Thirty-eight days. Is it a long time or short?
There is barely enough time for all the things I need to get done before I can leave: prepare my fall class, teach the two classes I am now teaching, sock away some money, make a million lists and blah blah blah; I won't bore you with the details that I find endlessly entertaining.
But the anticipation is almost painful. I can hardly wait to be there, see everyone, see everything. Five weeks seems like an eternity.
But it is hardly enough time to improve my Swedish, which is better than it was, better than nothing, but I slaughter that beautiful language when I try to speak it. I just don't get the pronunciation rules, and this goes beyond (what I hope is) a cute American accent. I just don't get the tones or the stresses or the long and short vowels. As a result I say everything wrong. My new tapes, Colloquial Swedish, should help mitigate this a little. Fortunately, most Swedes speak English.
My heart is already in Sweden. My thoughts are already there, too, and my stomach is in knots as I think about going. Five weeks is a long time to feel this way.
Then again, thank heavens there is time to iron out the details, to study a map of the airports I will have to navigate, to think about eventualities and anticipate some of them, to talk to my world-traveling friends and get as much advice as possible.