Monday, April 29, 2013

Today was a good day

Woke up in the morning, gotta thank Zod. Don't know what it is, but today seems kinda odd. All those assignments I've been pulling all-nighters to complete? Not actually due until Sunday. Those algebra exams? Smooth sailing. That job offer I've been sweating? Arrived, accepted and better than I initially thought. I got to say, it was a good day.

Now begins the months-long vetting process before I can start said job. Every effort will be made to expedite things, but I expect the College World Series to be done and dusted before I depart from Eppley. One realization I've had since making my pre-departure checklist is that I'm going to need a new passport. Even though I've only had it since 2006 and only been using it since 2008, it's showing its age. The text and the seal on the cover are almost completely worn off and the pages (even the additional ones I got in 2009) are dog-eared and packed with stamps. The latter bit is odd as I didn't think I'd been to that many places. Because I'm me, I thought it'd be a good idea to tally up those stamps.
  • Indonesia: 6 full-page visas, 66(!) separate stamps. That includes arrival and departure stamps at Soekarno-Hatta and Ngurah Rai, visas on arrival and multiple-entry visas.
  • Singapore: 16 stamps, all on visa runs save for one trip to cover the Asian Champions League and the Asean Basketball League playoffs
  • Malaysia: 6 stamps, including covering the 2009 AFC Congress and a stopover at an airport hotel en route to the Philippines
  • Japan: 6 stamps, two entry/exit sets at Narita and one at Kansai
  • China: 2 full pages (visa and residence permit) and 2 stamps
  • Philippines: 2 stamps, traveling with Satria Muda Britama for an ABL game against the Philippines Patriots
  • United States: 2 entry stamps from my good friends at the Department of Homeland Security
  • New Zealand: 1 stamp -- just an entry stamp, no exit. Considering I was able to walk all the way to my gate at the Wellington airport before encountering security, maybe it isn't all that surprising. Or maybe those clever Kiwis just assumed I wouldn't want to leave (and they'd be right).
Will I miss my old passport? Maybe somewhat. I'm sure the new one will be all shiny with the latest technology, but what my beat-up old passport lacks in shininess it makes up for in character. All those smudges, wrinkles and staples tell a story, after all, and I do have a track record of assigning significance to objects others may find mundane. Oh, well -- guess I'll just have to do my best to fill the new one to the brim as well.

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