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.