India ho!

(I like to say that using Thundercats-esque inflections. But anyway.)

So, barring a few last-minute things, I’m completely packed. I just have to finish cleaning my kitchen, and I still am not sure whether it’s a good idea to pack my (breakable) gifts or if I should bring them as a separate carry-on…at any rate, I have until Tuesday morning to decide.

I’m pretty proud of myself, honestly–I actually packed nearly everything into a carry-on-sized suitcase, and I’ve fit that one inside a medium-sized suitcase, to prep for bringing home a ton of stuff. If it does end up being over 50 pounds (India’s current weight limit per piece of luggage), I can just distribute stuff between the two suitcases. It’s just the gifts I’m concerned about–but if all goes according to plan, I’m catching a 4:17 express train into Tokushima City, arriving around 5:40, so I can go to TOPIA to drop off my orphanage gifts (the Tokushima ALTs have an annual orphanage gift-giving event and visitation; unfortunately, the visitation’s next Saturday, so I can’t attend), and I can put the gifts for India into the bag the orphanage gifts will be in.

Things that haven’t turned up, though I’m sure they will:

  • the US-to-India plug converter (2 rectangular prongs to 2 circular ones instead) my dad gave me before leaving for Japan
  • my 128MB digital camera memory stick (I didn’t lose it–it’s just buried under something somewhere, I’m sure)
  • my black notebook I write everything in (I’m thinking it’s at my desk at the kouminkan, but I’m not going to get to drop by to pick it up)
  • my printouts of Mom’s and my itineraries, though I can easily print those out at school (and if not, I’ll have enough time to scribble them down as soon as I get home)

This evening, I ran all over town doing last-minute errands–buying a new toothbrush holder and a blank VHS tape so I can record The West Wing and Desperate Housewives this week and next week, picking up an early dinner, comparing memory stick prices between Camera Baba and Matsuya Denki (Matsuya won out), and returning the videos I’d rented yesterday to accompany my packing–it was raining. Thundering, even–the first thunderstorm I’ve experienced since coming to Japan. It was just a mild one, though–no more than 6 or 7 thunderclaps, so totally a hiccup compared to Atlanta’s thunderstorms–but they still suck.

Anyway, it was cold and wet and my jeans were soaked to the knee and my hands were freezing inside my gloves…and as I passed near streetlamps, I looked up and wondered why the rain seemed to be falling a bit more slowly than usual. And then it hit me…

It was snowing.

The weather didn’t even seem cold enough to have been in the 30s, yet it was a definite rain/snow mix. Without even realizing it, I stopped grumbling/whining/moping and started grinning–I’m sure the novelty will wear off after the new year, once the weather really starts to get frigid, but I absolutely love the snow. It seems to dull the sharp edge of the cold and make it fresh and wondrous instead, somehow.

Right now, the wind is really howling outside. I wonder if any snow will have stuck, or if it was too slushy?

Okay, I’m going to go wash some dishes and then head to sleep…the last time I packed for an international voyage, I got three hours of sleep (then again, that was packing to actually move to Japan, and I was panicking more than I ever had in my life–granted, I think 3 hours of sleep is sort of the average, from the other ALTs I’ve talked to). Five hours isn’t so bad–it just really stinks that I have a full day of work before all my traveling begins.

Anyway, take care, guys! And if you leave before I get back (Hannah, for example–I’m not going to see her for over a month, because she leaves the day before I get back for her 3 weeks of vacation), happy holidays and travel safe, and I’ll see you next year!

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