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22 days until I'm home
Kat
psychocalypso21
What a weird weekend.

On Friday night I went with Alan to my Sayonara Eikaiwa Dinner. It was at the French restaurant in Senmaya which does great food...it is famous in Iwate apparently and the chef/owner has been on tv and won tons of awards. Anyway there wasn't much French food on the menu...it was more a mixture of Japanese and Italian but who cares when it tastes brilliant?! The dinner was strange for me...it was the last time I'll be seeing the people from my eikaiwa and I wasn't really sure how to feel. The eikaiwa has not really felt right since Group D left and I've taken it on my own. But still spending an hour and a half once a week with the eikaiwa people meant I couldn't feel nothing when we said goodbye outside the restaurant. So instead I felt a tinge of sadness mixed with relief that I will never have to sit through another hour and a half where only about ten minutes of real work gets done and the rest of the time the people around me gossip in Japanese!

What made the sadness start to over take the relief as I was walking away was the fact that I might never see Yuko's kids again.I've only met them a few times over the last couple of months but they are without a doubt the best thing about Japan. In the restaurant Manae was eating ice cream. She pointed to it and said "ice". I thought she was meaning to say ice cream so corrected her. But a few seconds (and a lot of stirring later) and Manae was showing me her (now liquid) ice cream and saying "juice". What a genius!

Later on Friday night we met up with Jason for some karaoke where him and Alan showed off their ability to sing while I slaughtered a Carol King song before retreating into my corner to drink more beer.

Saturday was spent cleaning the apartment, including getting the bogging mould off the walls. It was an exhausting 12hour long effort that still isn't finished. Still it is nice to be actively doing things geared towards going home! Sunday was more cleaning in the morning and then we headed to Morioka. We met up with Maire, Paul and Maddy for some Spanish beer, fake pizza and four hours of karaoke. I've never spent so long at karaoke and to my surprise I've discovered that it just gets better and better the longer you do it for! I unfortunately have several songs still spinning around in my head including 9to5, Backstreet Boys, the Sesame Street theme tune and Informer...

The next morning we were back in the room that haunts my nightmares...a room that last time was so roasting hot that I felt like fainting, vomiting and dying all at once. This time it was just a normal room although yet again we were made to stand in ridiculous lines in an over-complicated effort to turn the handing out of a piece of paper into a significant and momentous event. The highlights were ALTs refusing to bow, ALTs too dazed (with drink, drugs, fear, sleepiness?) to respond when their name is called, and ALTs throwing the contents of the Iwate Friendship Ambassador box onto the floor in disgust! Ah, happy days. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel a little bit nice to see some ALTs get their certificates... especially the ones who have stuck it out for three years (through luck in getting a good placement or insanity?)

Lunch followed which was a case of staring round a room full of people, 90per cent of whom are no less freaky than they were a year ago. I will definitely miss some people and I realised there are a few people I really regret not getting to know better while I had the chance. Still the overwhelming feeling when leaving the lunch was a sense of relief. It is really winding down. Eight more days of school and I'm done. I can return to real life with all it's good and bad stuff. I can keep in touch with the cool people and start the therapy to get me over encountering the not-so-cool people.

We followed the lunch up with a trip to Morioka Zoo. The zoo was much bigger than I'd imagined and I was impressed by the bears and the badgers. The baby lions were cool but we couldn't get a good view of them. The weather was muggy, humid and drizzling - not the best combination when you are suffering from lack of sleep and a bit of a hangover! After the zoo we had sushi and Jason kindly drove us all the way to our front door. A conversation with my mum about time differences and an episode of Sopranos later (Pussy is dead!) and the weekend was over.

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