Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Once more, our bags are packed...

On a cold, rainy evening in Imaichi, nestled under a kotatsu surrounded by my wife and her family, my time in Japan is coming to an end.

In about 12 hours, Yoshiko and I will hop in her brother's car with her family and make the drive to Narita airport where we will leave Japan at 15:30 for the 12 and a half hour flight to Atlanta. Unfortunately, we will then have to wait 5 hours for our flight to Ottawa, finally setting foot in Canada some time around 11PM after 27 hours of traveling... yikes!

Luckily, I think we are well outfitted for this long flight. I was glad to learn that the 777 we'll be taking has TVs in every seat, watching movies always makes the time go by MUCH quicker. Who knows, I may even try to get some sleep for the first time ever on a plane. Got myself a travel pillow and an eye mask, plus I can plug myself into my iPod to block out the ambient noise... we shall see.

If any of you were expecting some long goodbye to Japan filled with perspective and thoughts, it's not gonna happen... yet My head is too filled up with the practical aspects of travelling back home, getting work, a vehicle, a house, etc to be thinking too too much about the end of this fantastic 2 year journey of mine. Needless to say, it is currently the defining experience of my life, having not only traveled and learned so much but having met and married my lovely Yoshiko. As Scotto (I think, there was plenty of drinking involved so I'm sorry if I make a mistake) put it the other day, I'll be taking the best part of Japan away with me for sure.

I will take a moment to say a bit of a goodbye to some people.
  • To my students: Thank you for teaching me so much more than I taught you.
  • To Stacy, Matt, Scott and Alex: You guys were truly what made working at AEON survivable.
  • To the Japanese staff at the school: Gambatte!
  • To the new guard filling in for Matt and I as we leave: Good luck, and savour every moment of the experience that is Japan.
  • To the dry cleaning lady: The name is Michel, not Matt and Anthony is not Michel, I am!
  • To Akko-san at Cafe Praktica: Thanks for sharing such a special place with all of us.
  • To the curry shop guy: Thanks for all the little extras, and you should fire the smoking lady.
  • To Yoshiko's family: Thanks for letting me take her with me!
  • To my family: Thanks for not forcefully confining me to my room on the day of my flight 2 years go as had been suggested by Sebastien. Your boy is coming home...
Our last day in Japan was spent packing our things and getting set to go. We made a trip out to say goodbye to Yoshiko's 90+ year old grandfather, who I am right in love with. He is the genkiest 90 year old I've ever met, and his character reminds me a lot of my dear mother-in-law Yukiko. After the visit, we stopped by the supermarket to pickup sushi, a fitting final dinner in Japan.

And with that, my blogging from Japan is over. My next post will be from Canada.

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Blogger godzilla_rabbit said...

Thanks Michel for
1. Sharing us wonderful time.
2. Being a good friend.
3. Showing nice pictures and essay.
4. Posting beautiful Utsunomiya scenery on the web.
5. Loving Japan.
6. Planning to visit Utsunomiya again in the future.

Fine Wednesday Beer Crew; Ray

8:40 AM  

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