I feel like I managed to take a step forward and a step back and have ended up somewhere different. I feel much better, but I have this really persistent tickle in the back of my throat that’s been making me cough all day long. I also was as tired as I was last Wednesday, when I asked if I could leave early because I felt so drained. Luckily, though, I’m only tired, and not actually ill anymore, so I guess the actual illness is mostly gone but I still have some viral remnant or something.
Though at the time of writing the above paragraph, I was tired from the viral something-or-other; now I’m tired because I ended up going on an hour-long walk in really beautiful weather from Ikeda to Tsuji Station in neighboring Ikawa, about 4 miles away. I left at 6:20 and got there at 7:30, and ran into several of my former students, who attend the neighboring high school now. We caught the train back to Ikeda together, and I came home, and Ashley came up a few minutes later to let me know that Brian, Julie, and Sally were at her place making Mexican food for dinner, so I joined them around the kotatsu. It was like a nice little family dinner–we westies haven’t had a chance to just hang out at someone’s place like that in a very, very long time. I’ve hung out a fair amount recently with Kiet and Genna and others from the Awa-area group at their apartments, but it’s different because each region just develops its own “group” by default, and I’m a latecomer to theirs.
Oh, unrelated, but I wanted to mention that yesterday I heard the song “Ashita Ga Aru” playing at our supermarket. We’d spent some time going over the lyrics to that song in one of my Japanese classes in university, and it made me think fondly of those classes and professors. I’d been wondering if I would hear it here, since it was apparently a major national motivational song while I was in college.
I also watched last year’s musical last night. Ahh, Peter Pan…so many memories.
On the Tokushima JET Facebook group, former JETs have posted some group photos, and it’s a crazy feeling to know that people I’ve never met and never will meet but whose names I’ve heard numerous times (thanks to former musicals, Teamwork Tokushima, and the like) have lived here and had experiences here many years ago. It’s also funny that they view us as newbies–which is how I totally viewed the first-years until they settled in, and which is how I already know I’ll view all the ALTs that come after us. It’s crazy, to have seniority and to be so close to leaving all this, and at the same time, to not have seniority in terms of the 20+ years that JET and private ALTs have been in Tokushima. Looking back…we’ve done and seen and experienced a lot, being here, and it’s so easy to feel like nobody else has done this before, when we’re just the latest in a line of many, with many more coming after us in the years to come.