1-year anniversary

My parents would be simultaneously proud and confused: I’m listening to Asha Bhosle right now. The classics–“Dum Maro Dum” and “Ina Mina Dika.” There’s some Kishore Kumar in here, too–“Roop Tera Mastana,” for example. It’s this 2-CD Bollywood music compilation I found online the other day; the first CD is classics and the second CD is modern songs. It’s therapeutic, listening to these familiar Indian instrumentals, particularly the three songs I named, all of which I grew up listening to.

It’s been a year, almost exactly. Taking the time difference into consideration, it was almost exactly a year ago that my flight departed Atlanta for Detroit, where I caught my international flight. In about 16 1/2 hours, it’ll be a year since we arrived in Tokyo. (Yeah, I’m that particular about time–but with something like this, wouldn’t you be, too?)

I want to write a retrospective…but I just don’t know what to say. Maybe I’ll come back to that.

We had our Miyoshi-gun farewell get-together tonight–print club, dinner at a local izakaya (which actually custom-made me vegetarian versions of dishes! Agedashi tofu with no dashi, harumaki with veggies only, and veggie tenpura! With the exception of the tenpura, that never happens!), and two solid hours of karaoke at Chantez. Andy’s already left Japan, and Julie just went home Saturday to Hawaii for two weeks, but everyone else was present (or at least put in an appearance), including Chalice’s boyfriend Joe. This wasn’t really a goodbye, though–it was the last time I’ll see (Iya) Joe before he goes to Thailand, but he’ll be back for Awa Odori, and that’s when I’ll truly have to say goodbye to him. (Though he’ll be in school in Toronto, which is almost due north of Atlanta, and if I go to school up north, it won’t be as much of a stretch to drop on him. He gave me a hug where he actually lifted me off the ground–no mean feat, considering that I must weigh at least 30 or 40 pounds more than he does.) Ellie also isn’t leaving for a while yet, and I have a couple of days left to spend with Hannah. Still, though, it was our last time hanging out as a group, and I’m really going to miss that.

It’s crazy to think that the new folks will start to arrive next week–two with Group A, and two the following week with Group B. I’ll finally get to meet Brian and Ashley and Justin, who I’ve all heard something from/about to varying degrees, and the mysterious Sally, who I know virtually nothing about. They’re the four newcomers to our corner of the prefecture. (If you guys read this–I know at least two of you do (hi, Brian and Ashley!)–we’re having welcome dinners the first couple of days after Group A arrives, if you’re in need of company during your first couple of nights here. You’ll get info on that from Nate at the prefectural meeting during Tokyo Orientation. We unfortunately aren’t doing the same for Group B, because the insanity of orientation will kick off only two days after you guys get to Tokushima, but if you do want company that Thursday, you should already have my phone number and e-mail address from the AJET welcome flyer. Don’t hesitate to give me a call!)

Right now, with regards to it having been a whole year…I’m a bit numb, a bit in denial, and a bit wondering how I’m going to get through a second solid year. I just can’t believe it. This year’s flown by, but just the word “year” has such a stigma of longevity to it…I kind of wonder if I can really pull off another twelve months. It’s going to be a busy a year, with a lot riding on my keeping it together–I’m making my list of schools and programs I want to apply to for grad school, and I need to pick up a GRE vocabulary book and study like crazy. I also need to sign up for and start studying for the JLPT–I’m probably going for 3-kyuu. I think that if I really studied hard, I might have a slim chance of pulling off the 2-kyuu, but since my focus is going to be on grad school, I doubt I’ll study as hard as I could for it.

As for what this past year has held…I’ll save that for another entry. I really need to get to sleep–this week will involve a lot of running around to do driver’s license/car-purchasing stuff, as well as starting in on my speech contest work. Have a good evening.

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