That aside, it was a fantastic last day and an even better last night - perfect in many respects and I got to hang out with all of the people I've really come to love in this program. I'm sure I'll see them tomorrow, and I'm equally sure half of them will not be terribly coherent tomorrow for a variety of reasons. I'll miss them anyway.
I'll miss Tokyo too - the way people are actually polite here and are willing to give you guidance until you find what you're looking for, the way you can't actually find a street address but instead have to navigate landmark by landmark, the way that we've gotten to have a mix of trees and city every single day. I'll miss the convenience of food, the staggering number of lights, the sounds outside my window at night. I'll miss the rain, really, and the warm weather. I don't know if I'm going to miss the humidity much since Austin's going into the hotter months, but we'll see about that when I get home.
I'm not going to miss wondering if my comforter has been washed since the last time someone used it, and I'm not going to miss the bathrooms (toilet paper and all) that never quite got clean enough to my standards.
I'm going to miss the showers, believe it or not. Sitting down in the shower actually has a lot going for it. Shaving the legs is MUCH easier. I'm going to miss private karaoke rooms. I'm going to miss people like CRAZY - Megan the most. Tebo. Andrea. Marius. Sarrin. Johnny. Shay. Penn. People I liked waking up and saying good morning to, and going to bed after saying goodnight to. I'm going to miss the subway/metro/JR because there's nothing quite like not having to walk around a crazy city and still having to walk up 5 flights of stairs to get out of the underground passage you're in. I'm going to miss hearing Japanese when I go out and having to use it every day. I'm going to miss the markets that all have expensive but super-delicious fresh food (ちょうおいしい！). I'm going to miss the gay club where there were tons of expats and silly men dancing all around.
I'm not going to miss the whole "salt for breakfast" mentality. I am going to miss the cute little Cafe Friends. I'm not going to miss having to forage for lunch and dinner every single damned day, but I'm going to miss the curry place and the ramen place and the grocery store where we bought our picnics.
And I should probably stop being maudlin at this point. But it was a DAMN fine trip. And yet at the same time, I can't wait to get back home to a fantastic man who's been crazy supportive, to a kitten I'm going to have to get to know again, to friends in LA who I need to hug for multiple reasons, to feeling connected - i can't wait to feel connected back in again. Being across the world, across timezones, and without decent internet has made me feel far more shut off that I'd ever imagined.
But tomorrow - I go back to LA. The first start of my trip home.
Spent sick laying in bed, watched movies, had people bring me food, and hoped I'd get better.
Didn't wake up for class in the morning, told Mitachi-San I was sick, we went to hospital in the pouring rain with the other guy who was sorta sick, and they gave me one day's worth of medicine so no matter what I was going to have to go back.
Purposefully woke up late. Professor didn't come to class either (nor on Monday). I managed to get there for the 10 am session only to find out that I got a 66% on my test again, which sent me into a fit of tears, and then Nakamura-san felt my forehead, declared I had a temperature, and told me to go back to bed. I reported for the hospital run after classes were over, except this time we elected to train there, and train back. In the rain. It was much cheaper. I got meds, forked over a wad of cash for the visit and the meds, and then we went back via train again. The only saving grace? I picked up my own cough drops on the way home from the kusuriya that's in Sangobashi, and they were quite yummy. We had to write our skit that night and turn it in so … well, we goofed around and I read fic until about 9 pm, and then Megan and Tebo came in to my room, and we wrote it. Mostly. I did end up yelling at them because I wanted it over and done with and it was taking TOO long. But it was over, finally. I passed out.
Final review. I got up for class, went to class, and we did some work in class, I think. After that we had to revise our skit, and study for the oral and the written finals, and I tried, really I did. I came back from class and made flashcards. I packed, too, and then went over my old tests again. I tried to review the new grammar. I made the corrections for the skit that he gave us.
Review for two periods. Then written test. Then frantic running home and practicing until 3:30 on the oral exam. Practice practice, practice, and then finally it was all over. And I heaved a huge sigh of relief, just because it was over. Watched Avalon. Didn't practice our skit. Went to bed early with the intent of waking up in the morning early to practice.
Well, woke up an hour late. BUT, we practiced, and somehow we pulled it off. It was fantastic. People were amused. Hopefully we didn't fuck up too many of our lines. The reception afterwards took way too long. Barely got my bags checked and sent to the airport. Didn't want to go out tonight, but did, too. We ended up going to Shinjuku for sukiyaki and it was FANTASTIC. Adorable place called Mo Mo Paradise. Took more pictures. Need to get the picture of our sensei printed and framed so we can give it to him as a class gift. Tried to stop at the bikku camera store and do that, but they were closing and the print shop wasn't open. Had melon with Tebo san instead. Came home, and I'm passing out now. We'll see what Saturday brings.
OMG EARLY!!! Tsukiji fish market was fantastic, even if we did have to get up at 4:45 to get there. Yep, that's 4:45 AM. EARLY. But it was worth it, and someday I'll be able to show the pictures that prove it. Then there was coffee for the first time in weeks, and that's the first of many reasons why I didn't actually sleep after I got home – the others were the fact that I got all entranced by the book buying possiblities, bought the Harry Potter (from the cutest kinokinya shop attendants ever who were all up at 8 am wearing their HP cloaks or hats in time to hand out books during a special event so I got mine fairly on the cheep)… and then found Tebo waiting for me on the walkway later, and we got breakfast, and got the class gift, and shopped for more books, and made our way back to school, and mananged to get to the Sayonara Party on time. It was adorable. I was able to indulge in the "take a picture with me" thing to my heart's content. It was also oddly anticlimactic. But the whole day has felt like that – it's the end of an era in my life in certain respects and all I'm feeling is the intense need to go home. But that's because part of me can't accept a mental picture that doesn't have these people in it, since I've had them in my life for 2 months every single day. I'm going to miss them so much after I'm gone. So after the party we all packed. Even though I'd sent my luggage off, I still have things I'm going to have to carry with me tomorrow. And that'll probably be when I'm all misty eyed. Tonight was for fun. We did another kind of expensive but totally worth it kind of Japanese cuisine that I can't remember the name of, but it was basically cooking meat over a table-side charcoal pit. Fantastically yummy. And goofy. And weird because there were 14 of us and that's just HUGE in terms of a party in Japan. After that came karaoke. With the same 14 people – fantastic pictures, fantastic time, and we went home early to get some rest since we have to be up at 8:30 tomorrow to hand in our sheets. Besides, although I love karaoke, I have a little trouble singing at the top of my lungs for more than an hour, and I think most of our party is going to go the entire night. And I want to be slightly well for my trip home. And I really don't like the whole nomihodai experience (all you can drink in an hour or two… watered down drinks and … I'm just not the "pound 'em down" type). So instead Megan, Tebo, Taylor and I hopped a cab, and came home in the rain. They're somewhere in Yoyogi Koen right now trying to shoot off fireworks, and I'm here typing. Partially because I don't really want to be out in the rain…