24 June 2008

Getting sentimental, Part 1

It's been almost five years since I moved to Japan, and now as I am packing up things little by little and trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away, I am going to wax a bit sentimental, hopefully to helping me accept that I'm actually leaving.

I am actually leaving. Things have been settled at work, letters have been coming by courier from the University, and we have tickets to leave from Tokyo on September. I am not comepletely convinced it is going to happen as I still have to get visas for everyone in the family, get my own passport renewed, and actually get on the plane. But I suspect that will all happen in time and if I just relax, it will work it's way out.

Five years ago, just about this time Dan asked me if I was interested in going to Japan. I said yes without really thinking it would happen. I remember trying to envision it all, looking at pictures of Fukuoka and imaging what a Japanese apartment would look like. When we landed in Fukuoka and met everyone, it was completely not what I predicted. It's hard to remember exactly what it was. There were vending machines everywhere. There was seaweed in the spaghetti I ordered. I remember that I was so picky about what I ate when I first came--the pastor was worried and I remember him showing Dan and me this American food menu and asking what I liked for breakfast.

I suppose a lot of it was nerves and a disbelief in it having actually happened. I wrote e-mails with subject lines that read 'Now, I live in Japan' as though typing it would make it real. It was, especially in the first week and half, completely unreal, and I was expecting that eventually the plane would come and take us back.
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