The 2006 AJET Tokushima Musical finally finished its five-show run on Saturday night in Wakimachi.
Tradtionally, the last show is always in Wakimachi at an old Kabuki theatre called the Odeonza. It's a beautiful theatre, all wood, no seats, just zabuton cushions to sit on. It's very small, and the audience is really close to the stage, so it's quite an intimate venue. The show on Saturday was absolutely PACKED, and the audience were great. They laughed at all the right places, and at the end, donated an amazing amount of money for next year's effort. We had a great time, and they seemed to aswell. JET Programme sceptics would do well to get themselves along to a JET musical performance. You really see what an ALT means to their community at these events. One ALT named Evan had a quite a few people in the audience, and you could see how proud and excited they were that their ALT was up there in lights. I don't care what people say: someone who can touch their community in this way is worth every yennie.
After the party, the cast and crew retired to a mountaintop clutch of bungalows to have a well-earned party. We didn't start til nearer midnight, as it took a good while to get packed up, and drive out to the bunglows. We chatted and laughed til the wee small hours, did a good amount of snuggling, and a good amount of body-slamming. The tech crew, namely me, Hannah and Nick, also gave out awards to the entire cast, and those seemed to go down well.
My parents arrive on Friday. My house is still only half clean. Man. I really need some time to do nothing but sit and vegetate. This term has felt, since day one, like a sprint-to-finish. It's been a lot of fun, for sure, but I need a holiday! I am really looking forward to the olds coming though. It'll be great for them to meet all the people I've been raving about for 2.5 years, for them to see my town, where I work, and hopefully understand why I couldn't have left after only a year or two.
The party on Saturday night reminded me, cliched as this is, how important my friends are to me. Two of my closest friends weren't there, snowboarding in Hokkaido, and getting chased by police in Kobe, as they were, but there were people there on Saturday that are very close to me, and I realised that very soon, we'll be saying goodbye. I mean, who is going to replace Joe, Joe who likes sleeping in closets, Joe who only says "fuck" when he's drunk, Joe who is the most honest, unpretentious person I've ever met?
Last week was a crazy week in terms of learning about the people I hold dear to me in this country. No matter how close you feel to someone, they will always have the ability to surprise you, to shock and upset you, to make you angry beyond belief, and to make you fall in love with them all over again. All of that happened with me last week, and I was left reeling for it, feeling like I knew these people, yet didn't know them, all at the same time. I felt close to them, and felt far away from them. And this both confused me and made me smile. There's a lot to be said for "what you see is what you get" people. But there's something addictive and endearing about people who keep you guessing. I wonder if these are the people who have the ability to hurt you most, and to be hurt the most.
Unlike a friend at the moment who is feeling homesick for people at home, I am struggling to accept the fact that I am going home. I have changed so much. I found a letter I wrote to Katja in the autumn of my first year, but never sent, and freaked myself right out when I read it. Is the girl who wrote that letter really me? It speaks of a worry that time is too short for me to do all I want to do, it speaks of a longing for the womb-like confines of academia, and there is a definite thread of homesickess all the way through. Now, I realise that I will not be able to do it all. I don't want to. I don't want to spend my life with my head in books. I know who I am, I know where I want to be, what I want to do, and who I want to do it with. I have gained perspective. What I wonder about now is do I have the guts to chase after it?