Taste is such a potent sensation. Today my world tasted of bitter plums and overripe oranges, sweet tea and mango, and whiskey sours, homemade spinach mushroom pizzas, and farmer’s market tomatoes. All of these tastes are influenced by the brilliance of a cloud mottled sky set over a clear blue backdrop, a dramatic change from the darkness of yesterdays class 2 typhoon. Of course, it could just be the fact that I’m coming home for a visit in 8 days, a visit to clear my head and charge up those long depleted family circuits, that has me all bright and sunny. At any rate, much has happened since I attempted to blog in earnest. So, let’s see if I can make up a bit for lost time.
I sit in my Kitchen, deep cleaned for the looming trip home, with two fans oscillating. My shirt is off, and (unusually) it is pleasantly cool for summer in Kochi. the 48 plus hours of rain from the past several days, 1000 mm or 3.4 feet of water, must have wrung all the humidity out of the air. It feels like late winter felt here. Granted, late winter was T-shirt weather for me., but still, the cool is a welcome change of pace.
I’m finished with classes for the summer, and spending my days at school preparing for the incoming crowd of 31 fresh JETs from all over the English speaking world. I will fly to Tokyo in two days to welcome 14 of these fine young ones (some of which will doubtless be much older that I am) to the wonders of Japan. It is so strange to think that my full year in Japan anniversary hangs just a few days away. It feels like weeks, a testament to the truth behind that old saying, “ time flies, when you’re having fun”. In all seriousness though, My life here is like a dream 99% of the time. I spent last weekend floating down the last undamned river in Japan in a giant green inflatable pool (intended for children between that ages of 6 and 13) with a man who I consider my brother. For 1.5 hours we talked of the brilliance of our decision to come to Japan, and how we couldn’t imagine what life would have been had we chosen another path. Sure, we talked of many other things, we sipped beers, but the takeaway message is that we both feel (like many of my other dear friends here) that we are exactly where we need to be right now.
Nakamura, one of my many home away from homes in Kochi Prefecture, is full of faces I love, and we had a grand time of cooking, eating, and lounging in the Kochi, pre typhoon, sun. Then, post long weekend of great fun, came a Monday and Tuesday where the cloud cover did not break, the rain did not stop, and the wind bent trees in two. Typhoon MA was the equivalent of a class 2 hurricane. Other than the trains being shut down and school being called off for two days, it just seemed like a big storm. HOWEVER, it destroyed my garden. I watched in surprise and horror as my cucumbers went from strong and resilient behind their cement barrier to a giant double potted kite sailing on the rainy winds into the fortified tomatoes I had placed on the ground for protection. The cucumbers, rest well my fallen friends, only produced one fruit, and managed to almost take out my tomato and basil plants with them, but today was repot day and things are looking good.
I am excited to go home and see my long lost family in person, and I am excited for a break in the madness of what has become my overly (in a pleasant way) busy life. As I said before, I can’t imagine being anywhere else in life right now.As always, more to come.