Today marked not only my last day of language school, but also exactly a year since I first arrived in Japan. In the most paradoxical of senses it feels like I have only just arrived, but simultaneously that I have been here forever. Having lived through a once-in-a-millennium earthquake, supposed nuclear fall-out, and the second hottest summer on record, it has certainly been one hell of a year. And even though I would like my Japanese to be further along than it is, I am still proud of the significant inroads that I have succeeded in making. Hopefully after another year I will have eradicated the ‘occasional elementary school level mistakes’ which I am still prone to make, and who knows I may even have figured out how to work out the lunar/Mayan/obsolete calendar by which my landlady’s bank seems to operate, sigh.
This evening a group of us from school attended an all-you-can-drink ferry cruise, which was terrific fun. What made it even more terrific was that by wearing my Yukata I got a discount of ¥1000! Sadly the rain and strong winds turned the journey to the ferry port into a constant (loosing) battle against indecent exposure, and when I did arrive I was informed that I was wearing my obi far too high up my waist. Thankfully someone was on hand to redress me, and so for the rest of the evening I sported an obi that was slung so low that it was practically touching the floor. I noticed that nobody else seemed to be dressed in quite this fashion, but consoled myself with the knowledge that if the boat were to capsize, then this would be the very least of my worries.