The first of what we hope will be many posts. Let the countdown begin!
Time is resolute in its onward march, and as always I feel like I have been left in the dust. The calendar marked with “X”s that sits on my desk has only fourteen clean squares left, and each night I feel that I’m feeding some animal hunger of the red felt pen as I draw it over the next victim. My bedside table is stacked with a sizable pile of books ambitious by an ex-great-conner’s standards, the days that I’d like to spend reading absorbed by the frantic tying of loose ends. What if I need a transcript sent somewhere? For what will I need in the bright avenues of Istanbul, the cobbled streets of Fes, the dusty roads of Cairo?
Maybe unlike other students who are headed abroad in the coming semester, I am comforted by the fact that Istanbul is a bustling metropolis, making the city in which I’ve lived most of my life (Portland, Oregon) small in comparison. Anything I neglect to buy, other than the most thoroughly American items, will inevitably be obtainable in Istanbul, waiting at the end of an adventure colored by endless hand gestures, punctuated by uncomfortable laughter, and filled with the smog of public transportation. Despite my (maybe naïve) belief that any packing blunders will be resolvable abroad (or, more likely, will not matter), there are a few things that I must buy:
1) gift for my host family in Morocco, something small and oregon-y, a few pictures of my family and home to share.
2) writing implements. I have a favorite kind of pen that makes me a bit giddy inside every time I use it, and making sure that I don’t run out will help me through long days of note-taking and journaling.
That’s it! A shopping list fit for a king, right? I am sure that as the days fall away more necessities will become apparent — and then I will decide whether to put them on the list, or wait and see what the Eastern Hemisphere brings.
This picture was taken last week at Burnt Lake, on the southern side of Mt. Hood. This is the summer I will soon be leaving behind, and the landscape that I will return to after the arid climes and eccentric professors of the Middle East have left their mark.
Hope packing goes well for all of my colleagues, and that they are enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of wherever home is.
See you soon!