Monday, April 21, 2008

Got a Ticket to Ride

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before. Something that makes me feel independent and grown-up.

I bought my own airplane ticket. (The good news is that I’ll be reimbursed, one of the perks of this job – it was just over $1,000).

I’ll definitely be feeling independent when I’m flying by myself all the way to Tokyo, via Chicago. The total length in the airplane will be about 16 hours, which is by far the longest I’ve spent in the air at one time.

My flight departs at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7. I’ll arrive in Tokyo at 3 p.m. the next day. Honestly, it makes me a tad bit nervous to spend that long traveling by myself, but I know it will be fine because I’ve had experience with international flying and airports in general. Besides, I don’t have any problem striking up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to me on the flight, as long as she (or he) doesn’t stick headphones in her ears as soon as she boards, which has happened to me before.

Besides purchasing my plane ticket, I’m preparing for the journey to Japan in other ways, too.

A couple of weeks ago, I met the Japanese teacher at Franklin Community High School. Mrs. Streit has been to Kuji before and was able to tell me about the city. She was extremely friendly and even offered to teach me a little bit of Japanese before I leave!

I’ve taken her up on her offer and am going to sit in on one of her classes this Wednesday. Otherwise, I haven’t really spent much time trying to learn the language. I picked up a “learn Japanese while you’re driving CD” at the library a while back, but after listening to it for a little while, I got tired of it and wanted to jam to upbeat songs on the radio instead. (Imagine that!)
Another way I’m getting ready for Japan is…
I got a tattoo on my arm!
It wasn’t painful at all. And it shouldn’t have been since it was airbrushed! It’s a tattoo of the Japanese characters for “teacher.” I thought that was very appropriate since I’ll be a teacher in Japan. Maybe I’ll get so used to seeing the fake tattoo (at left) that I’ll want to get the same thing, only real. (Only kidding, Mom).

Last week, Liz and I had a photo shoot for The Reporter, so pictures can accompany the story about us moving to Kuji. Here’s a sneak peak of the pictures that will appear in the July edition of the alumni magazine.

Now that the departure date is quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a little more about this big move to Japan. But I’m still not dwelling on it. After all, I need to think about the end of the school year and graduation (in less than one month!) first.


Anonymous said...

I am glad that you were able to get your ticket and you are lucky to be reimbursed that money. When I come visit you I will have to pay for the whole flight without being reimbursed; but, let me tell you it is one of the best ways I can spend my money, going to see a great friend like you!!!!

Ashley said...

You had me going there for a moment about the tatoo. I was freaked out! I'm so excited for you and I really like the picture of you and Liz holding the two flags up. I'm going to miss you but I'm sure that you will have fun and I can't wait to try and write your address on an envelope, hopefully I'll get it in one of the first tries (it took me three times once to write Kate Reynold's address on an evelope). I love you!

Amanda said...

Yeah, I remember that Japanese CD all too well. It was terrible. I know you are like me, some of your best dancing and therapeutic release of tension/anxiety (via dancing) occurs in the car.

I like your pictures. Though you were in awkward poses that you've never been in before, they turned out nicely. It's hard for them to not turn out good since you are such a gorgeous person (oh, FYI, your boobs look huge in them. Just sayin'!!!)

Yeah, keep focusing on graduation first. Lauren and I will be there to support you all the way. I'm very happy for you, Dana. You've done so well at Franklin College. And, I know you are going to thrive in Kuji also because that's just the person you are. You take your circumstances and make the best of them, building relationships and sharing laughter with people. I only hope your plane-mate doesn't immediately stick earphones in his/her ear. That would suck. You need to make more don't have enough as it is.

I love you Daaaayna!

Amanda said...

So, I was a bad editor and didn't read back through my post until after I posted it. Notice that I said "ear" instead of "ears". I guess your plane-mate is only going to have one ear. Hmmm...that could be interesting. I know you love diversity. lol. :-)

GKM said...

Wow you took the plunge and bought your ticket!! It's essentially "set in stone now" :)