Scooter vs Japan

Time’s Up | July 31, 2015

That’s it. I’m going. I’m packed and on my way to my departure city. I spent all night and all morning packing. God, I hate packing. I thought I’d figured it out this time, but I still had too much. And although I slashes a lot and left a lot of things I wanted to bring with me, I was still left with too much.

So sorry Air Canada. But I’m gonna be that guy. Three checked suitcases. Granted, one of them is really small, but I still have three, plus my small carry on suitcase and backpack. What a crap show. This will actually work out well, because my small checked suitcase has my formal clothes in it, so I can send my larger suitcases forward to my apartment and only be in Tokyo/fly domestically with the two small ones. But I still have an extra bag, and that’s still going to cost quite a bit.

suitcases1

What pushed me over were my computer, my gifts and prizes, and my teaching aids. Even though I purpose build my computer to be as small as possible, it still takes up half of my carry on. And all the gifts, free pins, flags, and pens, as well as the few other classroom aids I bought really added up. But for as bad a failure as this is, I drew the line with a small suitcase. Sure, I could have bought a full suitcase and filled it with the books I wanted to bring. But I didn’t. We’ve been advised not to overload our checked luggage and not to bring additional bags. Hopefully a smaller bag will get some sympathy and appreciation instead of overloading the plane and risking someone’s (or my) luggage ending up on another plane.

Hardship and Tears

It also finally hit me. Sort of. The other day, I pulled my car keys off my key ring (my dad is going to store and look after it while I decide whether to keep or sell). And that was tough. But I broke up when I was about to leave my dad’s, and checked my car to see that it was locked. Then everything started to hit me. See, I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. Buying a car felt like I was finally getting back on track. Giving it up was a heavy blow again, since it felt like I was giving up a piece of the independence I’ve been struggling with.

Spider-man gets it.

But it wasn’t just the car. I started to break up about leaving my dad’s house. I said a while ago that there was a perception shift you need to make when doing something like JET; that you are moving and may not return for a long time. The last time I walked through my dad’s hallway. The last time I’d use his bathroom for a very long time. The last time I’d lock his front door. It’s tough. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m going to Japan yet, if it even will. But it hit me that I was leaving. When I went to Gaidai, I broke up at work before I moved to my dad’s for the summer so I could pack and prep. I said that I was walking out on my life, and that was really upsetting me. That’s how I feel now, but with far more weight and reality. I am walking out on a lot of hardship and problems I’ve had since I finished school. But I’m again walking away from friends and family, only this time for a longer and more uncertain period of time. I’m walking away from all of the things I enjoy and hobbies I’ve tried to start. This time I really am walking out on my life, and I’m really having a hard time dealing with that.

Now What?

So I’m heading to my departure city a day early. I just don’t want to be running around Friday morning, rushing 3-4 hours to get to my hotel to check in, then dealing with the flurry of pre-departure orientation and the reception we’re attending. I want to be in the city tonight so I can take things at my own pace. It’s expensive (the theme of the last few days), but I think it’s better this way.

Once I get there, I’ll fire some texts and Facebook messages out. Maybe I’ll hang out with some friends. Maybe I’ll meet up with a few of the other JETs that are already there. Maybe I’ll spend the night with my dad. I haven’t really decided yet. Maybe I’ll pass out on the bed, having very little sleep over the last week. Maybe I’ll go out and are a movie. Who knows. All I know is I’m busy tomorrow, fly on Saturday, get to Tokyo Sunday (time travel!), spend two days in training and seminars, then fly to my town on Wednesday.

Random Closing Positive Note

Among all the trouble and stress of today, among losing a book I just got and forgetting a piece of medication at home. Among all this+ something funny happened. While looking through my desk drawers as I was packing, I think I found the missing install disc for Windows Server. I bought the wrong sized hard drives when I set up my file server (the computer in my carry on) and was planning to replace those after I got settled. I guess I’m going to be installing the intended operating system after all, which should make my server easier to manage and more stable. Wicked.

Oh. My server’s name is Castle Grayskull. And I will soon command the hard drive open.

Unless I think of anything else to post, see you on the other side.

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About author

Scooter is an ESL teacher and Japanese anthropologist. He hopes to document his thoughts of living in Japan, continued cultural studies, and to provide advice for others looking to hop the pond.

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