Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Last Post

Well, this blog has completed its purpose. It was intended to record my experiences in Japan, and now I'm home. I really, really miss Japan!!

Friday morning was difficult - when I said goodbye to Sogou I started crying, and then again when I said goodbye to Miki after my graduation ceremony. I miss them terribly, but I'm resolved to visit again!

After the graduation party, all of us said our final farewell to the Fijians, which was sad. We've known each other for such a short time but we've all become so close in that time. One day I want to go to Fiji and visit them again. We ANZACS went in to Umeda together - Trav and Dave helped Mel and I with our luggage, which was so good of them! We said our final farewell to the rest of them at JR Osaka station, where Mel and I caught the Airport train from, and there were tears all around. I've known Trav for a while, but other than that, I'd only known the rest of them for about a month - the Kiwis for less - but we all have a special bond. We saw each other pretty much every single day for the month we were there, and now we'll only see each other on Facebook! Kris and Emma said we have to come to NZ in September next year to go skiing and visit them, so hopefully I'll save up enough for it!

Mel and I caught the train to the Airport, and got there about 2 hours early! So we took turns to go looking around at the shopping centre on the third level of the airport, one of us staying with the luggage at all times. That killed time okay, and we managed to find a relatively cheap place for dinner - about $9.50 for yakisoba, which is cheap by airport standards (and quite filling, and extremely tasty, which is rare for airport food!)

So, we checked in, got our seats together, luckily, and then went off for dinner. After that, we went through customs and then wandered around the duty-free area until we were called to board.

We managed to get a window and an aisle seat together on the plane, but lucky for us, the seats behind us stayed unoccupied, so when it was time to sleep, Mel moved to the other seats so we could stretch out. We'd been giving Mel crap earlier because the scales told her she'd gained 4kg while she'd been in Japan, so we were all like, "Did you book your two seats on the plane, Mel?" and stuff - and then she ended up getting 2 seats to herself on the plane anyway. Twas amusing!!

Sleeping on the plane was, however, not amusing. At all. It was difficult, probably downright impossible. I think I got about 2 hours of broken sleep total, because every time I'd get vaguely comfortable my neck would cramp, or my foot would cramp, or something would make a noise and wake me up despite having earplugs in, so I didn't sleep very well. At about 4am I decided to give up sleeping as a bad joke and just watched movies until it was time to return the mini TV.

We landed just after 7am at the Gold Coast airport, and it took us about an hour to get out of the airport, because 3 international flights all landed at about the same time, and there's only one international baggage carousel. So it took us nearly an hour to just get our bags, then get through customs, which was actually quite painless. The only thing I had comfiscated was a bookmark made of a laminated leaf, which was fair enough, what with it being plant bits and whatnot. No biggie.

So, I crash-tackled John as soon as I saw him, and after saying a final farewell to Mel, we went off to mum's place for a bit, and then to my grandfather's, and then finally home. John kept the house really well, the place looks great!! I admit, I'd been a little worried about how the house would be on my return, but there's nothing needs doing! I'm very very happy with him :)!!

So, the things I'll miss about Japan are:
Hot cocoa from vending machines
Electric toilets with heated seats and little buttons that do various things
How polite and helpful and courteous everyone is!
Japanese food
How clean everything always is
Trains coming every 5 minutes (or less!)
My host mum!

The things I won't miss are:
Having to sit on the floor
Sleeping on a futon

It was truly an amazing experience, and I am resolved to return in the not-too-distant future - but next time, I'm bringing John with me!!

And just remember - What happens in Japan, stays in Japan ;)

Signing off

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