Yesterday I cleaned out my cabinets. I made a stack of "archives" and bags of prizes and boxes of cards and drawers of supplies. I surveyed that stack of archives, unwilling to throw them away, but unable to find a good reason to keep them around. I mean, I'm only going to produce more lesson plans. Do I need my predecessor's? Will my successor need predecessor's stuff as well as the great supply of plans I'm going to leave behind?
Nah. But then the solution becomes easily clear when my friend since middle school and fresh-off-the-plane ALT Manderines asks if I have any extra supplies. She does battle with the culture shock et al that is the way coming to Japan is awesome and shiny for the first like 11 hours, then it sucks harder than anything for the next two weeks. I remember it, don't know why I'm surprised to hear unhappy when I lived it too. I remember going to bed at 6pm when jetlag was not really an excuse anymore, and how a knock on the door seemed to save everything. I remember choosing not to write about it in this blog because I didn't want anyone to worry. I remember having nothing, no money, no internet, no friends, no work, no life. Because it takes time to get all those things, and not having them is horrible.
Now, of course, I have too much stuff, too much I hope to accomplish, too much on the schedule, too much of everything, but that's how I like it.
There are new shiny shinkansens that go all the way to Kagoshima-Chuo from Osaka and some of them stop in Himeji. I'll be on one of those by the end of the week.
By the end of the week, Laureno will be in Takarazuka (a little over an hour, and twenty bucks by car).
Then I find out that former roommate got accepted to the Kyoto Consortium of Japanese Studies, which means he'll be two hours and twenty bucks away by bus for six weeks.
There is something very dear about old friends being close by (in the same country is close enough), and being able to share with them the things I have discovered and enjoyed so far.
So that part where I was hoping to have people around willing to travel and do stuff with me..? I'm feeling pretty good about the decision to stay a third year.