Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life in Review: Wrapping Things Up

So, I have to start focusing on leaving this place, preparing to leave for China in six months. I have to get into an urgent mindset and really start taking action to make this happen.

Trying to switch my service over to CREDO Mobile has been a fucking nightmare. I really want to support their noble cause, but I've called their support reps five separate times, each time discovering they need a little more information than before. And that first account they screwed up, that's still linked to my current account, so it takes every support rep a few minutes to untangle the trail of their own errors. I've called them five times, each time necessitating a half-hour hold-time as I wait for an operator to pick up (I call, switch to speakerphone, and read a book), and each one has concluded the call promising my phone service will be up in two hours or a certain hour the next day. I won't say they were lying outright, but they have been consistently and badly mistaken, and my phone still doesn't work. Our phones, because I got two lines with a family plan, so my wife is being let down as badly as I am. But if I'm only going to be in this country for six more months, I really don't need to start a new contract, so I guess my next call will be to figure out how to return this merchandise.

My concern, among other things, is for the cats. We're going to have to give them to someone else, either on loan for two months if we come back that soon, or on loan for a year or two if we're gone that long. No one's going to be as good to them as we are, and we really were blessed with a couple sweet, intelligent, patient cats. We will never find another couple of cats as excellent as these. And now we've got to make plans to foist them off onto someone else while we're stumbling around China for an indeterminate period of time.

Which brings me to my job and financial obligations. My father loaned me a sum of money for college, in the last two years, and I have twice as much money owed in student loans. I don't feel comfortable with leaving the country with this debt back in the States. And my job! This is the first time in my life I've ever had a job I actually like, and I love this position. I'm doing the work I love to do, in the greatest environment possible (short of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory), and I have to ask whether they'd be willing to take me back in two months or else just walk away from it. This, for the sake of fulfilling a lifelong dream of travel, of living in another country. Well, etymologically, that's what the word sacrifice means: to make sacred. This trip is so important to me, look at what I'm willing to give up for it.

Well, I wanted to go to Japan, but getting out of the country for any reason is good enough.

And then there's friends and family. Family is a huge concern right now, what with the caretaking we've had to do for Rebecca's parents. It's difficult for Rebecca to make plans to leave when she's needed so badly, but it has always been important to her to experience international travel. This has been a life plan for her and if we wait for all other ducks to be in a row before we go, we will never go. It will always be one thing after another. This is a question everyone asks themselves: where do I draw the line between my needs and the needs of my family?

As for friends, it is generous to suggest that none of mine have demanded a measurable amount of my time. I see the people I know rarely, at protracted and irregular intervals: all I would lose in fleeing this nation would be the potential to see someone I know.

Lastly, my writing career--there is even less to discuss here than in matters concerning my social life. My writing habits are complete shit, I've wasted tremendous spans of time, and to suggest I've spent much time attempting to get published would be to insult the person I'm speaking to. Nothing would be lost if I had to give up writing to help take care of my wife's parents and prepare my household for leaving the country.


Cinamingrl said...

If it were me, I'd stay. And my cats would also be an issue.

(I'm kinda tired today, gotta go take a nap).

noma-neko said...

so why can't you take the cats with?

when did you decide on china?

good luck!

Christian said...

Cinamingrl: This is why I didn't want to get cats in the first place: I would love them too much, and I knew we'd be giving them away in two years. There was no question that I would travel the world, however.

noma-neko: I don't think Toki and Bella would handle backpacking across China so well. If we were getting an apartment outside Tokyo, that might be a different story. And it's hard to say when we decided on China. We knew we wanted to see Asia and I had three nations in mind, so China seemed to be one point of convergence for us.

Shanna (Crabbit) said...

A friend of mine lived in Ecuador with her family for a year when she was a freshman in High School. Fortunately, there were more good experiences during it than bad, but there were still a lot of hassles. Some of her letters made me worry.

Have you been getting familiar with the language? I wouldn't want to live in a non-English speaking country without having at least a beginner's grasp of the language. The rest would easily be learned through immersion.

If I didn't already have two of my own, and Panda wouldn't kill me, I'd take your kitties. Plus, there'd be a triple-threat to my daughter's mice (only Kimahri tries to get at the mice, Scooter just looks at them with a "what the hell?" expression).