04 June, 2006

80 Days To Go

It's my first entry... welcome to my travel diary!

Well, I know it's not time to actually start my travel diary (that sounds so much better than "blog") but I've always started diaries early, i.e., as a pretentious fifth grader I bought a little lock-and-key striped diary from the dollar store and intended to start it on Jan. 1st, 1992, but I couldn't wait, and so my first entry is actually an apology to my future self for jumping the gun. Looks like I've started this one the same way! It might be helpful to know that the one major thing I have accomplished in life is to have succesfully kept a diary (actually, a series of them) since the 5th grade. I can go through them and watch my handwriting change, my thoughts and feelings go through shockwaves, revelations, and repentances, and best of all, see old crushes rise up and live anew. I also have a few scattered online journals, on myspace.com and on fuuse.com. But this one is the dedicated attempt designed specifically for this humongous change of life I am about to embark upon.

Since there are 80 days left in the countdown, I felt this would be a good time to do some pre-trip organizing (which, from what I've heard, can't be done enough if your trip is going to last a whole year and will involve living in SE Asia). So here are some lists, true to old-school diary format.

Things I will definitely need to bring with me in bulk:
-underwear (as they do not make asses my size in Vietnam)
-my favorite face product, mdskincare

Big important things I still need to do or else I can't go:
-get passport back in the mail, email copy to host family
-get visa
-buy plane ticket
-recontact embassy for permission to arrive without return ticket in hand

Things I should definitely do but aren't as important as above:
-start keeping notebook of all the songs/games/stories I can use as nanny fodder
-call health insurance lady, see what's up w/ my current plan
-buy travel health insurance
-keep looking for jobs for Kenny
-keep learning vietnamese

Rosetta Stone makes an amazing product, y'all. I learned so much in 20 minutes just using the demo. Let's see if i can remember anything now, not cheating or looking at the book or anything:

a boy: mot em trai
a girl: mot em gai
a man: mot nguoi dan ong
a woman: mot nguoi dan ba
my name is: Ten toi la...
I am American: Toi la nguoi My
I speak english: Toi tieng Anh

Okay, maybe I haven't retained as much as I think I have. I am, at this point, completely hooked on playing the super fun word matching games that Rosetta Stone includes in their program. If you go to the mall and you see one of their kiosks, ask for one of the demp CDs (you have to tell them you are seriously considering buying a program, though, thbbpt). It is more fun than I can even tell you.

The big hurdles that are coming up soon are:
1. pack up the apartment into boxes so that when Kenny gets back from Corsica there won't be tons to do
2. Make an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed this summer (not something I want to do in Saigon)
3. Finish the school year!

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