it's almost 1:00 and everything is all set. i just need to go to sleep for a few hours and then wake up at 5:30 to get ready for my parents who are coming to pick me up to take me to the airport around 6:30. it's been a busy (and hot) day to say the least. i don't even have time to sit back and reflect on what i'm about to do, which is to spend nearly 3 months in asia. i'm anxious, but i'm actually looking forward to the 24 hour plane ride, because at least that'll give me some time to catch my breath.

so today there was more cleaning of the house and packing of the backpack. i've discovered that my backpack is actually too small for all the things i'll be carrying. everything fits, but i shouldn't think about souvenirs because there just isn't any room left. my mother and sister came in the afternoon to assess my weak packing job and repacked everything for me while i continued to clean the house and eat lunch. the pack felt heavy, but we weighed it on the scale and it wasn't even 30 lbs.

i've planned it so today i was eating the last of my perishables. for some reason i was eating a lot of good stuff for digestion, a combination of fibers and probiotics: granola + blueberry + yogurt for breakfast, whole wheat bread ham & cheese sandwich washed down with a cold glass of tangy sweet kombucha, and a yogurt and banana smoothie.

a few things i ended up not bringing, just to make more space: my electric shaver (settling for just a disposable razor; i do use the shaver to trim my goatee, but i won't be allowed to keep it in china anyway); half a dozen thick cotton socks (will need to buy lighter socks in taiwan); surplus of cotton boxers (i don't need that many underwear); 2 boxes of shandong-imported "donkey skin" chinese medicine for my dagougou (the boxes they came in had sharp corners that threatened to tear holes in my backpack); and my kindle (if i'm spending my free time in taiwan/china reading, i'm doing it wrong).

i went with my mother and sister back to belmont. along with the backpack (to show my father), i also brought along the disassembled fish tank. i sat in the backseat holding the cardinal tetra in a small glass bowl, making sure it didn't spill during the jostling ride. my aquarium will spend the next 3 months being tended by my parents.

after dinner, i took one last look at the backyard garden before getting a ride back to cambridge. i do some more cleaning, stuffing both the guest bedroom closet and hallway closet, and doing a small load of laundry so i wouldn't have dirty clothes lying around in the house for 3 months.

now there's nothing to do but wait. if there's wifi at the airports i may try to blog, but otherwise the next time you'll hear from me will be from taiwan tuesday morning (tuesday night taiwan time).

(i took photos but too lazy to add them to the posting; i'll try to find some time when i get the chance).