The time has finally come. In a blink of an eye, January has come.
I only have three days left in Akita, four in Japan and I tell you the 4th is going to be a tough one - alone in a hotel room somewhere around Narita airport. It is as you can imagine a melancholic time for me.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying my last days here!
I'm going out with my family to onsens, tea times and just drives and talking with everyone in a much smoother way compared to when I first got here. The so called 'knot' talks. Tying things up. : )
I really have two families in this world now. I'm just amazed why/how people put prices on this sort of things. I absolutely can't measure this experience in such a small piece of paper called 'money'. It's beyond measure for all individuals involved, including the usual passers-by. Just seeing them has an effect on me. I had absolutely no idea that an exchange year can become something this large. And I think the more words I try to make for it, the more worthless the words spoken become so I'll stop here. It's personal. : )
So I'll talk about my doings up until now during the time I was away.
December had many official endings in school and with YFU. As promised, I went to a buffet with my kendokas and some teachers, which was a blast with many weird experiments on ice cream and sprinkles on staple foods and many funny pictures, silly talks and some ponderings on Christianity and Buddhism in Europe (?!).
Also I had my final speeches in front of my whole school and later on before my classmates, with whom I had a bit of a 'Ask me Anything' time. Everyone had quite some laughs and I received many encouraging words and best wishes which made me really happy, but still it hasn't arrived yet in my head that I'm actually leaving. And it's almost a half a month later that I started thinking about it again. I think it will hit me hard whilst in flight or alone in a hotel room.
But there's more talk my lovelies! About my Japanese New Year!
Before the much feared day, the 31st actually dawned, I was busy writing/drawing/printing nengajo 年賀状 (New Year cards) and sending them over Japan - to Akita, Fukui and tadadam Tokyo! But during the end of the year we want to our family's grandparents' houses in the south where we also had our hatsumoude 初詣 (the first prayer in a shrine or a temple, the busiest time of the year) and Yamagata. Most of our time we spent in the latter, going to shrines, Uesugi Kenshin's (!) and his relatives grave site/shrine, a beautiful onsen, chatting warmly with people we didn't even know (that might just be my favourite part of the Japanese and their culture - they're so warm in a indescribably 'flowing' (?) way) and had gorgeous feasts the entire time. It was magic. Why do I have to leave AGAIN?
At least I have the comfort of knowing that I'll also come back AGAIN, but the time I spent here will not. It will be a totally different then. And in a totally different place. Well. Most of the time. ; ) A trip down the memory lane.
Further on, yesterday on 7th I went to school for the last time to say goodbye. And without me knowing first hand, we had tests. xD What a way to end a school, nice and proper. I also got my wished Japanese history books that I used during the year. I'm a forever history nerd and proud of it. :3
Afterwards I had my last bento with my closest friends in class, asked everyone to bare with me to take the last photo of us all and then bid farewell with promises of seeing again soon. Then I went to the kendojo to say goodbye to my fellows over there. Also as a sort of a thank you note, I made everyone a friendship bracelet in my country's colours and tied it up in a symbol of our school. I was really happy to see that they liked those things because if not, then my neck would have fallen off with pain. Honestly, braiding those 6-string things for a week takes a toll on an amateur. :D Overall, I made 15 of them. Yahoo!
And in the end of the end we all chitchatted friendly about our time together and exchanged promises and wishes to see again soon like with my classmates. Hugs, flapping hands and kicks to my rear end pursued. 'A memento' as the person in mind said.
On a bit different theme, we have a lot of snow here. It's wonderful! But bloody cold. Japan is having a cold wave just like Europe. Hurrah for twins! I can't imagine what will become of me when I return home. I just might pass off the first moment I get out of the plane because of the FREEZE.
Anywho, if you want to see what I'm seeing here go to my album on FB. The photos I've uploaded today will be the last I put up in Japan. The last remains might come when I'm already back home.
And also this journal will be the last. About the travels of a girl in a beautiful place called the Land of the Rising Sun.
Thank you all who have sticked to my ramblings and find them interesting or even sweet. :)
It has been fun, unforgettable.
So then, my lovelies, thanks for enjoying and goodbye.
And for the last time, sails hoy.