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It’s about to begin…

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There comes a time in the time leading to a journey when there are simply not enough hours left to do much else.  With regard to my trip to Tokyo I think we are there.

As I write this it is a very rainy Saturday afternoon in Oakville.  I am reviewing my mental checklist for what i need to do before I get onto the airplane Tuesday morning.  It just occurred to me that I should add one more item to the list – that has been happening a lot over the last two weeks.  I have to count pills and possibly renew a prescription.

If you work for Microsoft Canada and know me then you have already been invited to the little get-together Monday after work, and if you didn’t get it just drop me a line and I’ll invite you.  As far as any planning goes for that event it really consisted of telling people when and where… we aren’t buying food or drinks for anyone, so they will just come if they want. CHECK.

I have to pack… It will be the fortieth time I am packing a suitcase since January 1st, but this is definitely a different category of packing.  I have not been away for more than two consecutive weeks in a couple of years, and my first trip to Japan (I have divided the first three months into two separate trips) will be six weeks – certainly longer.  I have the requisite suitcases, and I am not buying anything else.  Once the laundry is done I will pack… but like a good Israeli I will pack the night before and the suitcases will never be out of my sight.  Old habits die hard.

I am losing weight, and that could pose a problem… I have three suits, only one of which currently fits me.  By the time the next one does the first will no longer fit me, so I will just bring the three of them.  Suits are more of an issue than anything else, because I can more easily mail-order shirts and pants than I could a suit.  I bought socks last week – if you have a teenaged son you know that socks magically disappear into the ether, only to be found years later under the bed that he swears he already checked under.  CHECK.

I have to bring a ridiculous amount of technology with me, including my mobile cloud environment.  However that is all ready to go, and the only thing I think I might do is draw up a checklist so that I don’t forget anything.  CHECK.

There are a lot of unknowns that I will have to deal with as I learn about them, and I have accepted and accounted for this fact.  Whatever I have to do in Japan falls into the category of ‘grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.’ CHECK.

Everyone knows I am going, but a lot of people do not know when. If you are reading this blog then it’s simple… I am leaving Tuesday morning.  If not, then too bad.  No, that’s not good enough.  I have to let my GrandMaster know (Master Beis does know), but I think he is the last one who is important.  Okay, will check that off Monday.

Is there anything else?  I don’t know… I can’t think of anything else.  Tomorrow (Sunday) I will spend most of the day with my kids.  Theresa and I have dinner plans with dear friends tomorrow night, and Monday night after the Microsoft shindig we will likely have dinner alone.  CHECK.

It’s funny, but we are inside the zone where there are some things that I simply will not be able to do… I didn’t ask the bank to order Yen in time (the currency, not the girl I work with), so I will have to convert at the airport (groan!).  My suits are all dry-cleaned (except for the one I wore last night), and if they weren’t then they would have to go to Japan dirty.  I am not bringing any food, although I did buy shampoo and razor blades just in case.  I have been told to bring a lot of business cards (not a problem) so I will pack them into my suitcase.  I have downloaded some videos and white papers to read on the plane, and if I’ve forgotten anything then I’ll watch or read them in Japan.

I suppose all that is left to do is to say goodbye to you, my readers! Of course, I will continue blogging from Japan, but I expect my blog will have a much different flavour over the next little while.  There will still be some technical articles, but I expect a lot of it will be about where I am going and what I am seeing and experiencing in Japan.  As such I expect that there will be a drop-off of people who chiefly check in for technical articles, balanced by an increase in people interested in another journal of a westerner’s experiences in Japan.  That’s cool too.

I will try to take lots of pictures and videos, and will even take requests… if there is something you want to see, just ask!

Again, I want to thank you for reading The World According to Mitch.  You are the reason I write!

Mitch Garvis
Oakville, Ontario
September, 2013

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