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. 


ann elise borchardt said...

i love you.

Katie said...

Hahahahh my absolute favorite part is the imaginary friend part because we all know this is a very likely scenario. I'm so happy for you my friend and I can't wait to hear about all the "interesting" people you'll meet and crazy experiences only you will have. Love you!

Anonymous said...

hahaha you are hilarious. can't wait to hear stories. those irregular verb conjugations are gonna be tricky....especially since they don't even use the same freaking alphabet as us!! i would be freaking terrified but you are leahbell and you're brave. they are gonna love you!!! konichiwa! (wait, is that hello?)


Seth Green Looks Like Me said...

You can buy soap and apples at the grocery store, no problem. The apples are huge in Japan, the size of your head. And the strawberries, when the season is right, are the size of your fist. It's a magical land. Verb conjugations, irregular or otherwise are tricky, and I'm still working on that. Beer is Biru (beeroo) so it's pretty easy to order. Alcohol is the first thing I learned to ask for (demand?) when I got here. You'll be fine, my friend. You have nothing to fear and everything to be excited for.

Robin said...

Leah Bell,

Your blog is already making me laugh, tear up, and miss you--just as I expect it to continue to over the next 12 months!
I can't wait to read all about your thoughts and experiences, and especially embarrassing stories, and to send you postcards and Valentine's Day M&M's, just like when you were in Germany :) I hope your final preps are going well. I miss you already!


Maura said...

:) cant wait to hear more!!!!!
Best wishes!!!!!!!

Hayley Rose Davis said...

Your blog is so descriptive, we can picture everything you are doing. Keep it up! We miss you. Liza and I have been looking at your blog together, and love it. Where are your pictures? We wanna SEE! Please call us!

Rose said...

Dear Leah Bell, meine Shatzlein,

I love you missy. It was wonderful to talk with you today, if even for a few minutes.

We will enjoy your "blog"!

Love, Mom