Another goodbye

I got to hang out with three of my favorite people in the prefecture tonight at various times (Yuri, Julie, and Hannah), and one of them, sadly, is flying back home to Calgary this weekend. Take care of yourself, Yuri! Good luck with the wedding preparations and everything else–you’ll definitely be missed. I really hope that I can make it out to Calgary to see you and Will sometime–we totally need to stay in touch.

It also turns out that the sushi place behind my apartment building is amazingly affordable, and really, really good! I got 4 pieces of tamago sushi, 1 set of 6 pieces of kappa maki, and an order of veggie tenpura for ¥1260, or around $10. I’ve been there for enkais before and I often pass the store owners on the street, so they knew me and were addressing me as “sensei”–I’ll totally be going back, even if I can only eat 3 kinds of sushi that they offer (if you include inari).

When chatting with Hannah and Julie, I sort of simultaneously realized that I’m from the Deep South, and I remembered some things I left behind without a second thought. Hannah said that her dad’s going to be in Atlanta, and I mentioned that it’s hard to recommend stuff for them to see, besides the Coke museum and Stone Mountain–and when she asked about it, I explained that it has several Confederate generals carved onto one face (“It’s like the Mount Rushmore of the South!” she gasped), and that maybe 40-50 years ago, they used to hold Klan rallies on the big sloping grassy field in front of that sculpture.

I also remembered the Trinity Broadcast Network, and the gold-plated throne-like chairs, the really plush red carpeting and the tapestries and stained glass, the alleged school in Haiti they were collecting money for, and the woman with the HUGE pink hair. Do any of you know who I’m talking about? I remember her turning the pages of her Bible with fingers sporting perfectly manicured fingernails, perfect tears rolling gracefully down her cheeks and not at all affecting her thickly-layered mascara and overexaggerated eyelashes (though, now that I remember, they were making a massacre of the really heavy facial cosmetics she’d donned–is it bad that I’m really perversely amused by that?), as she read aloud a particularly moving verse. The sheer fakeness of the gesture and the hypocrisy that she and her network embody is all so revolting.

I also remember some of the on-the-street segments they did, and one particular one about people’s thoughts on homosexuality, and how this one boy (who’d very obviously been brainwashed by his ridiculously fanatical parents–maybe the ones who run the restaurants that sponsor the “JESUS IS LORD AT (whatever) RESTAURANT” billboards south of Macon) responded with something along the lines of, “I don’t like it, because I don’t like that they date men, and they’re going to come and make me date men, and I don’t want to!”

I’m dead serious. Can you believe how simultaneously laughable and horrible that is? Yet another reason why I need to get out of the South when I return…it’d be nice to be around like-minded people.

Anyway, in other news, I’m moving in the next week! By the time Julie comes to stay at my place next Tuesday night so we can catch our 8 AM bus on Wednesday to the recontracting conference in Kobe, I should be settling into my bigger apartment downstairs. They’re turning on the utilities in that place tomorrow and turning the ones here off the day I leave for Kobe. I’m off to finally start carting some books and miscellaneous papers downstairs in just a bit…it’ll be nice to spread out and have enough room to truly organize my stuff.

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