“i wanna get away from the USA”

8/23/11   11:54 PM

Update! So, I’m no longer in Gainesville and haven’t been for almost two weeks now. Good news, my Tetris Battle was successful and I did indeed fit all of my crap in my car. Fell asleep a few times on the way home–those ridges on the side of the road that make noise when you veer off saved my life more times than I can count. Made it home in 5-ish hours. When I came home, I found that my parents had vacated the premises… and gone to Alaska [wtf]. So I had a week alone with my brothers. Very restful. Aka I finished rewatching 5 seasons of The Office and intend on finishing the last two before I leave on Friday morning.

In the meantime, I took advantage of this parental absence to throw a little get-together, which turned into a whirlwind tour of South Florida [Miami, Broward, and the Palm Beaches] with Julia [also going to Kansai], Alexis [went to Kansai two years ago], and Robbey [alcoholic tag-along]. Outdoor malls, restaurants, and lots of driving, punctuated periodically by heavy drinking. Good times.

Also, here’s a shout-out and thanks to Katya, the Light family and the Light house. In no other household am I welcomed with kitties, freshly made bacon, and the ability to raid the fridge at any time. I feel more at home there than in my own home.

~ ~

Anyway, I also arranged to get my Japanese visa from the Consulate in Miami. It’s the document that states that:

1) I am indeed a student and not an illegal immigrant/alien/terrorist.

and

2) I’m allowed to stay in the country for 15 months. We’ll see how this affects future post-study travel plans.

My derp face on my visa is actually the featured pic, if you were curious.

Now that I have my passport back and it’s all official and what-not, it’s definitely starting to feel more real. Every one of us that’s going is stressed the hell out over packing sufficiently, making these enormous payments for housing that they want up-front, and generally trying not to miss flights or get luggage confiscated. Getting everything organized is taxing and stressful but I mean. What can you do. It’s part of the process. And now that I’m just about 95% done with it, I’m giving myself a little gold star for surviving. It’s just the beginning, but once we get going, it’ll be smooth sailing.

I didn’t start packing until this morning actually, but I finished pretty much everything by nightfall today. Definitely more than I packed for Europe. About 50 pounds more, but that’s to be expected. As a side note, I’m glad that guy-packing [as opposed to girl-packing] is so much more stress-free. It doesn’t take me long to throw some t-shirts and jeans in there and call it a day. After the extreme pain in the ass that lugging all my stuff from house to house in Gainesville and then home was, packing 3 bags is cake.

Before… and after. I’ve become good at condensing my life into bags, I’ve found. So there it is. That’s me for the next 9 months.Oh, you know what else was enjoyable about

packing? I got to buy new clothes. I mean, who doesn’t like to buy new stuff? Highlight of this endeavour? I bought a sweater-vest.

~ ~

Note about the entry titles. As before, they’re usually lyrics from songs. The mp3s are usually posted at the top of the entry. Years of being a teenager in America have allowed me to finely hone the skill of applying arbitrary lyrics to my everyday life.

~ ~

Note on studying:

Now don’t get me wrong. Julia and I are pretty まじめな学生 [I’d like to think]. We take this stuff seriously and all, but after drilling and practicing all through summer while we had jobs and class and lives and stuff, you get a little weary. There’s only so much kanji you can try to memorize before you get burned out. For both of us it was around 750 new ones. x_x At this point, we know what we know. We’ll learn so much more in Japan than we could on our own, and we’re ready to meet that challenge. That’s all that matters.

~ ~

Final note:

I hate to be a Debbie Downer and end on a :/ note, but to be honest, most of the stress comes with paying for everything. The dollar is uber-weak right now and I am at the mercy of the shitty exchange rate. Long story short, I am responsible for putting up around $5,000 up front for this program. And by “I,” I mean my parents. I told them about how much it would end up costing last night and it was not pretty.

“You only told them about it last night?”

Yeah, I know. My parental communication skills are quite poor and our previous talks on the subject have hinged on the phrase “I’m applying for scholarships.” I wasn’t really banking on not only receiving no scholarships, but also having one of my current scholarships canceled due to lack of state funding. Sad life.

I went with my parents to the bank today and we wire transferred the housing payment. It was $4,350, approximately. All I could think about is what a financial burden I’m being. That single transaction was more than I’ve earned in 3 years of seasonal part-time working.

I had a talk with Andrea, though. It went as follows:

Me: I think we can scrape by without loans. Or that’s what my parents are making it seem like. Which is fine. I felt really bad last night, but I’m feeling better about it now.

Andrea: It’ll be worth it.

Me: I’ll make it so.

This year is an unparalleled opportunity. I need to take advantage of every second. Luckily for you, that should equate to interesting blogging.

For now though, sorry for the tl;dr. I swear it’ll get more exciting and with more pictures/less writing once I’m actually on the road to Japan.

And to conclude, I leave you with this sentiment:

Friday, Friday, [Hurricane Irene better not ground my flight] on Friday.

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Comments
5 Responses to ““i wanna get away from the USA””
  1. Matias says:

    You haven’t even left yet and the writing is already awesome. Maybe publish the blog and profit???

    • ochancoco191 says:

      D’aww, I like that you like it. [Btw, did you catch my shout-out to you in my first entry?]

      I wish I could profit from this, but that takes too much effort.

      For now, I do it for the readers, bro. For the readers.

  2. hopeinjapan says:

    Yayyyyyy I love being in your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 You are amazing!!

  3. Asianstasia says:

    so excited for you lil bro bro!! things may be stressful right now, but i’m sure it’ll all be worth it in the end! it’s one of those 一期一会 kinds of things, so forget about the guilt and enjoy it while you can :D

  4. Danatron says:

    I love your passport photo. OWN IT. also studio misses you :)

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