May 31st, 2006

krazy koati

It's my job to be different than the rest

Somehow I forgot to mention I finally got my new application letter for an employment pass. As ``foreign talent'' I need my job approved by the Ministry of Manpower, and they issue an Employment Pass which, without the slightest hint of a smirk, is a green card. I got the letter late, because I still haven't got the habit of checking my mail in the new department. For the application I needed a new passport-sized photograph. I got some from a machine on campus last year, but lost them, so paid my five dollars in coins and got four new ones. After trying futilely to find one in which I looked better I picked one that didn't have too much of my head cut off. I'm taller than the machine's camera aims. I'd also thought my old card expired a week before it actually did, so I got extremely nervous Thursday for time to deal with problems pretty uselessly.

The Ministry of Manpower is set up to be ready for one of those dystopian movies where you sit in a line 50,000 people long and every four hours see an ancient flip dial switch over to the next, two-digit, number, and a dust-covered person shambles forward and then falls over. But the abundant seats are put in front of several dozen counters (up to number 42), in front of huge plate windows, and behind plasma TVs, and it's all well-cleaned, so it's actually a fairly comfortable waiting environment. When you come in, you take a queue ticket, and it estimates the fifteen-minute time window when your number should be called, and what counter will take you. I got in around 10:30, between the start-of-day and lunch rushes.

I turned in the application, my passport, my picture, and was asked for my waiver of the medical exam. The application said the medical exam (AIDS and tuberculosis screening) was already waived. Well, yes, but they needed another form to waive it. Oh. So the clerk took a waiver form, filled out parts of it, and had me fill in the employment pass application number -- something I didn't know, but it was on my application and she circled it for me to copy -- and signed it, and she said to come back after 2:00.

No sense going home for so short a time so I wandered around downtown, saw the Broken Reverse Bungee, and heard delighted by the fact they were walking over Coleman Bridge. I assume they were tourists. I bought Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, got back to the Ministry, and paid for my pass. Now I'm legal through mid-January at least.

Trivia: Coney Island's first roller coaster opened in 1884, and was created by LaMarcus A Thompson. Source: Gotham, Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.

Currently Reading: Michael Faraday: A Biography, L Pearce Williams.