I'm going to Japan.
I'm going to be in Japan for the Spring (and my final) semester to study abroad. I am excited, but not fully excited yet. I guess it's because I have had several failed attempts at the whole study abroad thing, mainly thanks to the incompetence of the brilliant staff at Rutgers Study Abroad, so I am not completely celebrating until I have EVERYTHING completed. At this point I have to finish the whole loan thing, get my apartment finalized, and buy my plane ticket. I really don't know what to expect while I am out there. Perhaps I will use this to document my experience as it unfolds there.
But I really hope to gain some type of level of fluency in Japanese. Learning a second language at this stage in your life is so weird because you have to kind of force it to be second nature. It's really strange, and can be very frustrating. I don't even know if this LJ supports Japanese. And for some reason, my computer will only let me write in katakana...hmmmm...Well, whenever I fix it I will test it out I guess.
I kind of wish I had more to write about how I feel about going to Japan. But to be honest, I am excited, but I don't really have much else to say other than that. It's kind of hard to place my emotions on how I am going to feel about it. There is only so much you learn in class about these kind of things and I think every day is going to be some huge event. Seriously, when we had exchange students here and I am only around them for like a day or two speaking (atleast, trying to) in Japanese, that shit was exhausting. But I can say this. Its going to be really cool to be able to finally gain some level of fluency. Thats why I want to stay out there even longer than my four month semester. I guess if I had to say anything, I am just completely open to the experience. So open in fact that I really just have no reservations about the whole experience and I personally feel that there is no better way to prepare myself for such an experience.
I think I am going to go there and come back paper thin. I can't imagine what my daily diet on Japanese tabemono (food) is going to be like.
I do hope Javier pulls through with this apartment thing. Otherwise I am going to go there and be literally homeless, and I'm not exaggerating. The university is not providing any of us housing so we have to find housing on our own and pay for it out of our own pockets. Rutgers is no help with this process either. I can barely speak the language without having to stop every 5 seconds to think about what I am saying, let alone being able to read some kind of document or have a discussion that contains vocabulary related to major transactions such as this.
Oh I know what I'm excited for come to think of it. I've never seen a sakura tree in person, and I am going to be going during the season where they are in bloom. I think I will just go sit under one and take a nap. That would be nice.
Also, I plan on buying about $1000 (or about Y100,000) worth of Super Famicom games. That will be the shit.
What I really wonder is if this semester abroad will lessen my need to go teach English over there for about a year. The only reason I want to teach there, is to live there for a year, with a job, and just learn the language. But then again, who knows what will happen when I get back, broke and unemployed. That teacher's salary may be just what I need to get going.
I think its pretty funny how once upon a time I was writing about jamming with Pat or hanging out with Pinto on this and now I am talking about these big important things.
I think one thing that will be cool is to see how I ultimately view Japan after this whole experience is over with. I mean, when you look at the time period of when I first started this LJ, I totally romanticized Japan and particular aspects of it. I think back on seeing the Rurouni Kenshin OVA and playing Last Blade for the first time with Pinto and being completely engulfed in that visual style that these things illustrated. These days my view of Japan is more realistic, but I still think I have some of the romanticism in my head. I think it will really come out when I visit some temples, as Kyoto has them in abundance.
So come to think of it, I think I will try to make the effort of writing about whats going on in Japan while I am there in this LJ. I always find it interesting to see how I have grown over the years.
So I guess that's all I can think to write for right now. Perhaps I will post in this thing a bit more before I leave for Japan. Well until then, I am just counting the days and not doing much as I wait to leave. In the meantime, I will play Smash Bros Brawl (when it comes out) to pass the time haha.
See you space cowboy...