I’m actually writing this at 7:30am the next day, but I’ll fill you in on all the details.
Today I spent my last day of my year abroad in Namba and Shinsaibashi with Rika, and we felt the meccha Osaka feels. We did a bit of souvenir shopping (not that I really needed more luggage… we’ll get to that soon enough); we went to karaoke; we vlogged in Dotonbori; we went to the beautiful mall with all the greenery, where we did purikura and I played the drumming game one final time… it was so much fun. I also did a couple of necessary things like cancel my phone contract, and use my H&M ¥500 coupon. I bought two pairs of slip-on sneakers, both from the men’s department. They had more choice and fit with my style better. This wouldn’t mean extra luggage as I had to throw out a couple of pairs of shoes that had been worn down over this past year, as well as some more frayed clothes that didn’t make it to the recycle pile.
After going to the mall, it was 9pm, so we went home, and I was dreading it because I hadn’t yet managed to clear out my room and I needed to do that before going to sleep tonight. Rika volunteered to come back to my dorm and help, which in the end I was incredibly grateful for, though initially I wasn’t sure. I’m used to doing things on my own.
In the end, it took all night. My room was a tip. We separated trash from recyclables to giveaways to things to sell, and Rika also ended up taking quite a lot of my stuff, including some of my clothes. I’m just glad they’re going to a happy home. I’m sad I couldn’t quite fit everything inside my suitcases, and I’m having to send a couple more packages, but a lot of the stuff I’m giving away are only mundane material items and I doubt I’ll miss them.
It’s now 7:51. Rika ended up only leaving an hour ago. I didn’t sleep at all; she napped for a bit on top of my clothes pile. At least my clothes are very neatly folded inside my big suitcase. There’s no way my suitcases are going to come to less than 30kg altogether… I know what 13kg in books feels like, as I carried it to the post office only two days ago, and my suitcases’ combined weight definitely do not feel a mere double of that number. Well, we’ll see.
My top advice – do not overpack when traveling abroad. You will undoubtedly need to buy new clothes/shoes at some point, but don’t go overboard. Likewise with the souvenirs. Don’t spend all year getting souvenirs, either, because they will build up. At the same time, don’t leave souvenir shopping till the last minute. Definitely try to bring as few books as possible, because those things are darn heavy.
Speaking of books, I got a Star Wars illustrated kid’s book in Japanese, called “Vader and Friends”. It looks hilarious. Though it means I broke my own rule just now.
Rika and I had one of the longest goodbyes in my history of friendships. But it’s by no means goodbye for good. We will either see each other in the US in March if all goes according to plan, if not that, Japan next August, or at some point in our lives in some exciting city.
Stuff to do on the last day, which you dear readers should by no means leave until the last minute if you can help it:
- Print out plane ticket
- Sell unwanted items
- Throw away/give away unwanted items
- Send packages
- Close bank account
- Clear out fridge (including a beer, meaning I’m gonna get drunk this morning)
- (Leave next inhabitant a letter hidden in the drawer so they won’t make the same mistakes I did?)
All before 1pm, which is when my flat inspection is, and when I’ll get kicked out of my dorm for good.
Not sure if I can post Day 350 (the final day) on the actual day (Aug 31st) as I cancelled my phone contract and therefore have no data. Maybe it’ll still work as a Wifi device? My flight’s at 6pm though so it’d have to be quick. If not, I’ll update you on Sep 1st, that is if I haven’t crashed between Asia and Europe, or I don’t collapse as soon as I get back to England. I can only predict 29 more sleepless hours following takeoff.