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Glasgow, United Kingdom

It's finally here -- my United Kingdoms passport arrived. I'm all set for Glasgow!

I just realized that I haven't mentioned it here yet: I received a big scholarship to support me as a PhD candidate in the department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Glasgow.

I'm leaving Vancouver on the 9th of the 9th of the 9th. Quite fitting, since one of my secret shames is a fondness for numerology, with 9 (and, to a lesser extent, 3) as my favorite number.

I'll be living at the university's Maclay residence, shown on google maps. It claims to be a 15-25 minute walk (I see different numbers quoted in various places). That's definitely doable on a daily basis, which is quite nice -- no busses or transit to deal with. Also, I may well buy a bike when I get there, which would translate into a 5-10 minute bike ride.

In signing up for my accommodation (online), I was prompted to choose a password:

Your Password must be at least 6 characters long and include at least one number. Choose one you will remember such as your mother's maiden name, memorable date, favourite football team or pet's name.

Yeah, most people's mother's maiden names contain at least one number. I must admit that "memorable date" would contain a number, as does the local football team -- the Vancouver 86ers.

I'm very glad to be acknowledged as a British citizen. This means I don't need a student visa, I can easily visit anywhere in the EU, and I can vote for the Pirate Party in the next European Parliament elections. Longer-term, this means I can live and work anywhere in Europe. That's particularly good for an academic, since there's generally only 5-10 job openings (worldwide!) in your field each year. It's sad, but if you want to be an academic, there's a very good chance that you won't be able to stay in your home country. At least, not without damaging your career.

But now I have two home countries -- Canada and the UK. And this is the biggest reason I wanted to have the UK passport. I want Glasgow to feel like me home. I'll be living there for the next 3-4 years, after all! I think that one of the reasons I never felt at home in Singapore was that I never really tried to make it feel like a home -- I knew that I'd be returning to Canada in X months, Y weeks, and Z days.

(no, I didn't keep track of the Z days. It wasn't that bad. I did, however, keep track of the months and weeks)

Anyway, the whole thing feels much more real to me now. Only a few weeks of Canadian living left!