An opportunity has arisen which will send me to a conference in Kyoto. Japan has never been near the top of my list. I hasn’t even been ON my list. That is what makes it a true adventure!
I am more anxious about this trip than going to the Amazon. In the Amazon I could speak some Spanish and I didn’t have to worry about bowing, drinking tea daintily or getting stuck in the bullet train doors. I was about to write that I didn’t have to worry about protocol for bathing in a public bath, but then remembered how I DID end up trying to preserve modesty while bathing in the river.
Back to Japan… I understand that not many people speak English (or Spanish, for that matter) which wouldn’t be so intimidating except that I won’t even be able to look Japanese characters up in a dictionary. The guide book says that MOST train stations have the name written in Roman characters. That is not terribly reassuring.
I have a Japanese language book from the library. So far, I’ve learned…
- Sayonara = Goodbye. That one I already remember. Wasn’t it in some famous movie?
- Arigatou = Thank you
hmmm… That’s about it! I will study on the plane.
OK EVERYBODY. OUT OF MY WAY… I AM IN COUNTDOWN MODE!
I am not ready! Tonight I must…
- Remove ironing board and iron from prep room. There will be no more ironing.
- Put away sewing machine, paraphenalia and fabric pieces. There will be no more new clothes in the making.
- Remove snack food and wine glasses from work area. Time to concentrate.
- Put Japanese phrasebook and guide book in in “to pack” pile.
- Type up wardrobe plan for the 7 days I’m visible at a conference. The other 9 days are easy since I’ll just wear the same thing every day.
- Pay credit card online.
- Call bank and credit card company.
- Charge camera
- Spend an hour researching i-phone diary/journal apps
- Downloaded Momento http://www.momentoapp.com/ – I’ll test it on the long flight if there are no good movies.
- Sync i-phone
- Write a blog post about my preparations
- etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
I’m actually (sort of) nervous/uncertain about this trip. It will be different from my usual style of travel since I’ll be visiting only 2 cities and the hotels are all booked.