News & Events
End of year nostalgia, but make it Japanese – kiraannjapan
- December 3, 2020
- Posted by: Aradhana Pandey
- Category: Education
Back with another post. As much as I felt ready to leave Japan in the past as a closed chapter of my life, there are still moments that pop into my mind from time to time. Combined, I spent close to 3 years living there and so much of who I am now developed during those times. But I don’t think this is gonna be that deep and unfortunately I am running out of storage so I can’t include pictures like usual either. I just want to take this time to remember all of the small memories before I forget them, but if you want to read them anyways please join me in reminiscing. In no particular order レッツラゴー (let’s go).
-I miss the Japanese uncle who worked at the Drugstore Mori in town who always said hi and offered suggestions of how to care for myself when I got sick.
-I miss the nice lady at the Family Mart in town who appreciated my efforts to refuse the single use utensils and bring my own “eco” bag.
-I miss singing in Mr. Wagon (my car) at the stoplight going into Menda with my windows down challenging the person in the next lane to stare at me.
-I miss working with the special needs students and fielding all their questions about everything.
-I miss driving through the fog over Kuma-gawa (even though it was terrifying).
-I miss coming home and saying “tadaima” to my empty house.
-I miss the drugstore and grocery store jingles that would play on repeat as I filled my basket with energy drinks, cup noodles, and ice cream on the bottom, veggies on the top to cover in case I ran into people I knew.
-I miss the uncle coworker who always shook the ALT’s hands and said “Enjoy Asagiri” at every single town office party we had.
-I miss making my pour over coffee on my windowsill next to my plant babies who I hope are doing well.
-I miss the recreational outings with the kids through the Youth Association, ice skating, exploring local history, and listening to talk about whatever the heck young children are interested in.
-I miss being able to get away with wearing a polo shirt and slacks everyday to work.
-I miss sitting on the weird standing stools they have in Hotto Motto as I would do my once a week buy out for dinner: katsu toji don or katsu curry.
-I miss the funny teachers at school with their energetic personalities and sometimes inappropriate comments. (No, I can’t go with you to Bali to play street basketball over break and I am sorry but “adlib” is not a teaching plan. You should also save the English song lyric pick-up lines for outside of school)
-I miss looking out the window on the highway bus rides from Hitoyoshi to Kumamoto City, never getting tired of all the green trees and blue rivers.
-I miss taking pictures of the passing Den-en Symphony train as I waited behind the safety gates.
-Of course I miss the people there too.
-I miss being in the same time zone as my best friend in Japan and having the chance to go to Disney with her.
-I miss taking trains and getting lost and walking and getting lost and somehow finding my way home.
-I miss my Vietnamese friend at language school who invited me to her house for a meal, eating on the ground with the how many other people who were living in that cramped room.
-I miss the walk from Fujimino station back to my host family’s house, passing by the yakitori shop, swim school, driving school, and 7-11 along the way.
-I miss the fresh bread my host mom would make everyday in her bread maker.
-Really, really miss my host families, their kids, and their kid’s kids.
-Miss the walk from TIU back to Kawagoe station.
-Miss the curry place Juntara where “you can take home” and all the memories with my JSP friends there.
-Miss the view from the upper floors where you could see Mt. Fuji sometimes on a clear day.
-Miss the TIU katsu curry and food vending machine.
-Miss retail therapy at Daiso.
-Miss looking out of the window on train rides while listening to music and pretending I was the main character (lol).
-Miss the friends I made while volunteering or language partners who I got to spend time in person with.
-Miss Fami-Chicken and Gari-Gari-kun.
-Miss having opportunities to visit friends and family throughout Japan.
-Miss walks through fallen sakura or falling snow and getting to wear winter clothes. #heattechislife
-Miss Van-Houten Hot Cocoa and buying drinks from vending machines.
-Miss being surrounded by Japanese language and just getting to listen and learn.
-Miss browsing for hidden treasures at Book-Off and Mode-Off.
-Miss sorting out food donations at Second Harvest and then people watching as I ate lunch at the family restaurant nearby after.
-I miss eating the little foil-wrapped cubed cheeses like an ojisan minus the beer.
-I miss the firework festivals, and the flower festivals, and the Christmas events.
-I miss eating meals with multiple plates and bowls using my favorite chopsticks.
-I miss summer BBQs.
-I miss drawing my fortune at shrines and temples, keeping them forever if they were decent or tying them away if I did not like what I saw.
I do miss a lot of things about Japan even though there are a lot of things that I absolutely do not miss from there. I look forward to being able to go back and finally catch up with friends and family there and travel to all the places I didn’t make it this year due to cancelled plans (and Corona). While I hope it’s sooner rather than later, especially because I have some money trapped at JP post, mostly I am just grateful. Grateful for all the things I experienced and the people I met and spent enough time with to miss them. I’ve been really blessed to know great people and I hope to use this year-end to make sure they know that I don’t take it for granted.
If you made it to the end, thank you too.