Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Long Goodbye

After being away for four years, I'm finally going back to Japan. There's only a few days left and I can hardly even grasp the concept. It seems almost absurd that I'm simply going to be gone, and my life here will continue on without me, as if my skull has been jerked to a stop but my brain is going to keep hurtling forward for a while.

I have doubts. This is what I've been working towards since - well, since I left, really. But I can't help but question my own choice of timing. The latest influx of Japanese students into my university are all really cool, and I'd love to spend more time with them. I have to leave behind a university club I helped build from the ground up as Vice President. Worst of all, what about the money?

But there'll always be reasons not to go, even if they're not the same ones from year to year. This is something I have to do. For myself.

Last night was both a welcome party for new Japanese students, and also my goodbye party, the culmination of months. Since a big part of the job I've been doing up until now has been to make others look good and feel special (not that I don't get in a good amount of attention-whoring in the course of a day anyway), it was fun, even strange, to be the main event for once. I was surrounded by some of my favourite people in the world and they all kept feeding me beer. It was great.

At the afterparty, a handful of those same people, all Japanese, tricked me into going to "check on" my car, just to see if it was still there or something. I was goaded into clambering inside, had my wallet and phone thrown in with me, and just as I finally clued in that something was off, I leaped back out just in time to see the other vehicle peeling away. Very, very classy.

They'd left me alone, drunk, in the middle of the night, with nowhere to go and no way to get there if I had.

Did they think I was just going to drive home? What the hell would they have done if I ended up in jail or the hospital?

I'm still livid. Luckily, the club President, a dear friend of mine, lives near where I was parked, so I was able to conduct an expedition to her apartment and bang on her patio door until her boyfriend came to let me in. Not only that, but he and everyone else at the house was sympathetic and compassionate upon hearing the story, not even caring about the interruption and inconvenience I was incurring upon them. You really get to know who your friends are when you're in trouble.

I feel deeply betrayed, and to be entirely honest, this has temporarily soured my view of Japanese people as a whole. Because no matter if I was being loud and annoying, or problematic, or whatever it was that made them decide to get me out of there, absolutely nothing excuses that behaviour.

Not the note I was hoping to launch this blog on, but real life writes the headlines.

The fun part is, if on Monday I confront them as a group, somehow it will all be my fault.


  1. It's great you're going back to experience Japan. I do think you should confront the group and tell them of their wrong doing before you leave. Their behaviour was absolutely terrible. :(. I look forward to your blog! :).

    1. Thank you! I will be having some words with them, and I'll probably post a little update saying how that went. Things should be more positive from here, hope you enjoy!

  2. I know the group and am pretty upset with them myself... If you don't confront them, I might... Anyway I am so happy for you and proud, and I hope you know that :) I'm gonna miss you

  3. Well, that was rude. But hey, at least they gave you your wallet and cell phone! Though the small plus doesn't make what they did sting any less.

    1. Actually, they didn't even tell me they'd given it back until the next morning, when I sent out a message specifically asking for my stuff back. I spent the night thinking that it might be lost in the ether somewhere, which didn't help my mood.

  4. This does sound all very sudden! Although you're correct in saying that there will always be reasons not to go, even if they will always differ. Glad you're choosing to take the leap and go. Can't wait to read more of your blog.

  5. Can't wait to read more of your blog. ;)