Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bizarro World

Last night, I went to tai chi for the first time in two weeks, having missed it due to rafting and then getting ready for Ingrid's birthday. After the tai chi class was finished, I talked to teacher, Season Woods, who's Chinese and likes chatting with me and testing a few English phrases on me. He asked me how I was, and I said I was a little sad. He knew I was leaving so he said he understood. We talked a little longer, and then out of the blue he hugged me close with one arm. I was taken aback and didn't know what to do. I'm at least a full head taller than him, so I felt oversized and didn't know where to put my hands. But I appreciated the sentiment and it made me feel sadder in a way I hadn't expected to. My eyes watered up again. We were soon interrupted by one of the other staff members at the gym, whose attention was caught by the elephant-in-the-room style PDA. He asked what was going on, and I told him that Season Woods was feeling lonely because I was leaving in a month. Then Woods went over to talk to another guy who was working out, and I spoke to the staff guy about going home and ending my gym contract.

The feeling of sadness didn't go away, though, and as I tried to get to sleep last night I had to stop myself from thinking about it because it was too much. I suppose I see Woods as a friend I wont have the chance to have. If I'd been around longer, or started going to his classes sooner, I'm sure we would have started meeting up outside of class and becoming friends. Now there's not really time for that. I think that's why I got so depressed over it.

Then again, this is just one more case of me getting teary over saying goodbye to something here. I have the horrible feeling I'll be spending my last month here with all the emotional stability of a pregnant schizophrenic. On speed. I suppose I expected to be sad about saying goodbye to my friends, my teachers, my job. But it's more than that. I'm saying goodbye to a whole life. A life I've carved out and lived for three years. So many things have changed in that time, but I've always been here, living a familiar existence. A happy existence. And I'm leaving it all behind. When I leave, the whole colour and flavour of my life is going to change. I don't know what it's going to take to come to terms with that. I might be back here on the next flight from the reverse culture shock.

In lighter news, I got rid of a heap of crap in the form of clothing at a Stuff Swap organised by other ALTs today. I took the chance, with Emily, to go to the Starbucks that opened by the station last month, the first Starbucks to appear in Tokushima. The place is so popular that we had to line up for about ten minutes to get served. It was so bustling and alive that I felt like I could have been in an actual major city. A major city anywhere in the world. I've never been at any cafe or restaurant in Tokushima that seemed so busy. Maybe in a few months everyone will remember where they are and it'll die down.

I got a Tokushima mug and Emily got a tumbler. I kind of wanted the tumbler, but I objected to it on the grounds that the only thing unique about it was a piece of paper rolled up inside. At least my mug's Tokushima design was glazed on.


ken said...

do you need to spend a night in london? if you do, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

I was told the paper in that tumbler is traditional paper from that true? Is your cup made in Otani?

Jimijam said...

I have no idea. The mug just says 'Made in Japan'.