I saw Ubuyama for the last time (for now, anyways) on Monday, and had the good fortune of running into various people who have always been kind to me, as well as some students as I handed over the keys to my Civic. As I drove out of the village with Kaori, I felt good because it was finally my time to pass the torch and to move on. The next two days were well spent with Kaori and Kikuko, as we got to catch up on all that has happened since we parted ways in April. Yesterday, we took Jane along with us to a beautiful wide river, which ran shallowly along a flat bed of basalt, carved into pools and slides since it was first spewed out of the bowels of the Earth so long ago. I got to go back with Kaori and meet her parents (the Iwaki's) and was seen off from their house with the huge fireworks of a distant matsuri bursting in the distance. Kaori and Asuka saw me off last night at the Kotsu-center. I was glad to be seen off by people who genuinely wanted to see me off, instead of by people who felt obligated to do so.
I listened to The Tipping Point (the Roots prove once again that they ARE the ultimate) and thumbed through some Louis Lamour as I passed the Shimotori and Denshadori, heading out on the 57 to the Higashi bypass. The bus was small and had no toilet, and the big chubby guy sitting next to me took up all of his seat, as well as 1/4th of mine. That dude snored, coughed, tossed in his sleep, and insisted on sitting in the lotus position, making it hard for me to even fit into mine. Thank goodness for Bob Marley, or I would have never have fallen asleep. The bus driver who took me to Awaji station from Sannomiya was a cool guy who got excited when he found out that we were both in a kind of brotherhood- both of us Kyushu danshi (men of Kyushu). Make no mistake about it, I want to live in Kansai for a little while, but I have a great love of Kyushu- especially Kumamoto and Saga. My only regret is not finding the time to visit our relatives out in Karatsu, but I will return.
The moment I stepped into Justin's house, I headed for the computer. Being without my own rig for three weeks and depending on guerilla tactics to access the internet had made my email accounts clog up, let my knowledge of current events go the way of Robison Crusoe on Mars, and made me feel lost in general. The fiber optic connection and array of all sorts of toys (Pioneer DJ sound system, Doom III, Sky Perfect sattelite tv, an air conditioner, western-style toilet, etc...) has put me at ease, and signals that my time in Ubuyama has really come to an end! I will really miss those kids, and hope that our paths do cross in the future... Maybe one of you will be able to understand the words that I have typed here one day.
So here are the plans for Adam in the immediate future:
1. sleep off the fatigue of being my successor's supervisor and the other issues of the past three weeks.
2. go to the beach and possibly go swimming.
3. find a new job, apartment, and get set up (thanks to Justin, Nam, Taro et. al. in advance for their much needed help and support).
4. secure tickets to see the Roots in September.
5. make goals for this year (what I want to do, where I want to go, what I want to study, long-term plans, etc...).
6. start a new blog.
7. take a shower, shave off four days of stubble, and make my physical appearance more presentable.
8. redeem Nam's free Fish McDipper coupons despite my fear of nuggetized fish product.
Many people made my exit from Kumamoto transition go more smoothly, and I just want to take some time to thank the Takahashi family (especially Aiko), Nonaka sensei, Matt, Danny(the lucky bastard got the once in a lifetime chance to spar with Royce Gracie at a jiu-jitsu seminar in Oita city), Joe(who is getting his divemaster's license in Thailand right now), Kaori(my biyatch), Kikuko and the Nakayama family, the Otsuka family(Kyokushi beef rocks!), Hieda sensei, Kuniko-chan, and especially my family who is always there for me, without exception. I truly don't know what I would have done without you.
Now, about that shower...