I should be packing, but I thought I'd write a short post to explain my travel plans to any folks on the homefront who're wondering.
I'm due to leave my place in less than two hours. Sayuri is giving me a ride to Matsue, cos she has a meeting up there at 9:30 anyway. This is great, because I was previously looking for a place where I could park my car in Matsue for three weeks. I'll catch a bus at 10am to Osaka, and arrive there sometime around 3pm. My plane leaves shortly after 7pm, so I need to get to Kansai Airport at 5pm. This gives me two hours to navigate the trains between the bus station and the airport, which I trust won't be too much of a problem. I'll see about catching a shuttle directly to the airport, if possible.
Then it's 12 hours and 15 minutes to Chicago, one hour and 40 minutes milling about O'Hare, and two hours and 20 minutes to New York City. If all goes as planned, I'll be touching down at LaGuardia at 9:25pm, local time.
Mom and Kreg are picking me up at LaGuardia, and I'll be spending Christmas in Poughkeepsie; Chris has to work on Christmas Eve, then he'll be down to Pok for the holiday as well. Sometime between Christmas and New Year's, I'll be going to Syracuse to spend the rest of my holiday there. Dad's driving me to LaGuardia on the morning of January 8th, and I won't return to Japan until the afternoon of January 9th. Monday, January 10th is a public holiday in Japan (Coming of Age Day, for all the 20-year olds), so I'll catch the night bus back to Matsue, and then probably take the train back to Nita Monday morning, and sleep the rest of the day. Or go to a Welcome Back party that's being hosted somewhere in the area. It depends, I might desperately need the sleep, or I might desperately need the company.
Tane-sensei has my birds. She's such a sweetheart. I asked her two weeks ago, "Do you like birds?"
So I told her I needed to find someone to take care of them while I was out of the country. "Anyone, really. Teachers. Students."
I forgot to bring it up at Yokota, but I figured it would probably be better to get someone in Nita to watch them, to minimize travel time. So when I returned to Nita JHS this week, I still hadn't found anyone. Well, that's not entirely true; Amy in Kisuki had volunteered, but Kisuki's a half hour away, and apparently her apartment gets pretty cold. I've since discovered this isn't such a huge problem (someone on BigDaikon rationalized, "Some of these birds come from Florida, and sometimes it freezes in Florida"). But still, yeah, Kisuki's kind of far.
So I had the plane tickets, the bus tickets, and a bit of pocket cash graciously loaned by Mabel; my last stress was the birds. I said to Tane again yesterday morning, "You sure you don't like birds?"
"Mmm..." she thought about it for a minute.
I explained to her that it was okay if the birds weren't kept toasty warm all the time, but that it was more important that they be kept away from kerosene and other oil heaters.
"Oh, they don't like it?"
"It will kill them."
"Ahh, so ka."
She lamented the fact that she has only kerosene heaters, and I agreed it would probably be best if I found someone else.
But then during lunch, she said, "If you can lend me your halogen lamp, I can care for your birds."
"Yes! You can definitely borrow my halogen lamp! Oh thank you, thank you!"
So she came over last night and I showed her how to change the food and water, and told her that if they got too noisy, she could put a blanket over the cage to make them fall asleep.
So I've got to remember to pick up some Lucky Charms while I'm home; Tane said she wants to try them. "They're very sweet," I warned her, as most Japanese people don't care for very sugary things. She was unphased.
This post is longer than short, so I'll finish off now.