I have been waiting…

November 15, 2011 at 17:06 6 comments

… for a certain opportunity for some time. Like all true and truly big opportunities, this one is a mixed bag that has been bunging around the inside of my head and and is being the cause of much inexpressible anxiety. This is the first chance that I’ve had to sit down and try to put it into words.

If it works out, I will be headed to the UK for a year. I realize that in the big picture of modern technology that’s kinda like strolling out for next week’s groceries (no, wait, sorry, nowadays people order next week’s groceries online, right? I am so behind), but to this dinosauress it is a big deal. I have never lived abroad or alone before, unless you count things like conferences, in which case then yeah, I have a great track record of fending for myself in various Hilton hotels for up to five days at a stretch.


So why do I want to go? Because it will mean a year’s experience in aspects of psychiatry that are little-known to Singapore. I would learn stuff that could help my tiny department-to-be (it’s technically not even one yet) grow. In that process I would also have to learn to be more independent. Lug my own groceries home. Make new friends. Figure out appliances. Fill my fridge with nine different brands of cider. Cook more than instant noodles (or maybe not; I have been told that I eat worse than a bachelor). The prospect of these things fills me with frickin’ dread… and then I think, but I can go to London and see a musical – maybe even Shrek. To Paris again, where they have the best salted caramel chocolate in the world. To visit my friends living in Cambridge.

To have the adventure of a lifetime, basically.

And then I hear a snarky little internal voice going, yeah, but what if you hate it after the first week? Or get homesick? Or just plain sick? What if you decide that you can’t stand the cold? Or the accents? And ooh… what about the fact that KFC IN THE UK DOESN”T DO HOT N’ CRISPY CHICKEN?


Welcome to the inside of my head, Dear Reader.

This internal cacophony has been going on for something like ten months now, and I am hoping for some direction in a couple of weeks, when the result of my application should come out. If it fails then I will cheer myself up with the bunch of activities I can only put on hold now, like helping out in various dear folks’ weddings, or continuing my yoga classes. If it succeeds then I will… well, go.

Now I need me some fried chicken and beer for dinner tonight.


Entry filed under: Dear Diary. Tags: , .

Dear Blog, I am sorry that I have been so remiss… The following material is incompatible with mealtimes

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dreying  |  November 15, 2011 at 21:10

    Hey! When r u going? E wait should b worthwhile! Been learning from the psychiatrists who are trained in UK! Am sure u will learn lots other than the independent living! Is Mr Manx going along as well? :)

    • 2. Katie  |  November 15, 2011 at 21:50

      I dunno if it’s approved yet *crosses fingers*, but even if it is, Mr Manx will be kinda stuck here because of work.

      When are you going to write more about your rock? And we should have our long-awaited Wednesday lunch soon! :)

  • 3. flaneurvric  |  November 16, 2011 at 02:31

    Oh, Manx! First of all, welcome back to the world of blogging. I haven’t had much to say myself, which you might have noticed. It is great to have you posting again!

    I would absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend that you embrace this opportunity. As you might recollect, I had a similar opportunity myself, a couple years ago. It was truly a transforming experience for me. I know your situation is different, with Mr. Manx in particular. For me, keeping my focus on it being a finite experience made it easier for me to deal with homesickness, on the rare occasions when it arose. I don’t know that I benefited as much professionally as you are hoping/expected to, but I made some pretty awesome friends, and would jump at the chance to live abroad again (unfortunately, that’s completely incompatible with my current job).

    There is something magical (please forgive my crummy vocabulary) about having the time to even begin to settle into another culture. I only experienced a fraction of Singaporean culture while I was there (never managed to have fish head curry, for one), but I definitely got a better taste of it than I would have had I spent a week, or less, there.

    I like friends, and it feels pretty awesome to have some a world away (though I wish you would all move to the U.S.).

    Plus, since, as you know, I tend to offer advice that is highly biased and partial, I would totally come visit if you were to wind up in the U.K. I made my first trip there (to London) in September, but it would be a lot easier for me to force my obnoxious presence on you in the U.K. (meeting in the middle, if you will) than in Singapore. (I realize this paragraph should do nothing to sway you to accept the U.K. position, but I just thought I’d put it out there.)

    I miss you!!

    • 4. Katie  |  November 16, 2011 at 09:54

      Thank you for your welcome, my dear Vric! You crossed my mind more than a few times while I wrote that post, and I’d decided that if my application gets approved, I would come and bug you for tips on how to survive that long in a foreign country. It turns out that you are a precog, and will therefore already know that when the results of my application are released, you will either be offering me consolation-by-blog or thinking me an absolute pest for demanding that you plan for your next trip to the UK NOW. Please continue writing in your awesome (this word is now permanently connected with you) blog about your adventures in Durham. I’ve enjoyed catching up on those and hope to take heart from them in the event that I, too, get to work away from my home ground. :)

  • 5. zensojourner  |  November 16, 2011 at 09:57

    All great journeys ( both metaphorically and literally), all great adventures begin not just with a single step but also with your stomach filled with butterflies, your heart in your mouth and your palms filled with cold sweat.

    It takes a huge step of faith, to go where you’ve not been. But whatever happens, you will be changed. You will have your limits stretched. You will have your horizons broadened. You will emerge a significantly more confident person ( horrors!)

    It won’t be plain sailing. There will be challenging and tough times and decisions. But I do think you will be able to overcome them (even the lack of HC KFC chix) and I think you have a great time;)

    I’ll miss you too!

    • 6. Katie  |  November 16, 2011 at 12:25

      I’m not quite allowing myself to think so far just yet, but it’s heart-sinking to imagine being such a distance away, and for so long, from folks like you.

      And I have no intention of coming back as an overbearing high-handed snob, thank you very much!


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Welcome to my blog!

My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Visit my photoblog!

I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
November 2011
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Delicious Bookmarks


Don’t say I didn’t say this…

Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.


  • 79,450 times since 10 March 2009. Thank you and I hope to see you again!

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