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Pickle Me This

May 7, 2005

Almost gone

This last week has been Golden Week, a clump of national holidays all at once, and it’s been absolutely golden for us as well. We’ve been drunk nearly every night, seen wonderful people every day, we’ve eaten wonderful food and relaxed and enjoyed this amazing place. We’re getting fed up with saying good bye though. Tonight was my work’s sayonara party. There are four of us leaving at once, two of us are getting married and another two are having babies this summer. We’re a close group and it was pretty sad. Today we went to Kokoen Gardens at Himeji Castle, which was beautiful and peaceful. We’ve been eating up Japanness and there was it. We also had a tea ceremony, which was really cool. Last night we went out with our friend and his wife, and I had my hair cut in the day. The day before we had Stuart’s work’s sayonara, which was brilliant and got seriously out of control. We met up with all kinds of students on Wednesday, and it was great. Tuesday was Kobe, Monday friends and fishing. I really am finding it hard not to go shopping again. You can find stuff in this country you wouldn’t even knew existed, but the fact is you need it. In Japan, it’s all about goods and wears.

I’m going to miss my beautiful apartment, and prikura. I’m going to miss Miffy goods, and 100 yen stores, and kimonos, and karaoke. I am going to miss our beautiful friends and our bicycles, Morty and Gladys even more. And the kindness of the people, and the funniness of random things, and the strangeness of every day life. The every day adventures. This wonderful lifestyle that allowed us to do Habitat for Humanity in Thailand, and to subsist on a rather sumptuous diet. I’ll miss my loft bedroom, and train travel like it’s a vitamin pill. I will miss the mountains more than most things. I’ve never left a home I might not return to. It’s going to be a long heartbreak.

But, I will be reading The Guardian in person in just one week’s time. We’ve decided that weekend papers will not be part of our (tiny) weekly entertainment budget, and rather are vital and necessary. Oh the Guardian! This week, delivered this brilliant manifesto on the subconscious opting out from the musical zeitgeist. On how writers are doing it for themselves. Gunter Gass on today’s Germany, which drove us to find out exactly what “a mess of pottage” actually is. Great new Virginia Woolf stuff. And a profile on Nick Laird.

The house is halfway clean, suitcases packed, pocky and magazines ready for the plane. I don’t want to go but I have to, and this just means I will miss here forever.

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