Thursday, November 20, 2008

A return to the place I used to live

Kyoto University is hosting a massive, multi-day festival starting tomorrow and, as a result, classes are cancelled until next Wednesday. So I have decided to spend my five-day weekend in the place I left more than one year ago.

I'm going back to Sakawa, back to the town where I used to live. It feels like I'm on my way home.

Word has gotten around that my train arrives at 4:10 p.m. on Friday afternoon and I've received a flurry of emails from friends who want to meet me at the station. When I left Sakawa to return to Canada, the whole town turned out at the train station to see me off. Now that I'm on my way back, the same group of people will be at the train station awaiting my return. It will probably feel like I never left at all.

My Japanese friends have taken it upon themselves to plan my entire weekend for me. My former volleyball team is hosting a party in my honour on Friday night. I will stay with the PE teacher and her family on Friday and Saturday night (I don't think she's given up on her dream of marrying me off to her son).

I have been roped into running a 10 km race with my former supervisor on Sunday morning (is it possible to run a 10 km race without actually training for it? I will find out and report back.) She and I will spend the rest of the day together and then I'll sleep over at her house Sunday night. On Monday, I will spend the day with my friend Sachi and stay over at her place that night.

If I have time, I hope to squeeze in a visit to see my tea ceremony teacher, some of my students, the lovely young woman who replaced me and, of course, the vice-principal.

It will be good to go back to the place I used to live. These are the kind of trips I like best.

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