Wednesday, November 19, 2008

t minus 16 days

suiyobi. wednesday. 

I feel rather accomplished.  I just crossed off another item on my 'to do before japan' list (the item I just cross off: create a blog). This makes me incredibly happy, not simply because I love crossing things off unnecessary lists, but because it means I am that much closer to Japan. 

Today, according to my journal, I have two weeks, two days left until I cross over the Pacific and start my life as an ESL teacher.  Only sixteen days until I trade in my jeans for suits and pantyhose. Sixteen more days of typical questions posed by friends of my parents & other random acquaintances, "Are you nervous? You're going all alone? How are you going to teach if you don't know how to speak Japanese? Aren't you scared? For sure you'll be surrounded by other Americans...wait, no? Of course you'll fly home once or Christmas alone? I can't imagine...?!!" And sixteen more days/nights of questions from my friends, "Leah Bell, how often can we skype? What's the time difference again--eight hours? What? Thirteen!? Do you have to wear those robe things, what are they called again? So, if you only know how to say 'goodbye' & 'fart' in Japanese; how are you going to order beer?! Are you going to be happy?" And, my favorite so far, "When you come back to America, are you going to be mad if I tell you that you smell like chinese food?"  Thankfully, I only have sixteen more days of my ambiguous answers, "Yes, I'm really excited. Well, I'm not quite sure...I guess I'll find out when I get there...But, I'm really excited."

Sixteen more days of convincing myself and others that the word, 'excited' will satisfy their plausible questions.  The truth is: I don't know how I'll buy soap or apples at the grocery store. I don't know how I'll teach eager Japanese students irregular verb conjugations. I don't know if I'll avoid loneliness by creating an imaginary American friend to go on adventures with (if this happens, I will fervently record the details in a blog, no worries).  However, what I do know, is for the next sixteen days of my life, I will impatiently wait for an amazing journey ahead.  Until then, I will stay occupied by crossing off items on my 'to do before Japan' list and will overuse the word 'excited' when asked a completely legitimate question.