GAAAAAAAAH. I am not ready to go and I no longer want to go. Do not fear though, I experience this before EVERY trip I take. I always melt down before I go and wish I had not taken on such a huge project. Then I get there and I forget I ever felt that way until I go back home and see these weird and foreign whines in my diary.
I could psychoanalyze myself and tell you why I do this, or you could join me in ignoring me and together, we can move on from this.
I am still not going to post my updated itinerary because OH HEY GUESS WHAT? Just yesterday I flipped a coin to see about changing it. The coin said no, but I do not agree with it. So maybe I will change it again tonight. Or tomorrow. Or every day until I leave.
I am kind of sort of set up for Tibet. I sent in a deposit and I await my Tibet Permit. I have booked less than half of my domestic transport. I would like to have that no longer hanging over my head, but some train tickets are just not available yet.
I have decided to bring all my money in cash and exchange it in China. All it took was one person to warn me off ATM’s rejecting foreign cards for me to agree to this. I am aware that ATM’s give you the best rate but it’s worth it to be shorted a minimal amount to have peace of mind. I do not have anyone back home to call should any problem arise with my ATM or credit cards.
I am definitely looking forward to not being at work for a month. Five out of seven employees walked out in the same two week period. So for the past three months, I have been doing my job while training the newbies FOR THREE MONTHS. Enough already. I have now officially gone from “I am leaving in XXX days, you need to learn this” to “I will be gone for 33 days, figure it out.”
This weekend I will pack. I have everything out already, just waiting to be put into my bag. My shopping list is now very short. I think all I need is a small flashlight and and a travel umbrella.
Stupid little things I bought, that I never had to deal with before:
– A SteriPEN. This is a portable water purifier. I am too nutso to actually drink SteriPEN-ed water. But I figure I can use it to brush my teeth. Or maybe I will get brave during my trip and try it out.
– Rolls of toilet paper. I have been saving almost-finished rolls so I can have a little roll on me at all times. China doesn’t seem to like including toilet paper with its public toilets. Hell, it doesn’t seem to like including TOILETS in public toilets. Hole in the ground it is!
– Sunglasses. Can you believe I have never owned a pair? I bought enormous sunglasses and a pink floopy sun hat, in hopes it is not immediately obvious I am American. I do not want my picture taken nonstop by strangers. Then of course, I realized that I am scared to put in contact lenses. China’s water is poison so I cannot wash my hands to the level of cleanliness I would like them to be before touching my eyeballs. So I need to wear my real glasses. Sorry new sunglasses, you will get your day.
Regrets: Flying into Hong Kong and out of Shanghai. As I posted here, I was so set on doing this even though it made so much sense to do it the opposite way. I now really wish I were going to Hong Kong last. Hong Kong (and Macau) are truly more Western than the rest of China. By the time the end of my trip rolls around, I am going to be curled up in a ball in the corner of a squat toileted hostel room, crying and chanting about wanting to be back in a first world country. Hong Kong would have gotten me there sooner.
I have also decided to bring my little netbook, which is always frozen and never lets me do anything I am trying to do, over bringing my actual laptop. My laptop is big and HEAVY. Plus, I do not want it to be easy for me to keep my blog up when I am gone, because doing so takes time. I am not a full time traveler so why not save the bulk of posts for when I am home? I can do updates with the netbook, but I will not want to. So they will be minimal. Or they will stop entirely when my netbook freezes just ONE MORE TIME and I throw it into the Li River.
And that’s that for now. Join me next week, when we see if I go further dark and actually cry about going to China. OH WOE IS ME! I HAVE TO SPEND A MONTH AWAY FROM MY JOB, TRAVELING AND SEEING THE WORLD, LIFE IS SO HARD, or if I stop being a baby moron and exhibit some actual excitement.