So I’ve come to the realization (as have two of my travel partners here and there) that this time two weeks from now, I will be on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. As already mentioned in one of the links, when I got my visa, welcome letter, passport, etc., it hit me: I’m actually going to be walking around and rubbing shoulders IN CHINA! Not the little part of NYC, but the REAL CHINA. Not the little part of San Francisco, but the REAL JAPAN. Wow.
Chores as of late? I finally got the spare camera battery and a 2GB SD card for DIRT cheep. I also need to get the wall charger for my camera so I don’t have to schlep the cradle and cable that go with it for to synchronize it on the… how you say… computer I won’t have with me?
I spent some extra cash on some non-cotton stuff that’ll dry quicker and be easier to handle while there: some t-shirts and socks and stuff, but I’m still a little nervous about how heavy and bulky my jeans, etc. are going to be, despite that you can wear jeans more than once, drying them once seems to take days… so I’m not sure about that. I already have the world’s coolest khaki jacket with all sorts of zippers and pockets and stuff. That makes me happy.
Concerns: are H’n’B and I going to want to spend a half hour on every reddish leaf that has fallen to the concrete and a pool of water, thus making ourselves the object of hatred by every other member of our travel group? Certainly not. I guess I don’t have many concerns… or ones that can be discussed at any constructive critical length, but that phrase just solved another one…
What books will I be bringing? Hmmm. That last phrase was a quote from J.D. Salinger’s “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.” His books are always a joy to me, and I don’t think I’ll be reading anything like what I’m currently working on, since it’s somewhat depressing and also bulky. Seems appropriate, and somewhat cliché, I know, to bring this book along, but I always carry Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” with me when I am. I read it in California, and Savannah, and other places, and it’s enjoyable. We’ll see. Any suggestions? I was thinking “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” or something very character driven.
I’ve also decided I’m learning Persian at the expense of Turkish and some of my German. Someone asked me yesterday if I had considered giving up the other three I was learning to focus on just one. “No.”

Looking back, I wish this post was somewhat more organized and thoughtful. At least as succinct as H’n’B (I’ve never been succinct) or as literary as LF’s, but I’m in a hurry and haven’t had so much as a smell of coffee yet. I’ll get back to this and write some literary monologue about my thoughts and concerns on some deep level of consciousness, with a literary style matching that of James Joyce (in his early days, of course, before ‘Portrait’ or ‘Ulysses’).


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