As usual, the most important part of packing for this trip has become choosing which books I will bring with me. This is a crucial moment in the preparation process because I am basically determining which books will keep me company while I'm riding elephants and learning to cook a decent biryani. Do I want sci-fi, to provide a welcome distraction? Do I want a book about India, to really help me absorb the culture? Do I want a biography, to create a new best friend who will be by my side even when I'm wallowing in self-pity? Do I want comedy, to make me laugh? As you can see, this decision will determine my mood and my emotional well-being. It occurred to me far too late that I left my David Sedaris back at school. BUMMER. I think I've decided to bring my brand-new copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Murakami, which is an incredible risk. Yes it's 700 pages long, which means it'll take me the whole trip to finish it, but I've never read it before. What if I - gasp - HATE it? This is the only English recreational reading material I'll be bringing! What if it tanks? I'll be left with only my homework and my guide books for sustenance! I finally decided last night that just in case Murakami and I start flinging proverbial tomatoes, I'll be bringing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a back-up. Can't go wrong with a myopic orphan who can talk to snakes.
I've been saying my last good-byes, which feel comfortingly impermanent. My mom keeps making That Face Moms Make When You're About to Leave For Four Months. A bubble of excitement is forming in my stomach that grows every morning. In a true sign of good fortune, I found a M*A*S*H* t-shirt at Buffalo Exchange the other day that I am SO TOTALLY bringing with me. My facial skin has decided to play the let's-add-stress-to-the-situation game, so I've got about ten new zits in a nice little constellation across my chin. If I squint, it reminds me of Sagittarius.
Is it weird that I can't picture my life past this Friday?