Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ohayou gozaimasu. (おはようございます。) - Day 1 Japanese Lessons

In a spectacular twist of fate, Ian and I found out that we are going to be stationed in Misawa, Japan. We don't really know when, but probably some time this summer. It's quite a coincidence because Ian's sister is currently in Beijing and will be leaving as we are coming. It's the Rowswell changing of the guards in Asia.

I am really excited and a little scared to be moving to Japan. It's my biggest move yet, and it's the first big move that I am largely responsible for. Ian is alright if he has three changes of clothes but I have STUFF. Mostly art stuff, which I can always forgive myself for. The problem is going to be organizing all of it and getting it to a centralized location. Right now, I have boxes in our bedroom, the basement, our in-laws house, and my studio. Coralling it is going to be my biggest problem so that the military movers don't take our roommates stuff and ship it over seas by accident.

To be honest, I never really considered going to Japan, or more specifically this part of Japan. I was really hoping for the cold rainy weather of England or Germany, not the howling windswept seas of northern Honshu. I read a book (which I have since gotten rid of and really regret) about a geisha at a bath house in northern Japan. All the descriptions were of stark whiteness and howling winds. We are moving to the North Dakota of Japan. But the guide books say that there is excellent hiking trails, hot springs, monkeys, and creepy inactive volcanoes that have something to do with the souls of dead children.

I am not letting any of this deter me. I am marching boldly forth with the pack and learning Japanese reading and writing. My roommate, the divine Miss Laurel, is helping me with my pronunciation, writing, reading and cultural tips. She was horrifying me last night with tales of their bathing systems (I really don't like baths - How do you get clean in those things?). I am going to get out and explore all over those darn islands. I am going to get lost, and eat weird things and see beautiful art and people. So my next mission is to find an embroidery or textile museums/schools in Japan and visit every last one of them for inspiration. Japan is going to be my next focus in art and I am going to interpret it with needle and thread. It's going to be awesome and the experience of a life time.

I just have to keep telling myself not to stress to the point of nervous break down in the meantime.

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