ditching never felt so good

1 08 2007

Planes seem like the most logical place to continue writing, although I’m glad to say that this is the last one that I’ll take for awhile. Three days of orientation in Tokyo felt like weeks, and though I’ve met great people who will be all over Japan, meeting too many people for whom 40,000 people is a “small” town (mine has 6,000) has increased my anxiety to the nth degree.

This plane is reminiscent of the last three days: bumpy (i.e. inconsistent) and foreign. (I guess it also describes some of the food I’ve eaten.) The days were boring; so much that I found myself bailing out of programming to explore Shinjuku. Amen for ditching. A few new-found friends and I went to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government towers, which give a (free—take that, America!) 45th-story view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the haze in Tokyo is as bad as rumored, and we couldn’t even see the symbol of Japan: Mt. Fuji.

Tuesday night was my first tabenomehodai, an all-you-can-eat all-you-can-drink dining experience, complete with slippers, hibachi (I was the cook), colorless whisky (wtf!?) with the JETs from my prefecture. Sufficiently saucy, I continued on to wander the streets. We had both been abandoned by our eventual party members, but managed to run into them on the street (one of too many serendipitous events with Mckenzie—that much good luck in a short period of time can only mean bad luck later, right?), and join Fukuoka prefecture’s group for 4 hours of larynx-tearing renditions of the Justin Timberlake, Elton John and some whiny Korean chick—all with the ever-changing background ranging the Ponte Vecchio in Florence to the supreme court building to random streets in Korea. 2:00 came, and some people wussed out, but three of us continued next door with some Irish JETs.

Then this morning came. And I would NEVER have thought it hard to say goodbye to people I’ve known for less than three days. It was. I’m sure part of it is the realization that now it all begins. No more English-speakers, no more insulation, no more city, no more theory. Just reality. Saying goodbye was so much more than a farewell. MacKenzie and I could joke about the tears we would shed, and we can talk about meeting up soon as much as we want, but nothing assuages the complete anxiety I’m feeling. It is persistent. It is certainly not mitigated by my fear that Samani will be a farm and the people will be hostile-ish.

Our plane is falling. Or at least it feels that way. Hopefully this is not related to the cheap analogy I drew earlier.

I guess we’re not crashing, just descending quickly—time to wrap it up. Next post when I’ve settled in.

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One response

2 08 2007
mom

I so enjoy reading all of your news – On to full days of continued surprise and discovery. I can totally understand your fascination with Japan!
Love You,
Mom

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