I bought pants at K Mart today. That's not the point I wish to address. The bill came out to more cash than I had on hand, so I tried my debit card, which, naturally, was the one which expired in February. So I tried my Singapore bank card, which isn't a debit card attached to Mastercard or Visa or anything. It worked perfectly, just as if I were paying for stuff via NETS at Kinokuniya.
I'm just old enough to have once been in Europe without bank cards, and remember spending an afternoon before the trip signing travellers cheques so I'd have some funds in Germany. Sometime in the past fifteen years banking has obliterated the commercial difference between the Garden City and the Garden State. It takes me longer to travel from one home to the other, but in terms of actual inconveniences Singapore isn't farther from my parents than RPI is.
It's disconcerting to me to have space so wiped out; I've always been strongly attached to places. But over the Internet the comic strips are the same the world over. The muck crowds are roughly equivalent; evenings U.S. time there are fewer balloons and more porcupines and otters awake on Spindizzy than there are evenings Singapore time (I think that's coincidence), but I can get into roughly similar fun and games. I have to change outgoing mail servers, but my studies indicate I only have to respond to about one percent of the e-mail I receive anyway.
Past that it feels like -- despite my tendency not to go to many new places -- I've stepped free of any particular base, and float freely. It's exciting and a little scary.
I also bought new sandals. The old ones were wearing out in an atypical fashion for me, with the sole splitting open horizontally. Usually it gets a vertical fracture line.
Trivia: Shortstop for the 1938 Saint Paul American Association-pennant-winning baseball team was Ollie Bejma. Source: Peanuts strip of February 21 1974, reprinted (among other places) in Who's On First, Charlie Brown?, Charles M. Schulz.
Currently Reading: Ascending, James Alan Gardner.