Monday, July 31, 2006

On the road again...

Leaving the apartment yesterday my heart imploded as me and my supervisor pulled off slowly down the driveway. I had my 32 kg’s of baggage and a small army of extra things that are going to be left or passed on to other people. Many of my adult education class students showed up to see me off, including little Haruka. Seeing them all waving goodbye with my clean and empty apartment behind them, with Aine, my neighbor of two years up on her balcony and taking it all in I suddenly realized I would probably never ever be there again.

It hit home then, that this chapter of my life is drawing to a close, that the long protracted goodbyes of the past couple of weeks had been leading up to this moment, me departure from Kashima.

The feeling was very similar to when I left my apartment in Wellington over two years ago. The way as the motion of the vehicle starts, when the liquid in your inner ear picks up the change in momentum, it’s like a detonating switch that triggers this small implosion in side. Implosion is a good term for the feeling I believe.

I sat with Kazeyama, my supervisor, who I’ve only really gotten to know recently in relative silence for at least a good half hour as I collected my thoughts and let the experience sink in a bit. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence, it was more a quiet respectful ‘I know you’re there, but that must have been a bit hard so have some quiet time to digest it’ silence. Once we got into Saga city we started to chat about things, the conversation picked up by my pointing out Saga University hospital where I had my wisdom teeth removed. We chatted about stuff and it was only when we arrived at the apartment I realized that I hadn’t said a word of English over the entire car ride. Guess you can teach an old dog new clichés.

I don’t think new clichés are possible are they?

ANYWAY…if you could imagine the following sentence in your best possible Keith ‘Oh my god I’m old and drunk’ Richards voice…

I am now, my dear, a man of fuckin’ leisure…

Now I’ve set up base camp in Yamato-Niiji, just a few minutes bike ride away from a mega-mall the size of downtown Kashima. Last night I went out, took in some local bands at a gig in the city, had dinner, did a bit of karaoke.

Today I woke up, rode to the mall, ate some food and then really just played games on Sarah’s ps2 and watched movies up until now. Everyone else is at work.

The Japanese term for being unemployed is “mushyoku”

Last night someone asked if I was a teacher and I quite cheerily informed them of my new status.

Let the holidays begin, discard the serious pants of work and don the antic-pants! Antic-pants I say! And be quick about it

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