Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I am Scared and Excited (But There's a Book for This)

I got news of when I'm flying off yesterday, which made the whole trip much more real (that, and the fact that I've already started packing). But since the Embassy/MEXT handles everything (plane tickets and such), I've been in a holiday sort of mood (along with many JC students in Singapore) and I've not given much though to the fact that I will soon be moving overseas for 5 years.

But after getting news of when I'm leaving, and looking at my open luggage, the whole thing became very real to me. This isn't some holiday in which I can come home after a month or two, I'm not coming back for at least a year (it's quite pointless to keep coming back, especially when I want total immersion to learn the language better). I'm going to miss so many things: my little brother growing up (he'll be 13 when I'm back), my two sisters growing up (well, they're already in their teens but still), my friends graduating from Polytechnic, and all the other major events.

Still, I really want to go. It doesn't mean that I don't feel scared that I'm going. I made my decision a few years back, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to take more education in Singapore, but fear is still one of the emotions I feel.

What if Japan turns out to be a terrible place to live?

I'm thinking positive (mostly) and I'm sure I'll have a great time, but the nay-sayers don't help (>.<). I'm the type of "jam yesterday, jam tomorrow but never jam today" person; which means that the past is awesome to me, the future looks awesome but the present... well, it does not have jam. Plus, I'm the sort that doesn't like change. But after re-reading Different Dragons by Jean Little, I know I can handle what comes.

My copy of Different Dragons resides in Malaysia and is an extremely old copy. Look at this picture:

 Old right? Take a close look at the right side:

Yes, this is so old that the library was using library cards then. And as far as I can remember, I don't ever recall seeing this in a library book. I've always seen the electronic terminal things. (ok fine, apparently the book was published 1999 so it can't be that old)

But despite its age, it's still a story about change. There's not much relevance to Japan, unless you count in the half-Japanese neighbour Hanako Uchida, but I think that people with the pre-trip jitters should read this. The book is meant for kids so the language is really simple, and so is the plot, but it's about a boy (Ben Tucker) who learns to overcome his fear of dogs. It happens when he realises that his pre-conceived notions of dogs are wrong, they're not vicious killers, they can be quite sweet. Similarly, I'm trying to get rid of all the pre-conceived notions of Japan I have that are baseless and scaring me.

Right now, I'm scared AND excited. But mostly excited.