September 18, 2010

Three, two, one.

One week from now I'll be on my way home.
Two weeks from now I'll be getting on a plane bound for Washington DC.
Three weeks from now I'll be landing in Shanghai.

It's strange that I know when I'm leaving now. I'm hesitant to get excited or even be optimistic about my job. Everything that can go wrong already has, so it's difficult to be anything more than indifferent to the whole situation. I can't help but hope that it will all be worthwhile once I get there. But until my passport is stamped with my Z-Visa in Washington, I'm not letting myself believe that it might actually work.

Round two of saying goodbyes is bound to be uncomfortable. I cried a lot for the first go of it, but this time around I think everyone will just be happy that something is moving and working in my life. After weeks of bumming couches, coffee and lunches, it's somewhat of a miracle that I still have friends after the circus act my life has been for most of the summer. However, it's my friends and family who have kept me from going absolutely crazy through it all.

For now, I'm trying to pay my friends in food. I learned how to make homemade pasta last week, so I've been making a lot of rustic Italian dinners (by rustic I mean ugly pasta, I'm not so good at cutting straight lines). I also tried my hand at cedar plank smoked tuna at my brother's house. Despite soaking the plank, it erupted into flames right about the time the tuna was done. So rather than smoked, we had flame-licked tuna.

For now, my adventures will be solely culinary in nature. I better appreciate it though because before I know it I will be sling-shot into a strange and fantastic life.

September 6, 2010

fireworks & dynamite

Tomorrow marks the two month mark of living out of my suitcase.

It's disgusting because I haven't hardly left the state, so it's not like I've been seeing new places or exploring new cultures these past 60 days. Instead, I've become a couch surfer in my own town.

I'm tired of packing, unpacking, folding, rolling and readjusting my bag, so I've boiled down my most used items to two grocery bags: one for some clothes and an extra pair of shoes, and one for my shower goods. I carry around a third bag of oatmeal and apples so I don't have to mooch food from wherever I'm staying.

(Thankfully, my brother's house is the exception -- I raid his cupboards and continue to rack up a giant rain check that needs to get paid back once I have an address again).

Two months ago when I loaded my car down with all sorts of clothes, dishes, towels, books and decorations, I felt pretty good about having fit most of my life into my car. After purging many of my things through donating or selling, I felt uncluttered and downright efficient. Ha! I've boiled all that down to a couple of grocery bags for the most part, and my suitcase and backpack tag along staying as untouched as possible.

I'm trying really hard to stay positive. I mean, I don't have any housing costs, I don't have a job or classes eating up my time (though I do have an entire language to learn...) I get to spend all sorts of time with my friends and I can take naps whenever I please. Quite frankly, I'm bored. So unbelievably bored. I'm trying hard to savor it because the second I hop the plane to DC, my life will once again be all fireworks and dynamite.