Or at least the three people who have maybe not forgotten this page exists. I really haven't posted anything up here. Not for lack of things going on, or lack of available time. I have no useful excuse. Just deal with it. I have. :)
Anyway, here's a quick recap:
September 9th, 2006 was my last day of work in Japan. After saying goodbye to all the great friends I made (a very difficult parting), I headed to Tokyo for a few days. It was rainy and still a little hot, but started to get cool by the last day. In Tokyo I went to the a bunch of new places like Ueno Park and Zoo, the National Science Museum and several others whose names I can't recall.
It was a little lonely those last few days. No phone, not much in the way of internet...so no email, and no one to hang out with. Siteseeing is fine and good, but tough when you're feeling displaced like that.
When I got back I felt like an outsider for a month, easily. Getting back into touch with old friends proved, and still is proving, difficult. People move on, get married, have kids and basically don't have space for you in their lives any more. That's not to say all my old friends are like that. A few people really went out of their way to make sure I felt like I was missed, and that helped.
I really thought that the city had changed a lot when I first arrived. It's undergone a big population and building boom so there are a lot of new people coming all the time. I will admit that it seems dirtier and not as friendly, but it's still not a bad place. I don't know if I can honestly say it feels like home anymore though.
My family was a lot of help and I wouldn't have survived without them upon my return. My sister gave me a place to stay and my parents made sure I had food in the fridge while I looked for a new job. That month of looking was hard on the spirit. Lots of free time, no money and a lot of feeling like you have no purpose. There were a lot of questions like "why did I come back here?" popping up.
Before you start thinking it's all doom and gloom let me change directions on you. First off, I did find a good job after a little over a month. It came about pretty quickly and turned out to be a really fortunate thing. The location is good as I can walk to work from home in about 20 ~ 25 minutes, the work is challenging enough that I usually learn a little something everyday, and I have met some pretty cool people. I might even call a few of them friends.
I have a lot more free time than I did in Japan, or at least I feel like I do. I think a lot of that has more to do with the schedule I keep now rather than the true amount of free time available. The more-than-doubled salary has been a nice bonus too. Things were tough over there and it was sometimes a real strain making ends meet, let alone going out to enjoy myself or to do any traveling.
I've been able to reconnect with some of my friends here, as I mentioned, and also stay in touch with quite a few people back in Japan too. So I have to consider myself pretty lucky at this point, and just leave it at that for now. I'll do my best to start posting with a little more regularity, and also post in both Japanese and English when I'm able. That way everyone can read a little bit about what's going on, and I can get the practice too!