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Once Before I Go July 8, 2008

Posted by Mitch in General, Rantings.

Time has really flown by this past year. I was reflecting the other day that it hardly seems I’ve been here a year, but then in other ways, it feels like I’ve been here much longer. I’m worried that upon my return to England I’ll find everything relatively unchanged and I’ll get depressed at it all. However, on days like today, I long for my time here to end. The weather has turned again. Rainy season is at an end, officially. And now it’s just as it was when I first got here last year: hot, humid and impossible. The teachers all wander around, bemused looks on their faces, waving plastic uchiwa (fans) in front of their faces in a desperate effort to cool down and abate the inevitable sweats that mark their clothes in embarrassing places. Another reason I’m ready to go is the fact that for the past two days, I’ve had no lessons and very few people have even ventured to talk with me, meaning that I’ve had absolutely nothing to do and am slowly going mad. It’s just definitely time for me to leave Japan and return.

That said, tomorrow and Thursday I’m at my favourite elementary school and they’re my last days there. It will be sad to say goodbye to that school as it’s there that I actually feel like a teacher, have a good rapport with students and teachers alike and generally enjoy my time there. It’s on those days that I’m positive and full of the joys of Japan. But then I return to Junior High and it takes but an hour here to set me back.

The lack of air conditioning at school is also starting to wear thin. Once more the Japanese seem to take great pride in suffering through the weather whilst expending very little effort to make it easier on them. Take, for instance, the case of elementary school kids in winter. They have to wear their uniform, which is a polo shirt and shorts. In the winter. When it’s freezing, there’s no heating and quite often, windows are left open in order to “air out” the school. Only once they are ill are they allowed to wear long trousers, but once they’re well again, it’s back to the shorts.

Needless to say, the weather is not something I’m going to miss about Japan. I’m longing for the mediocrity of a British summer and can’t wait to have a winter where you don’t have to wear 18 layers of clothing just to go to work.

This weekend coming is the Leavers’ Party in Hagi. It’s a beach party (boo!) but will involve lots of good food, good company and good drink (yay!). It will be the last time I see a lot of the friends I made here and I’m sure it will be a sad event. However, it also marks the last weekend before my parents arrive. Once the Leavers’ Party is over, it means I have 5 boredom filled days left and then I will never again have to teach. Or sit in an un-air conditioned office (in England they have air conditioned offices, don’t you know), slowly turning insane. And then my parents come and I get to go to Okinawa and have a last explore of Japan.

It’s all coming to an end and, on days like this, the end couldn’t come sooner.

Till next time!


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