Hello all. I am back. The day dream hath ended. Now I can no longer cackle in ignorant bliss at the phrase 'income tax'. I made a new friend yesterday called Stephanie, and she is my account manager at RBOS. All of a sudden, I am a grown-up, and I have Stuff To Do.
My last couple of weeks in Japan were busy, stressful, wonderful, sad and unforgettable. I spent a week or so living and working at Happy Raft as General Bitch About the Base, making lunches, serving tea, answering questions and the like. I lived in the guidehouse with Dave, which I doubt even the most hardened of outdoor type dudes would warm to. I mean, if the boys of the house find the toilet too grim to even pee into, how was a girly gonna manage? Well, I didn't, I made do with a bush, and saved the rest for the lovely flusher at the base. Other than the nasty house, the time at the base was.... hard work, exhausting, but a welcome change from being sat at my desk in Miyoshi-chu, wanting to be outside.
On the 9th, Sally arrived. She looked scared. And it took her a while to stop looking scared. But by the time I took my leave of her, she was beginning to relax. She's very different to me, I think, but that's a good thing. It's excellent for the kids to be exposed to all sorts of foreigners.
Obon was exhausting, and emotional, but a lot of fun. Minoda-ren gave me a poster panel of the poster I feature on this year. People cried, and told me to come back next year. The ren has been like a family to me these three years, so bidding them farewell really hurt.
The eikaiwa class gave me a truly wonderful send-off as only they can. Amazing food, entirely too many presents, and a whole lotta love.
Hanna and Kuni were simply wonderful at putting me up, and holding onto my stupid amount of baggage while I was homeless. They really made the whole thing less stressful for me. Looking forward to showing them the same sort of hospitality whenever they come out to Scotland.
My goodbye to Joe was wonderful. We were walking along the street after Awa Odori with the noobs in Tokushima, and he said "I don't want to talk to you anymore Ellie". And I said "That's fine, I don't want to talk to you either". And we didn't, we walked off in opposite directions. It was funny and sweet, because if it hadn't been like that, it would have been messy.
Of course the hardest goodbyes were Dave and Nate. I said goodbye to Nate twice. His Dad was visiting, and on the day of our first goodbye (the final day of dancing too), I spent a wonderful morning with them at the onsen and later on at the beautiful Kurozo marshland between Nishiiya and Ikeda. Nate's Dad is an incredibly warm-hearted, big bear of a man. I took to him immediatley, and was able to see where Nate gets a least some of his traits from. Lovely. They came to see me dance, along with the whole gaggle of Miyoshi-gun noobs, and I was so happy to see familiar faces in the crowds. They drove me home after dancing, after I said goodbye to the ren. And although I didn't cry when I said bye to Nate, I had to go and lock myself in the bathroom to howl for a good 10 minutes when I got into the apartment. Poor Sally must have felt a bit awkward.
Luckily, I got a second goodbye cuddle from Nate a few days later, and I didn't cry this time either. I think cause I was spent from crying so much, but also because he made me feel loved and missed, and somehow that took the edge off.
My goodbye to Dave was, as not as... drawn-out as I had planned. A good thing? It was sad, I cried a heap, told him I loved him, and left not sure if we would ever see eachother again, despite me being so sure we would previously. Tough one. I can't talk about it too much, I am still crying over him not being close to me.
Japan tried to send me off by charging me an extra 8.5,an for excess baggage. I nearly died. A nice man decided to knock it down to 3.5man for me. Screw you Japan, love you Lufthansa man!
I am home, and cold, and not really believeing that I am here to stay. Odd feeling. Need a job, need to get some friends. But I only want Nate and Dave and Joe and Jordan and Jenna and Amber and Tera and Kelly and Anya. And everyone else back in Japan or wherever you are.
Stay tuned, people, it's going to be an interesting time of it.
Sayonara pictures coming as soon as I figure out how to hook my camera (on its last legs) up to Daddy's computer.
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU TREMENDOUSLY.