Super non-stop life stuff

I have my ticket to Australia!!!

I thought once I had the ticket I would feel a great deal more relief than I am actually feeling. Everything seems so hectic right now, but as soon as I get on the plane there’s a chance I’ll break down from joy.

Last night I went online and ordered myself a visa and payed for the ticket to Australia, Istanbul and back home. I am going to visit Yusuf’s family for a week before I come back to the US.

I’m so excited.. I think when I get to Istanbul I’m going to be jacked and exhausted and an almost entirely different person, but I’m sure all will be well!

I’ve been waiting for the last few weeks to buy my ticket, trying to find a way to book the same flight as Ammon. It’s unfortunate, but because I am going to Istanbul there was no way for me to fly with him.

So today I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy myself a backpack.

Worst experience ever.

I’m not really one of those picky, rude people who demands to be waited on hand and foot. Not at all. And I don’t somehow feel like people in the service industry are below me. Whenever people around me complain about service I’m usually jumping to the perpetrator’s defense, providing excuses for them and trying to understand the situation.

That being said Dick’s has literally the worst customer service I have ever experienced.

I’m not saying it’s all Dick’s, maybe just the one in Leominster, but the entire time I was in the store I was extremely uncomfortable.

When I walked in I was excited — I was picking out my backpack for my incredible journey. This was going to be my first real backpack purchase. I first walked in and asked the two women at the front desk where the backpacks where and after giving waving me off into the halfway direction, went back to their conversation.

I didn’t let it bother me. I walked “diagonal” and couldn’t find the section they were talking about. I was close but still couldn’t find the backpacks so I went over to two men working in the aisle next to me and asked them.

“Actually, we don’t usually work at this store.” One said to me. “So go up to anyone else with a green shirt and ask them. Really we never work here. So. Anyone else.”

Okay, it’s still wasn’t so bad. I kind of understand if they were unfamiliar with the store, and maybe they were also super super busy, and couldn’t leave that aisle to help me look or something.

[Since I’m super resourceful] I found the backpacks and spent like 45 minutes trying on different ones, adjusting the back straps and reading what size backpack is appropriate for long trips.

Again, I don’t need someone asking me if I need help every half a second, but I was pulling bags off the shelves and walking around looking confused for the illest minute and no one bothered to help.

So maybe they were busy. I can still accept that.

I found the backpack I wanted –a Kelty Coyote backpack — (their selection was limited and there weren’t any Osprey bags :/) and started looking at sleeping bags. I found one appropriate for cold desert nights (by myself) and then heard over the loudspeaker that they needed to do a security check in section C.

I didn’t want to be super paranoid, but everyone so far had been an ass and I had no reason to believe they didn’t suspect me of trying to steal things.

I left the aisle and walked over to the shoe department, figuring that Dick’s deserved another chance, and maybe I would find a decent pair of shoes.

After waiting around like a fool forever in the shoe department I found someone rushing by and asked if he could please get me a pair of 3 different hiking boots to try on.

He came back and said they didn’t have my size and was about to walk away. I asked if he had a size smaller.

“Well… What are you using the shoes for? Do you still want to try all three?”

I explained that I was hiking through the desert in Australia.

Anyway, he didn’t really help me at all or offer me any advice. I was looking for him again to try on another pair of shoes and had to go damn near inside the backroom before I could get help.

I felt like shit, everyone treated me like shit, and I kind of wish I could have not given them any money at all.

So, everyone is a bodhisattva in their own way. No bitterness or anything. But seriously, don’t go to Dick’s in Leominster.

And I know I seem hyper-sensitive to this stuff, but the guy who offered me (no help at all) in the shoe department who I had to hunt down like three times in a row was ridiculously helpful to the *cough*white*cough* redneck new england chick who came over to look generally at the shoe section. I walked by 5 minutes later and he was still deeply engaged in a conversation with her because obviously picking out running shoes is a more complex science then shoes that will last 3 months of wear and tear everyday through Australia that are not too heavy, waterproof, and fit properly.

I left Dick’s feeling really drained and went to Barnes and Nobles to pick up some notebooks for the walks.

I’m hoping people on this walk will be willing to write in a journal like they did on the NPT walk. I’ll transcribe everything and post it all onto the Peace Walks blog. I’m also thinking of bringing one to Turkey, and one to Australia.

I’ve been thinking about the amount of things I’m supposed to and going a bit mad.

On more than one occasion I’ve wondered what would happen if I were to just wrap myself up in a blanket, go into some corner and just sleep. Let the world figure itself out on it’s own.

Today I didn’t get half of the things done that I needed to, but I guess that’s not the way to look at it.

The walk starts on Saturday in Boston and I’m not sure yet how much of it I am doing.

I want to do the beginning and the end, but I want to spend some time at the Pagoda helping with the Temple before I leave for Australia, because then the next time I see them the Temple will be finished and inaugurated and they’ll have moved in. Which is a really strange thought.

And today for the first time my family realized that I’m going to be gone for close to 5 months. I’ve been trying to tell everyone that soon I’ll just be gone, but I think no one has really been paying attention to the time.

I’m absolutely, ridiculously excited, but I feel bad that I didn’t get to spend more quality time with my brothers.

I wish I could just assure them that I’ll be thinking of them in Australia, and that their future will be better than their present is, and none of this is me abandoning them or running away from them, but just me moving forward. And that they maybe they will be an even bigger part of my life.

But anyway.

Tomorrow I have to pack up the rest of (all of my belongings), maybe get a haircut, do a million more errands and have everything in Massachusetts set for me to leave the country for almost half a year.

No big deal.


I haven’t talked to Christian lately, which is freaking me out.

And I got an email from a friend all happy about the wedding, but it’s hard to tell if it’s sincere.

I just can’t worry about all of everyone’s problems right now.

I have to get my own shit together. And I’m exhausted!

But I am really excited for this walk to start Saturday.

When it ends in New York at Jun-San’s Pagoda I’m going to figure out a ride to the greyhound station in Albany, NY and take a three day bus ride into California where I’ll take the plane that will end up in Perth.

I can hardly believe it.

Ammon suggested today that I take the bus a day earlier than I had planned to, in case anything happens.

Which would mean I would spend an extra day in LA with Sawada-Shonin.

❤ could this trip get any better?

I feel kind of terrible that Yusuf isn’t going to be able to come and see his family, especially since Gulhan just got married and he hasn’t seen her in 3 years, but all will be well.

So I’m off to drive to my madre’s to get more shtuff together…….aghk!

{also, I’m doing this raw food cleanse that Kyoko-san and Jun-san suggested but I don’t really have that much raw food and certainly no nori rolls or anything, so I’ve mostly been eating almonds and dried fruit and iced lemonade tea, and I feel definitely like I’m starving, but also seriously, noticeably less sluggish. Note:not becoming a crazy anorexic, will return to fried, greasy foods soon}

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