Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day -1: We have liftoff!

Today is the day! Time to mosey on down to good ol' LAX (short for relax) and take off!

I'm still a bit jet-lagged from flying to Chicago and back to drop off the lil' bro at college (which was so unsettling because I'm half-certain when I wake up from this extended dream that is my life he'll be a five-year-old again), but then again, I'm pretty sure flying within the same time zone gives me jet lag.  Impressive, huh? It's my superpower. Hopefully I can sleep on the first leg of my trip--thank goodness I got the window seat. Sleeping on planes is turning out to be another superpower I managed to cultivate last year. I think I might be secretly a Snorlax instead of a superhero...
Me and my beloved car Hyphen "Dash" Ated. It's been swell, even when you ran out of gas yesterday.

As I (read: my mom) was packing up my giant suitcases for this trip, I couldn't help but think that it hasn't really sunken in yet: despite the reams of paperwork and emails from the Fulbright Commission, it still doesn't feel real that I get to have this opportunity. I've never been away from home for this extended period of time, so I don't really have an emotional or temporal reference for what living on my own like this is going to be like. Especially in another country, where German isn't my native language! I wonder if it will finally seem like it's happening before it actually does start happening. I have a feeling that getting my teaching and studying workload will ground me, like starting classes did when I started college. Or maybe once I go grocery shopping and unpack my bags...

I have always traveled with books. But this time around, I just don't have a ton of room for print books, so I'm taking two: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and Methods and Theories of Art History by Anne d'Alleva. I've read both of them before, but Middlesex is really engrossing and not too weighty in paperback, and Methods and Theories is stalwart and also a nice, slim volume. I might try to buy a copy of The Girl on the Train at the airport, since that movie's coming out soon and it's supposed to be good. I'll also continue to buy every memoir in audiobook form--right now I'm loving Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson.
Two giant bags that were thankfully within the weight limit!

It's weird to think about all the little things I'll miss about LA. Of course I will miss the people--my friends and family in Los Angeles and all over the country. But on this last day, it's the little things I'm thinking about missing. Like my car, which I've had since senior year of high school, which has amazing mileage and fits into all the compact sports. Or Mexican food being available in massive, excellent qualities (and I'm not counting Chipotle). I didn't have those in undergrad, but this is quite a bit longer. I'll probably also miss Coffee Bean--I don't know if people take their tea iced in Europe, so I'll have to readjust to iced coffee. I'll miss the amazingly inexpensive and high-quality sushi from Ugly Roll. I'll miss being able to just drive with the air conditioning blowing in my face, singing along to some playlist of music my parents think is bizarre (even though LA is correctly known for being congested with traffic at all times). It's always the weird little things you miss.

The Californians is pretty accurate about how much Angelenos talk about driving...

As always, if you want to express your love for me with material goods, my Amazon wishlist is here, and if you want to see many, many photographs of me and of Vienna, my Instagram is here. I'm so excited for this adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Massive book wishlist! How many of these missives come in electronic versions? Food wishlist looks dubious for Vienna. Trams should take the place of air conditioned car rides.