It’s finally here

I’ve been going through that period where I start thinking, “This is the last time I ___ before I leave for Japan.” This is the last time I see these people, the last time I eat this food, the last time I update my Pirates of Dark Water website, the last time I visit Georgia Tech’s campus, the last time I drive down the connector and through the streets of Midtown, the last full week and weekend that I’ll spend in the states…and now, after months of anticipation and wondering how I’d feel when this day came, we’ve arrived at my last full day in the US.

My suitcases are almost completely packed, and I’m finally done with my clothes-shopping–I still have to fit some books in there, and I need to pack my carry-on bag. I also still have to totally configure my laptop. I was going to sleep early tonight so I can get sort of used to the idea of going to bed really early tomorrow–we have to wake up around 5 AM on Saturday so that we can leave for the airport around 6 and make it to the Northwest ticket counter by 7 AM. But instead I went down to get a snack, and I watched TV and looked around the family room and tried to memorize every little detail of my last waking midnight in the US.

And I did buy my omiyage (souvenirs) today–Ghirardelli chocolate bars for the most part, and a few bottles of made-in-America peach preserves for the “really important” people (even if they were made in New Jersey and not Georgia). I still want to stop by a dollar store or Big Lots and pick up some stickers, and I have to take and print out photos tomorrow to bring with me. I still have to install Office and Photoshop on my machine–I have all my files backed up onto DVDs and CDs (all the audio’s on CDs–15 CDs, to be exact–so I can listen to it on my CD/mp3 player), so I’m not in a hurry to transfer them all over before I leave.

This week’s been my week of truly saying goodbyes…dinner with individual friends, an ice cream social with my high school friends, our last orchestra dinner last night (where we had an impromptu toast to everybody who’s leaving, and they claim it’s “the end of an era,” since I’ve been in orchestra longer than many people there and I’ve been a fairly regular fixture at our dinners and such), and tomorrow I’m meeting a few of my coworkers before our pre-departure orientation. Time’s just slipped away–I was hoping to see Star Wars in theaters again before leaving (while it’s 1. cheap and 2. in English–it just came out in theaters in Japan a couple of weeks ago, but it’s most likely dubbed), and maybe catch some newer movies I hadn’t seen yet, like Batman Begins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…oh well.

It’s finally here. I’m pretty sure I’m getting a cellphone when I get there, and waiting to set up internet access–or maybe not setting it up at all, depending on what access I’ll get from work and how expensive a land line and DSL are–and I’ll be sure to e-mail my friends/family (a.k.a. 95% of my readership) my new contact info.

This may be one of my last blog posts from the US, too. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to write tomorrow…we’ll see. If not…here I go! Wish me luck. I love you all, and I’ll see you on the flip side. :o)

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