.30 + $300 on filing fees for my Defence in the High Court, I have changed some USD200 for a start. Due to the unusually high expenditure for the coming month, I also had to make a number of provisions for my absence. One of my amplifiers has been put on sale, one is on trial with a friend. Its about time i let go. Life is truly indeed about letting go. May i find deeper satisfaction amongst the many still left. Yes i must admit, i have quite a few. 🙂

Still, I have to thank the Department of State, Government of the United States of America for this sponsored trip to the States. Being an invitee to their International Visitor Leadership Programme, i will travel a number of places meeting officials and people who would be teaching us more about how the USA is being governed, their NGOs and how their political system works.

It is a never thought possible opportunity to have a closer understanding of one of the greater democratic systems which is an influential player on the world scene.

The State Department besides wanting to educate is also aiming to promote cultural and social exchange the representatives chosen from the Asean nations under this programme. This is a noble objective. I sincerely hope that the programme will be fulfilling and enriching for all participants with hopefully minimal disruption from any H1N1 infections 🙂

I had my flu jab taken at the eleventh hour only yesterday evening. It was Dr Wong jabbed me hard in the left arm. Its been 24 hours and I still have a sore arm from the injection. Side effects include difficulty lifting the arm up sideways, a slight sense of disorientation, a sleepless night. But all in all i felt well. 🙂 Still i can feel that the butterflies in the stomach have started to flutter.

I also had to take time to arrange all my other affairs for the period when i will be away – 3 weeks in total. Now rescheduling cases and hearings and clearing up work in preparation to be away for 3 weeks is no easy task. I regret that i have to discharge myself from Jufrie’s matter. It is unfortunate that a vacation of trial dates was not allowed. It is my regret that I cannot carry this trial to the end.

On a brighter note, I think i will have alot of reading done on this trip. The officers at the Embassy had given me a number books to read – all on the US political system, country, geography etc. and all delivered on a silver platter. The reading is not compulsory but since this is what i have dreamed of doing, i might as well get it done right correct? 🙂

Lest ballless PAPpies cry foul of foreign funding, foreign interference and influence on this occasion, let us join hands in mutual encouragement and exhortation that we strive to behave like grown up men and not sissies. Let us not throw wild accusations simply because one lacks the testicular fortitude. Let us not cry wolf unnecessarily. Let us be mature enough to recognise that this is US diplomacy at its subtle best. For if your feeble PAPpy brain cannot comprehend its existence and purpose, it does not mean that it necessarily takes the form and substance of your wild imaginations. 🙂

For matured and thinking minds, and for fact, diplomacy can exist at the Governmental level, the agency level and at the individual level. I am a participant at the individual level, so i will be representing myself 🙂 I hope no one will have any issue with that. 🙂

I have come to realise that my heart is beating unusually fast as the day of departure draws nearer. For the first time in my life i will be away from home so far and for so long. 21 days in US and 23 days in total including travelling.

I also understand that I will be in San Francisco and Sacramento, California [Arnie is the Governor – Yes the one who said “I’ll be back” in Terminator] for the final leg of the trip. I will be unusually close to our Singapore dissident Mr. Gopalan Nair. Its been some time since his troubles in Singapore ended sometime last year. A courtesy visit to Mr. Nair is a must if time permits.

Yes I’ll be back in San Francisco. And again I will be leaving US via San Francisco….. I was there almost 6 years ago. I never thought i would be back.  Hmm ….. Nostalgic memories once again. 🙂

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July 30, 2009 - Posted by | Life, Politics

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