Friday, January 30, 2009

One Week

So with my tour of Japan ended, I'm closing down the bakagaijiin blog. You can visit me at my new blog: also lots of ocelots.

One week back. We've had some tears and some laughter. Seeing old friends has eased the transition, but we're still reverse culture-shocked, jet lagged, and yes "homesick" for Misawa. The other repatriating folks are experiencing the same - so we're not alone. We've been sympathizing over dinner and drinks.

Some things we returned to with very little trouble (carrying a single currency, restaurants, mobile phones, having family and friends close by instead of 23 hours of travelling away), some things took a bit (back to driving on the right, wearing "grown up clothes" to the office, looking like everyone else, remembering to tip) and some things are hard (sleeping well, traffic, noise, the size of stores and food portions, enormous vehicles, lack of public restrooms).

To everyone that cared for me, thought about me, read the blog with some small bit of interest in what I had to say or sent me American goodies/good vibes/ gossip while I was abroad, I cannot express my gratitude. I couldn't have done it without you.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Sayonara, Japan! In 16 hours, I'll be back in the US.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


No days in Japan remaining - we fly tomorrow.

Yeah, I screwed up my countdown. Go figure!

We had a busy day of nothing-in-particular today, with a special tour of the less-public Imperial Palace grounds, followed by the not not-so-special and riding lots of trains. We ended up visiting Toranomon to look through Japan Sword; we saw lots of beautiful swords that we couldn't afford. We had lunch at a little Udon shop, then went over to Ebisu (avoiding Ginza, since it's all luxury flagship stores and we can't afford anything there, either) and walked through the fantasic Mitsukoshi department store. We stopped at Beer Museum and had beers and a rest. Then it was over to Shibuya with its crazy famous scramble pedestrian crossing. There was lots of walking around and looking at stuff and people and places and things.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Dewa mata, Misawa(Never again, Misawa).
So Masako, Justin, Chuck and Crocker saw us off from Misawa Airport.
And yeah, I cried a little during the flight to Tokyo.
This is leg 1 of 3 and it feels a little surreal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We had our final day at work today. That was it. Wow.
Tomorrow we fly down to Tokyo for a last day in the city.

Monday, January 19, 2009


We had our final out.

I thought for certain that it would be hard to leave our cute little tombo house but it wasn't as bad as I thought. With all of our things out of it, it didn't seem like "ours" any longer. In fact, you can't tell we ever lived there.

Saw Eiko in the afternoon and that was really hard. Everybody was crying. Eiko's 75 years old now and it is quite probable I won't ever see her again. That breaks my heart.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Our last Sunday in Japan. And a typical Sunday it is, too, with the dread of the week ahead looming over everything. I'm glad to have a down day - it's been a lot of hard work and running around the last few days, but there's some vague angsty cloud hanging over everything.

The appliances have been picked up and I waxed the flooring downstairs. Our final out for the house is tomorrow and honestly, I am relieved. I just want it to be over.

I am also sick of the post office and mailing shit and I am sure my mother-in-law is sick of our shit coming to her house.

No pictures, maybe I'll get some up when I get to the hotel in Tokyo. I think they might have dedicated high-speed access.