So this will probably be my second to last post.  I am due to leave the Blue Forest of Japan, Lord willing, in exactly 2 weeks!  

Today is my last day of work.  While the students are doing their cleaning time around my desk this morning, I have been thinking how weird it is that I will not be coming into this room anymore.

Anyway, it was my cousin’s wedding in Hawaii last week and I was her maid of honor.   Before I left Japan, I had a quick chat with the head of the office staff at my school.

Jimucho-san: You are going to Hawaii!

Me: Yes, I am really excited.  My cousin is getting married.

Jimucho-san: And your wedding?

Okay, this question kind of caught me by surprise, lol so I stifled my laugh and responded.

Me: Lol, I am not getting married.

Jimucho-san: Why not?

Me: Because I don’t have a boyfriend, and no one asked me.

Jimucho-san: But you are SO PRETTY!  Why not?? 

Me: (brief awkward silence) Ehe…umm

Jimucho-san: OH! I know why! It’s because…you…are…TALL!

I could almost see the lightbulb over her head go off when she had this thought, she might as well have smacked her forehead and went “EUREKA!” or “DUH!”, whichever colloquialism you prefer.  My response to this, was of course, as is my response to most things of the ridiculous, to laugh.  

My trip home and my cousin’s wedding can both be summed up with the word: WONDERFUL.  It was so great in fact, that I did something that I have never done before.  I cried twice in public in the bathroom stalls at the airport.  I did not want to come back to the Blue Forest.  I think it was mostly because it was so lovely to be with my family and spend everyday in the pristine blue waters of Hawaii’s beaches.  Seriously, everyday was filled with the good stuff of life, laughter and love and family, sun and waves and beauty. 

Luckily, by the time my flight had to depart, I was able to pull myself together and get a grip on my emotions and now that I returned to Japan, actually, I am glad I am here so I can say my goodbyes to the wonderful friends I have made here.   I think they are the thing I will miss the most about Japan.   

My time here has been unique in the sense that in my entire life, I don’t think I have felt such intense and varied emotions out of any place I have ever lived.  After two years of living here, I think Japan has become more of a mystery to me than when I arrived, thought I feel I understand the place in a way that many Westerners will never experience. 

I can’t talk about everything here because it would take too long, but I will always remember you Blue Forest. Your people and your visitors, your dysfunctions and your surprising delights,  your endless snow and spring blossoms, your frustrations and triumphs, your beauty and mystery.