♥ Sometimes i wish i had a photographic memory. It would allow me to record those fleeting moments that infuse me with so much emotion, from quiet bliss to rapturous euphoria, that i can feel the everyday drudgery of modern life fate away...
I've been to many really beautiful places, but somehow Japan is still the only country that holds a very special place in my heart. No matter how many years have passed, a part of me will always be left in Japan. The beautiful memories could only be created by forging meaningful bonds with amazing people I met there. These are some photos with the amazing people that I have crossed paths with in Akita :) Seems like nothing has changed at all...
Spot the differences! Current fourth graders of Fujiki Elementary School. I still remember it was a lesson on Christmas and they had fun dancing to some Xmas tunes!
The kiddos when they were in first grade, in 2012 :) Moments like these make me relish teaching in Nihonland even more, where English is not gradable and elementary classes were all about fun and games.
The Genki teachers who came to Singapore last January :) It was a reunion for them too as some of them had been posted to other schools since last April, and Kocho sensei has retired since. So thankful of all the meaningful friendships forged with them. It was really great that Kocho sensei and Itou sensei could take time off to attend my wedding too in December. 本当に 感謝しました!
The one and only major shopping mall in my town. The next nearest one is an hour's drive away! The place to go for our Starbucks fix. Or when I'm in the mood for some retail therapy, or to ogle at some cute cats at Aeon.
The first time I am walking to Omagari Elementary School. Took a bus for the first time too to attend the farewell ceremony. A drastically different view from driving to school, I actually get to slow down and enjoy the surroundings.
The Farewell ceremony. I could only make it to schools on the second last day of the term and missed the sixth graders.
Pretty much most of the ALTs who came in together with me have left. Am glad to catch up with Stacie! and that's Shuri, Ikumi's daughter! What a pleasant surprise!
So many memories!
Also, I have finally booked a trip back to my old home, in a week's time, after close to three years. Feels like my friends have never left, thanks to cheap airfares and social media, I have seen a couple of them these few years and kept close contact with those I havent. Still, it's exciting to be back to my favourite place, and seeing those familiar faces. Also, am looking forward to reminiscing the good ole times with everyone. C's gonna join me in Tokyo, and we will be heading to Karuizawa and Fujigawakuchigo (What a mouthful!) It's time to update the prefectures list from 2012!
Got this idea from http://gogogunma.wordpress.com/ :) Travelled to Japan 3 times in the past 5 years and am aiming to visit all, if not, most of the prefectures. I swore to not step foot on Japan again after last year's trip but here I am again, embarking on another one in less than a month's time!
1. Hokkaido（北海道） - Sapporo, Asahikawa, Otaru, Nooboribetsu
10. Gunma（群馬県）Stopped by a SA in Gunma. Does that count?
11. Saitama（埼玉県）Stopped by a SA in Saitama. Does that count?
12. Chiba（千葉県）13. Tokyo（東京都）
27. Osaka（大阪府）28. Hyogo（兵庫県）
still a long way to go..24 out of 47 prefectures!
1. Onsens. esp during winter in a rotenburo (outdoor bath) at sub zero degrees with snow falling on my shoulders. And having tete-a-tetes during onsen sessions <3
2. Izakayas. Feasting, boozing and endless bantering like there's no tomorrow. i'm so gonna miss you yuzu umeshu! Uotami is my most frequented izakaya in my humble little town. sg izakayas are not even anywhere close to what they have here!
3. convenience stores. nuff said.
4. weekend or vacation trips to the most rural parts of Akita (not like akita is not already inaka enough) :D
If you are wondering, that's me and lover spending some quality time at Tazawako hohoho
5. Real sushi made of possibly akita komachi rice :D wasabi nashi/ nugi (without wasabi)..the life savior phrase at kaiten sushi places
and thats my all time fave - aburi engawa sushi and salmon toro (belly). so sinful but oh soo good!
6. The orderliness and kindness of people here
7. The friendships forged and the wonderful friends here:) I can go on and on about this. but lets just leave this till the final farewell
8. the service culture. ill definitely miss the ritualistic expressions and almost robotic greetings of the service staff here. boo to lousy customer service in sg
9. Kyushoku - school lunches! the main reason that attributed to my weight gain
10. My kids! esp the ES students. they are oh.so.adorable.
11. the scenic natural beauty. The Hanami (cherry blossoms) at Kakunodate, Aomori and Sendai were a visual treat, and were the best times spent doing hanami-gari with my folks who came to visit me.
The koyou (autumn leaves) at Dakigaeri and Yuzawa, and the copious amount of snow was quite a sight to behold.
12. feeling the tremors of an earthquake - yeh thats coz the ones i experienced are minor ones
14. PLL during free times :) dont judge me. i was hooked onto this and im done with all 3 seasons.: P
15. Amazing trips outside Akita...Gifu, Takayama, Nagoya, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Hokkaido, the reason why i fell in love with this country before i came lol. Gonnna miss those side trips to Aomori and Sendai and getting a bit of the city life :)
16. 飲み放題!!! drink all you can!
“I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel."
Labels: only in japan
It wasnt easy maintaining an LDR, but the daily skypes and his frequent visits made it possible. I hate all the teary farewells and I miss him so much at times it hurts.
One thing that undoubtedly exists between us both, something that lingers unspoken, is fear. I fear that one day we will get sick of the distance and the devoid of emotional and physical contact.
But im glad we rode the highs and managed to tide through the tough times the past year. He has been a good friend, a confidante, a source of inspiration and a sturdy pillar of support. I love him and he's the main reason why I have decided not to stay on another year in this inaka.
skype dinner date tonight. sounds silly but it means so much to me. cant wait :)