Can’t sleep the night before.
It’s a good thing the flight is in the evening, because I can’t fall asleep.
It could be that it’s because I’m in New York for the first time in my life, and bedtime shifted from midnight/1am, to 2/3am, plus naps. Or it could be that I am finally going on a trip I’ve been panicking over for the last couple of months.
Some pre-departure heart attacks included finding out that IFSA-Butler sets up my contacts through them (I mean, I guess I should have known that might happen), and flailing about trying to figure out whether or not I should change the e-mail and address they set up to my actual ones (I decided to leave it in place because, hey, they’re technically paying the bills). While another was insuring that my visa was done far enough ahead (only real heart attack there was seeing the cost of the visa and health care.)
Overall, I am very excited.
I decided I wanted to go to Wales after taking a course called “Celtic Lit.” Wales had the stories I liked best: Melog, a contemporary novel, and the Mabinogion, a collection of stories (the mabinogi, and other tales) that are the base for Arthurian myth.
After the course, and its basic welsh pronunciation lesson, I started trying to find welsh language music on YouTube (I found two bands through it: Sŵnami and Y Bandanna) and BBC’s C2, my favorite program is Guto Rhun (I found more Sŵnami there, along with other contemporary bands).
After I applied to Cardiff, IFSA-Bulter’s suggested readings also helped. I chose the recently updated Rough Guide to Wales as my main book because it had a great culture notes section in back with its own selected books. I found another good artist, the Super Furry Animals and their Welsh language album Mwng, through their recommendations.
My favorite book of those I had read as “research” was a story called The Owl Service (plates). While the only movie Netflix had from the recommended list was The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain.
Packing was relatively easy; I just brought my few cold-ish weather clothes (I’m from Hawaii, so I don’t really have anything warmer than jeans and a jacket), and my well-used wet weather gear.
I’ll go do a proper introduction next time. I have to try and sleep now.
P.S. I’m currently in New York. I’ll go and figure out where the “Location” tab has run off to later.
Tags: Pre-departure blog