Friday, April 13, 2007

In the middle of things...

So here I am, pretty much just where I was 2 years ago at this time... neither here nor there... I'm starting to feel the strain of not having a permanent.... well anything, at the moment. Luckily, the Internet is helping to serve as a bit of a bridge back home and I'm able to scour the classifieds for a vehicle and jobs and such as the hours tick down to our Wednesday departure.

With just a little over 4 days left in Japan, we're fluttering around doing all the last minute things one needs to do before leaving. Of course, Yoshiko has a lot more to do than I, but I think we've done pretty well so far. Today, we dropped by the banks to shut down our accounts and send money to Canada. Yoshiko's mother came along and we had lunch and saw a movie together, which was nice. Tomorrow we head in to Utsunomiya for the weekend to meet up with Scott who is coming up from Nagoya and attend Matt's farewell party with Aeon. It's been a year since I last saw my ol' walking partner with whom I had so many great conversations as we wandered the streets of the 'Nomiya. A few people have left a permanent mark on me, Scott is definitely one of them. Matt and Alex are others and many of our students as well. It'll be nice to see a few of them again before we leave.

This week has of course been pretty busy, but we have managed to take some time out once in a while and smell the roses so to speak. This is our last week in Japan after all, and it'll be a while before we get back so we should try to make it a good one. Helping along with that are the sakura, which are still in full bloom out here in the cold cold countryside. Not sure what they're like in the city, but here are a couple we spotted in Kanuma when we went on Wednesday to pick up Yoshiko's International Driver's license.

While in Kanuma, we stopped by a great little Italian restaurant called Al Covo. While it certainly wasn't up to Milano Shokudo standards, the meal was some of the best Italian one can get out here, which was a pleasant surprise for a sleepy little town like Kanuma. In a yard by the restaurant, there were these gorgeous flowering trees of which we've seen a few recently. Weren't quite sure what they were since they have different coloured flowers, but Yoshiko's mother today said they are peach trees... and sure enough, the 'net just confirmed it.

On Thursday, Yoshiko's aunt and uncle came by with their grand kids for a visit to say goodbye. The little one they brought along was simply adorable and quite the handful. She didn't stay in one place for too long, so all I could get was an action shot!

I (we?) hadn't seen them since the wedding in October, and they are very nice people. The uncle is a bit of a camera freak, carries a big Canon DSLR and was quite taken with my little S3. They were asking about the best time to visit Canada, maybe thinking of coming down???

The garden out front has started coming to life with the warm weather we've been having. As I say that and look at the Ottawa weather I see 1 degree and snow... certainly not a warm Spring this year, probably goes along with the late onset of Winter this year. Here however, things are blooming...

It's interesting just how disconnected from things I've become in the last few months. I've had so many "oh yeah" moments in the last little while.... like "oh yeah, today is Easter" and "Oh yeah the Senators have started their playoff run." I think part of that is because my life has changed so much from before, not only from being in Japan but mainly because of Yoshiko. She is now the center of my universe and things which used to be there have moved to the outside. It's nice for us to have each other as a constant in the time ahead as we move from one side of the planet to the other.

Anywho, I'd better get to bed soon. Scott's Shinkansen arrives at 9:50 and I said I'd meet him at the gate. Gnight!


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