Thursday, August 02, 2007

Four Days

Four days from this moment I will be flying over some part of Canada heading north and west. We leave Tulsa in the wee hours of the morning to Chicago. From there it is all the way to Shanghai. Twenty odd hours of travel, 14 from Chicago to Shanghai.

That's a long time no matter how you shake it. I've loaded my carry on with books and magazines. I've checked the airline for what movies will be showing. The iPod contains some 18,000 songs, several audio books, two movies and a television program. I'm going to carry some Tylenol PM with me so that I might sleep a few hours, and heavier prescription sleep medicine in case I decide to knock myself out.

We are mostly ready to go. The bags have been packed and repacked and repacked. We have a box of winter clothes to mail. And some reserve books in boxes in case we need to mail those. We have scanned a million articles and books to help Amy with her research. We have loaded every song we've ever heard on to the hard drives. We have chosen books and movies to take. We have had long debates over which clothes to pack, what toiletries we'll need, etc.

We already have an apartment there. Brian and Bethany took a gander at it and said it was ok, it even has an American toilet and a real bathtub. They have bought us a bed, couch, comfy chair, kitchen table and other things. We will stay in a hotel for a few days while all of this is moved in, but soon should be settled.

The school pays for the hotel, will reimburse us 80% of our flight and give us a grand to help settle in.

I'm nervous. Nervous as crap. And yet I am so ready to go and get it done. This waiting around is killing me. I know we will have a good time. I know it will be a meaningful experience. I have no idea what to expect.

I plan to create a new blog just for my daily ramblings about china. I'll keep my regular blog up for the pop culture explorations, and the occasional long form essay about life, but I figure it's better to have a separate one for the normal day-to-day activities.

Any suggestions on what cool, quirky, ironic name I should give this blog?

Of course I'll keep you guys up to date here as well, even if it is just a link over to my place.

Also I don't know when I'll get an internet connection over there, so I may be intermittent for awhile.


bigsip said...

I know I have not seen you in person in some time, Brew. But, I will miss knowing you're at least somewhat close. I admire you and Amy for taking on this challenge. I know that you will both be rewarded in many ways.

I hope you get back on the Web quickly. I'll miss your sage cynicism and your well-placed wisdom.

Love you both and do be safe!

Jamison said...

Yeah, I agree with Sip, I will miss Brew in some weird way even though he is just as far away now as he will be in a virtual way....

Call the blog "Chinese, japanese, dirty knees, look at these!"


"Big Brewster in Little China"

mullinz8 said...

I’m going to miss the guy too. It’s odd I saw him for like three hours around a month ago and loved every minute of it. They gave us the excitement of getting ready to fly out of the country for a wile and we gave them the fear of two young children running across the top of a three foot wall. It’s the simple things friends share.

Brew, you’re going to do great but maybe you might want to try something other than reading. I mean you’re going to be in freaking Shanghai China. Read when you get home. OK the 20 something hours across the pond read. Once you get there, geez do something else.

I hope you know I’m just giving you a hard time because I wish I was shipping my family to China too.

Jamison said...

When I told my wife ths news, the first thing she asked was "Are they scared?" the second thing; "DO you think Brew will try to do some writting?".. other than blogging, I said no.

My wife seems to think you could write a great book one day. You should try to prove her right...

Mat Brewster said...

Writing is always a part of the plan, but I'm a slacker and writing takes work.

Maybe I'll actually compile my french adventures while I'm in china.

Mat Brewster said...

Oh and Mullins, the books are for the long plane flight. I probably won't read any of them as I tend to get into semi-comatose mode on long trips, which helps when watching the really bad inflight movies.

Luckily planes anymore have the little mini tv sets in the seats so that you can watch whatever movie you choose, or play games, or watch tv shows.

mullinz8 said...

The little multi-media TV’s are pretty cool. I just think it’s funny that a box of books is something that you’re actually shipping at the same time. I guess the Brewster home wouldn’t be home without a wall of books.

I would think I might go the techno book route maybe and keep my shipping costs at bay.

I think Jamison can lend you the 7th potter book on maybe 300 CD’s Yeah I know you read that one.

You’re so much of a book guy if you weren’t married and distracted with “marital” happenings you’d have written about 15 novels by now.

Focus young grasshopper, that’s what you need. focus.

Mat Brewster said...

Nah, we're really not taking many books. We had thought about packing a box, but decided it was too expensive.

I've got two or three stowed away in the luggage, and Amy has a few in there too, but that is it. Well besides the 8 million she has on the computer, and the several audiobooks on the ipod.

Jamison said...

Okay, for the record, the HP7 book on cd (17 CDs) was brought to us when a friend from my wife's work came to visit us. She thought we didnt have the book and this would help pass the time at home. It hasnt come within 20 feet of any device that plays CDs. We are readers. Not books on CD listeners.

Mat Brewster said...

I love books on tape. I used to listen to them all the time when I would take walks on my lunch break. I can't really do them on long car trips because eventually I get bored and want some music. But they were perfect for daily walks.

I have a couple in my ipod for the long flight.

lilsip said...

I did the b.o.t. thing when I had to drive 50 miles each way to school and back in Georgia. Listened to something like 42 hours of Lord of the Rings. Tried to listen to the Silmarillion, but that man's voice was like taking a sleeping pill. I was literally falling asleep at the wheel and had to bring that one back to the library.

Jamison said...

Well, I think we plan on buring these disk or converting them to MP3 after we are done reasong the book (cant wait to finish, I keep seeing the comment son the discussion blog rise daily). We drive to West Virginia each year... a nice 13 hours. So having at least this book in digital format will be nice. And perhaps listening to a book on tape that I dont care too much about would be okay, but there is something more romantic about actually reading a book to me. ANd since I am a big HP fan, I just have to read it, despite the fact that I could finish it alot faster and join the discussion.

Mat Brewster said...

The books I listen to on tape are almost always books I'd never read. They are usually not that great crime fiction of which I can miss part of and still figure out whats happening.

That's my problem with audio tapes is that my mind usually wanders away, and while I can rewind and listen again it is usually too much hassle to bother. That's why listening to books that aren't really that important are easiest.

I think I just made sense there.

Although I do recommend any of Dashielle Hammets books on CD, the reader is excellent, the books remarkable, but you might have to rewind if your mind wanders off.

The dude who read LOTR was great too.