Sunday, May 9, 2010
bfg on tech diet
The second part to this weeks title is: ... and tech binging thereafter!
Oh yes - I am a computerless woman! Do not fear, I have not gone cold turkey. Having decided not to sell my phone until July I still have access to my e-mail and can even chat with friends. But writing or paying my bills is something that will have to happen at the bfs (like now) or at work when its quiet.
There is something liberating about that though. Too often, I have tried to sit back and read a book these days but can't- the Inbox keeps filling up, so much calling I need to do canceling this or suspending that and when it is quiet a voice in my head says I need to repost on Craig's and Mcgill classifieds. All to say - the fact that the computer is unavailable means I CAN'T do any of these tasks even if I wanted to... there is something to that. My brain jerks then says, "Ok. No computer... what were other things I needed to get done?"
Though I have only read about 50 pages of my novel (INKDEATH - read it people), I have also gone a ways with the packing. About one third of the books are in boxes and the hard part of dividing them between what was going to the bf's and what was going in storage.
Yet the site of empty walls and kitchen cupboards has led to a physical realization that I am actually leaving. Like really leaving people! I can't believe it - Tokyo won't be an idea it will be streets with people and sounds and smells. Reading about business cards and proper way to place one's hands when bowing... I am actually going to have to do that! Don't get me wrong, I will continue to read about the Japanese for the rest of my life. But to have a yardstick of experiences in which to test and bounce these ideas off of... It's scary and oh-so-exciting.
I think the main thing here that makes my JET experience a little unique from other participants is that I don't just have an adventurous spirit here. Nor is it about me getting some experience in the classroom. Japan has been the topic of most of my school papers. The Japanese language a challenge I have been trying to conquer for years. The theories concerning their culture and people have been intellectual preoccupations that have fascinated me. Japan is not just about my imagination or entertainment - it is also about my intellect and the combination of the three has me in a state of angst.
Don't get me wrong - I have no intentions of putting everything in a test tube. I won't be a bystander who observes. I don't even think my genes would allow me to be. What I mean is, my intentions are not to study the Japanese when I am there. But I do intend to catalogue in detail with some academic vigor - in some ways this blog/journal is meant to jog my memory at times. And I know my brian - I may be bowing and honourifically introducing myself to the local principal but in the back of my mind I will be contemplating the gender identities in nationalism for the past 200 years. Or when I purchase high-tech gadgets (which I will!), there will be more than a few seconds spent gazing at this object and thinking of its cultural contextual meanings over the 20th century.
In essence, I will be experiencing Japan on a level that many others will not be: a philosophical one. And this 4th dimension may just drive me crazy. I could totally see me bursting in tears over a blossom or the first site of the caves of Okinawa. Forget that! I will probably cry while separating my garbage into 24 different compartments.
So walking into the apartment that is fast becoming bare is exhilarating. It is a fresh start and liberating to leave very little behind to worry about. In a silly way, this tech diet and furniture dispensation has made me feel kinda grown up.
It's about time!