Leaving on a Jet Plane

I originally wrote these first three posts all as one, then decided it was too ginormous.  For most people’s attention span, this is really the only post of the three that’s important to understand what’s going on in my life.  If you can even handle this one.  🙂

I leave for Japan in less than two weeks.  My bags are not packed.  I am not ready to go.  But I am bursting with excitement!

For anyone who didn’t check out the “About” page, I’m going to be living in Iki-shi, Nagasaki-ken: a tiny island with beautiful beaches and “prehistoric sized bugs,” according to my predecessor.  According to wikipedia, it also has roughly 30,000 denizens and is about 20x15km.  I get my own two-bedroom house for a very inexpensive renting price, and a dilapidated but still functioning car to cart my but around on my adventures.

Part of the island of Kyushu, even though it's technically its own island.

Part of the island of Kyushu, even though it's technically its own island.


And more specifically, Iki.  With a smiley face.

And more specifically, Iki. With a smiley face.

Iki has several famous places-Monkey rock, several Shinto (?) spirits protecting the fishermen, and the monkey shrine.  High gas prices or not, I’m going to search my way through all of it before the year is up, I’m sure.  That’s what weekends are for, eh?  During the summer, I’m pretty sure I’ll be living at the beach.  Although I’m used to the heat of Arizona at this point, it’s dry heat, so not sure how I’ll handle the mutsuatsui (humid) weather of Kyushu.  Ah well, it’ll be worth it.

My mother, bless her, is beginning to have conniptions, varying between worry about my nonpreparedness (have I mentioned I’m not packed?) and sadness that her final daughter is, well, finally leaving the nest, so to speak.  My dad, however, has the opposite reaction.

Every time I have my purse on, “Oh, you’re leaving now?  Bye daughter.”

Me: ::blank look::

Him:  ::goofy grin::

Me:  ::face-palm::

...oh, Dad.

...oh, Dad.

Well, the moral-of-the-story is that I’m going.  For at least a year.  To teach English to smarmy teenagers/pre-teens/kids/toddlers.  Yea, the whole gamut.  Given that I’m relatively “genki” (see below), this should be a successful experiment, but we’ll see.  It helps, at least, that my Japanese is way better than my Chinese was when I took the plunge to Beijing. 

…but not by much.

So I welcome you on my journey, beginning in T minus eleven days.