I’ve never been a nervous traveler. To an extent, this has even been a point of pride. “Oh, you’re already packing? I’m just going to throw some stuff in a duffel bag tomorrow.” Or: “What suitcase? Everything I need is in my backpack.” After all, I thought, why worry about it? Chances are good that some of that stuff won’t get used anyway and if something minor is forgotten you can get along without it.
I do not feel this way right now. Unlike past trips, I’m really not sure if I have everything I need, or which items I can do without, or what I’ll be able to buy when I get there. Right now I feel like a diver treading water on the surface of a pool. On Saturday, when I board my plane, that’s when I’ll begin my descent, and until I’ve arrived intact and with all my belongings at 859-2601, Nagasaki-ken, Minamishimabara-shi, Kazusa-cho Otsu 110-1, Mezon Fukuken A-203, I won’t feel as if I can breathe again. Right now, in the final days before I am submerged, I am obsessively checking myself, trying to find that last, perfect mouthful of air to fill my lungs, because once I dive there will be no oxygen and no turning back until I feel the bottom of the pool beneath my feet.
That address above is going to be my private residence and mailing address in Kazusa Town, the area of Minamishimabara where I will be living and working at the junior high school. I’m moving into the apartment currently occupied by my predecessor, so I have a few advantages in terms of the furnishings I will be able to purchase or inherit from him. Apparently, there’s a decent internet connection set up, so hopefully I’ll be able to post again once I get established there.
Until then, I’ll be holding my breath. Stay tuned.