We’re thirty-two days away from our departure date of August 19th. That seems like plenty of time, but the reality is that thirty-two days is not much time at all. We have thirty-two days in which to try and become as prepared as possible for this year-long (or as long as our wallets will last us) trip. Of course, trying to prepare for a whole year of traveling is impossible, that’s why we’re mostly focusing on preparing to live in Japan for a month.
We are going to be living and working in the city of Beppu. Beppu is located on the island of Kyushu, Japan, which I think is the southernmost Island of Japan. Beppu has the most hot springs out of any city in Japan, eight of which have become known as the “Beppu Hells.” In Beppu, Billy and I will be working in a hostel. We’ll mostly be cleaning, making guests feel at home, and working a reception desk, and we’re not worried about any of that; if there’s any cause for concern it’s the language barrier.
We both decided to try and learn as much Japanese as possible on Duolingo before we left. I was lazily holding out on starting when I received this text from Billy:
Billy: You should start duolingo if you haven’t yet.
Elliott: Yeah I haven’t started yet
Billy: Japanese is a bitch.
Bitch might be an understatement. Hiragana is a whole new alphabet! My goal has, by degrees, slipped from being able to hold a basic conversation in Japanese to just being able to read signs, and even that is beginning to seem like a stretch. However, I think people will take one look at me and know that I don’t speak Japanese, so perhaps I will be mercifully spared from struggling through some broken pantomime of halting Japanese whenever possible.
Whatever. I’ve got thirty-two days.