One year ago Saturday afternoon, I landed at Narita, a tourist still, but not for much longer. I had ambitions, late Friday night, of writing something long-winded and introspective, but really, I just want to say “thank you” and “I’m happy.” Thank you to everyone who helped this dream to come true (my parents in particular), and who’ve made this past year so incredible.
And yes, I’m really happy. Not many people get to live their dreams. No, life isn’t perfect. Is it ever? But it’s the best it’s been in memory. Even when work makes me cranky, I get past it. (And there’s good news on that front which I can hopefully announce officially soon.) There’s so much going on that it dawned on me today is the first weekend day this year that I didn’t go out and do something (grocery shopping doesn’t count). And it may be the last such day in a while,even with a lull in running around Japan (will post later about Tokyo, Sendai, Takamatsu,Okayama and Kurashiki).
Went out Friday night with three close friends — Lexi, Adeline and Bettina — to the bar Lexi and I had gone to last month to see Granrodeo’s bassist play. This time we dressed up ’80s style and enjoyed snacks and drinks (Iron Maiden Chopper beer for the win!) and sang along — from our seats — with the house band. The band was thrilled to see us, wanted to know where we were from, did we speak Japanese, did we teach English, did we have requests, did we want to come up and sing? (America & Switzerland, a little, no, yes and absolutely not!). The two female singers were quite taken with us, particularly Lexi, and came over to chat. The bass player and male singer (Izumi, who owns the bar) recognized us from last time, and I spent a little time talking to Izumi in broken Japanese about being a Granrodeo fan (he figured out pretty quickly that I was — and he is too, though he pointed out only the keyboardist knows any GR songs, so he couldn’t play any for me).
It was a nice, laid back evening, and a trip down memory lane, as I got to sing Duran Duran, Madonna, Poison, Hall & Oates, Billy Ocean, Ray Parker Jr. and others. Very nostalgic. On Saturday I celebrated by shopping my feet off (I hadn’t been out in a month to shop, because of shows), tea and then meeting up with folks for bowling, pool and a very late dinner at Joyfull. A long but good day.
Next Saturday marks one year in Fukuoka. It’s a “me” day, so I’ll be getting my nails and hair done. And then maybe I’ll try out a Vietnamese place I’ve been meaning to. And then the Tuesday after that marks one year at work here.