This is a quick one to just sum up everything I’ve been doing since I got here.
Wednesday night: landed in Osaka, picked up my cellphone, had a konbini dinner, caught a train/shinkansen/train to Ikeda and met Julie
Thursday: slept in, did laundry, went to Paparagi and saw Yasuyo and company, caught a ride with Mayumi’s husband and spent the evening with their family
Friday: attended my former junior high’s graduation ceremony (and said my real goodbyes, because the school will be shutting down next spring), got a ride back to Mikamo from Caitlin, had dinner at Chonmage with Julie and saw Fumi (current hair color: black and hot pink)
Saturday: had lunch at Masala in Matsushige, went to Naruto and finally took a whirlpool ferry and got up close to the Naruto/Awaji-shima bridge, went to Ryozenji (pilgrimage temple #1) and bought an English-language pilgrimage book that Claire translated, then went to the musical (Momotaro and the Revenge of Akaoni) and the afterparty and saw a ton of people
Sunday: went to Paparagi for breakfast, then the Awagami Factory in Yamakawa, then shopping in Takamatsu (Muji, Donguri Kyouwakoku, Loft) and dinner at the Cheese Cafe with Julie’s lovely friend Akane…and realized that I forgot my water bottle at the afterparty and probably can’t get it before I leave
Monday: visited (surprised, rather) all five of my shougakkous, and had lunch with Tomoko in Ikeda, and caught a train to Kamojima and had udon with Kiet and played frisbee golf in Naruto Park (wtf, how did I not discover this game earlier?) with Chris, Jill, Patrick, and Sarah, then back to Kiet’s and catching up over Ureshii Wine…and today was the day I finally realized that I don’t live here anymore and that I really do miss these people and this wonderful town
And it’s now Tuesday morning–Kiet’s off to work but I’m stealing his internet for a bit before I walk 30+ minutes to the train station and head west again. The plan is to hang out with my eikaiwa ladies for several days, visit Hashikura Temple and wander the streets of Ikeda, meet up with Ashley sometime, and just do whatever they have planned. Some people have asked if I’ll be free Friday night, my last night in town, but that’s the one and only night Shizuko will be here, and she really wants me to stay with her family. Maybe we can do something Thursday.
This has been a really whirlwind, amazing, and (as of yesterday) emotional trip. I’m so glad I made it out here, and I can’t wait to see what the next few days bring.