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Friday, May 27, 2016

Climbing The Walls

I am desperate to go to the beach. I need to be in a wide-open, sunny space where there is soothing natural noise, clean air, and fresh seafood. You wouldn't think with all the driving that I have been doing that I would be stir crazy, but I think Spring fever has arrived for me at the beginning of summer. I want to be away from all digital devices and all carbohydrates, with nothing but a paper-printed book and a glass of juice, and relaxed interpersonal contact. It's been so long since I had a decent conversation with a dear friend face-to-face, not just short chitchat at work or telephoning during my commute, or grousing to family while I or they are  otherwise preoccupied. Getting to sit down and be a slug for a while would be terrific. The three day weekend is a Godsend.

This will be the very first time in my entire life that I will be paid for a holiday. I've never gotten paid time off before – and in fact, in the past, I often had to work on holidays, what with the need for efficient estate sale setup and such. I intend to drive to Savannah tomorrow to visit my friend Audrey. go to church with her and her two children Sunday, and *maybe* go see Grandmommy on Monday--it depends on the weather and how exhausted I am.

I'm looking further ahead to a major jaunt in the fall. I've bought my tickets for travel within Korea in September, but I haven't found tickets yet for travel to and from! This is partly due to waiting for several people I know in that general part of the world to get back to me about whether I might see them... I figure if I'm going to be traveling halfway around the globe, I should visit as many people thereabouts as I can, and also see the major sights, and in consequence I don't know yet whether I will be going through Tokyo or Beijing. I have an old college friend in Hong Kong, but no way of getting in touch with her, which is a bummer considering I've been thinking about her a lot lately.

Ideally, I'd like to spend half a week or more in Japan, if I can only find someone there who is willing to show me around on a local level. I have asked a former fellow student from Georgetown – he got his PhD, and is now a Professor in Kyoto – to put feelers out for who might be able to do this, but I don't know how much historians and literary specialists interact thereabouts. For my job and my own personal enrichment, I want to get a literary insider's look at the land of the rising Sun, as I've been responsible for editing biographies and lists of published works of several famous Japanese authors, and it would be nice to see where they lived and worked and what inspired them. And I know there are many more Japanese authors that I need to know! But, I really need someone who knows the local area quite well and can speak Japanese, as it will be truly foreign territory for me, and unlike Europe or Russia, I can't puzzle out the signage and confidently go exploring on my own.

I'm much less worried about Korea, since I've (mostly) learned the alphabet and a lot of the signs are also in English, and there will be at least two people I know in the country. I have been looking at sleeping bags and slim foam mattresses on Amazon, as I expect I will be camping out on my friends floors. I want to travel light, but be able to cope with less than extravagant accommodations.

My stepuncle Gilbert called me out of the blue on Tuesday to see if I would be interested in joining him in setting up an estate sale. He's a former antique dealer, and used to own an estate sale company in this area until the bottom fell out of the market a decade ago. We found out we had similar interests and experiences when we chatted at Thanksgiving – or was it Christmas? – three years back. We were both entertaining everyone with our stories of crazy discoveries and crazier customers. So, tomorrow morning, we are supposed to meet at the house of a potential client, to check out the prospects for evening and weekend work at our shared avocation. If this worked out, it would be grand.

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