Lamp-post landscape, in front of the Old Capitol. Bonus: helicopter flying west (I don't know why there are always so many helicopters overflying #IowaCity).

Things I have had to remind myself how to do again, since I'll be in the US for the next few months: convert temperature in Fahrenheit to Celsius, not just say "Hi" in greeting but chirp "Hi, how are you?", save quarters for laundry, leave a tip, read Greek letters (for fraternity and sorority symbols, I'm not studying ancient Greek), write the date in the order MM-DD-YY, look left first when crossing the road, clear one's own cups and dishes at cafes and casual eateries, bemoan the dearth of instant noodle options at local supermarkets, walk more slowly.

It's been almost 20 years since I spent an extended amount of time on a college campus, and American guys still love their baseball caps.




University of #Iowa #nofilter #sunflowers #summer

I drove four hours straight from Chicago to get to Iowa City yesterday, and I swear I got a tan on my arms because the sun was out in full glory and the temperature was almost as hot as it gets in Singapore. This last gasp of summer that I've caught in Chicago and Iowa City has been quite splendid indeed. While reading in an al fresco area of a cafe today, I kept getting distracted by the insects that were flitting in and out of the planter box beside me.

That said, there was a massive thunderstorm in Chicago a few nights ago when I was there, not to mention tornado warnings. So I've downloaded Weather Bug on my phone and recalibrated my brain to understand Fahrenheit again.

I don't know why I'm talking about the weather so much, except that maybe during the four years I spent in Chicago, I remember it being mostly grey and cold (which wasn't necessarily a bad thing), and all this sunshine and warmth is such a revelation. Also, as I told everyone before I left Singapore last weekend, it'll be such a novelty not to perspire for a few months.

Tomorrow, the International Writers Program that I'm here for kicks off proper. Our first activity is a walking tour, so I hope the weather holds. Here goes!