Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Commence the Preparations!

So I'm coming back in a week. In less than 7 days, I'll be winging my way home for the first time in over 20 months. It's all rather surreal. Indiana is like some 20-year-long dream that I can't quite seem to shake. I've got subarctic weather to look forward to, but for some reason it never seems quite as cold there as it does where I'm at. In both Japan and Spain, it's the coldest I've ever felt. I think it has to do with the lack of central heating in work and at home. Here at home, I use a kotatsu, a quite wonderful convention, and I've put the space heater in my bedroom because I can't figure out how to turn my aircon unit to heating from the cooling I used during the summer. Curse my poor kanji skills and lack of any manual!

School has been frigid the past couple days. I took to using the coat I'd been wearing to work as my indoor jacket as well. It's actually colder inside than out. The teachers have been having me do these 'conversation tests,' which involve me speaking to each and every student in the 2nd grade (our 8th grade) for 2 minutes apiece. Now, there's no way to do this in the classroom, so I have to do it in the hallway, where the windows have been left open all night. Yay. And to think the poor girls still have to wear the skirts of their school uniforms even in winter. I swear, these kids must be polar bears or something underneath. And the older students STILL insist on hiking up their skirts (it's the fashion). Crazy kids.

In other news, Ana left Hiratsuka this morning. She's been seeing her friends in Narita before heading to the airport tomorrow morning. I can't pretend to know what it'll be like for her. I've watched her say goodbye to all our friends, and I know that I'll still see her back in Indy in a week or so. It's all rather surreal for me. And I think that it's become that way for her too, saying goodbye to people more than a week before you're actually leaving. I think sometimes we say goodbye so much, to so many people, that we become numbed to it all and it loses any emotional impact. Good thing I can avoid that for a little while longer. All I say to people is, "See you later."

Speaking of which, I'm going to climb into bed now, after I take a nice hot shower to thaw out my lower body, which has been numb all day. I tell you, a good Xmas present is silk long johns. Keeps everything down there from losing feeling. Hope I can write more and post the last couple months of pics this weekend, in between packing for home. I don't really plan on bringing any clothes back, but I still have lots to stuff into the cases.

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