Things To Miss

I intended to update this blog far sooner than now. At first I thought I wanted a break until I could readjust to an American life. I wanted to catch up with people, so I spent my shortened summer doing that. Then school started, and I forgot how drained American university can make you. So, excuses.

As time goes by I realize all the things I miss, both big and small. Sometimes they are just little things that make me smile. Other times they overwhelm.

I miss the countryside and the utter quietness of night, aside from the chatter of students as they wander, drunkenly or not, around town.

I miss lazy mornings where I could watch the sun scoot across my floor from the balcony window. School days or not I could witness this. I could turn over and let it move another several inches before waking up.

I miss my dear bicycle Shinji, his scratched sky blue paint, and the freedom he gave me. I could go anywhere in town I wanted, anytime, without waiting. I could go shopping for things I needed with ease. I could be anywhere in fifteen minutes. I also miss the multitude of jokes made about his name.

I miss the waiting spot, the driveway that connected all the dorms. There was always traffic, and there was that weird girl exercising every night. The glow of the spider-infested vending machines was visible. We would stand out there for hours talking about nothing rather than do homework.

I miss jokes about T-sensei’s alcoholism and broken marriage, though I could very easily do without his early morning classes.

I miss being exotic. I miss being stared at, being unique, being attractive. I was hit on by cute college freshman, not middle-aged, stingy men on the bus who beg for the $1.25 already in their pocket. I miss walking into stores with insulting kanji shirts, being approached by the man working because I could understand the jokes and laugh. I miss receiving saké from salarymen who want to learn English.

I miss International Café and the multitude of languages being spoken all around me. I miss cultural differences, both the big and the small. They widen your world view and also allow you to figure out your own identity.

I miss weekly karaoke and singing my lungs out to the songs I truly love. I miss Ruki licking his lips at the end of 貴方ノ為ノ此ノ命, Yamada crossing his eyes in the middle of よく遊びよく学べ, duets on Nightmare songs, I even miss the same 5 songs Korean always sang.

I miss climbing mountains at 5am with drunk freshmen, hand-in-hand. I miss climbing mountains in typhoons – heck, I miss getting a day off from school because of a typhoon.

I miss trains, the people who doze off in the seats, the same monotonous announcements that play overhead. I miss subways and anti-ちかん warnings in Osaka and Tokyo. I miss buses that are clean and quiet and ferry rides filled with the smell of the sea.

I miss spotting school 制服, a wonderful, beautiful part of Japanese culture. I don’t care what reputation you give me.

I miss jazz, even if I always complained at practice. I miss the feeling of improving and just letting my fingers do their thing. I miss practicing alone, only to find someone was playing piano along with me. I miss Rap Mushi, tiny bassists, the words “適当に” and the guy with the beautiful voice. I miss 飲み会s where suddenly everyone forgot their prejudices.

I miss the image of that beautiful person smoking in the sunset, kneeling like a Yankee in a vacant parking lot. I miss the un-Japanese way he would touch my shoulders and tell me to watch out for the traffic behind me.

I miss 花見. I am absolutely sure there is no better time of year.

I miss language barriers and stupid mistakes. I miss 探した, セフレ and a whole bunch of other awkward moments that spiced up our daily lives.

I miss Pokemon rivals and losing battles. I wonder, had I won, would he still have disappeared?

I miss random texts in the middle of the night calling me a whore, or people calling to ask how to say… Wait, why did you guys want to know that word?

I miss second-year boys who gather around me after English tests and ask me all the answers. I miss them watching me play Mario Kart from the row behind, watching Yoshi round bends rather than the teacher spell out the subtle difference between “will” and “will be” on the board.

I miss parfaits-for-two, YouMe Town runs, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, expensive Italian appetizers. I miss being the “ladies who do lunch” (plus one gay guy).

I miss Things, detachable penises, homemade 梅酒 and terrible puns.

I miss the scenery: both literally and figuratively.

I miss playing pool, losing at darts, buying too many drinks. I miss habanero takoyaki and the young man who made them. I still don’t know why he put up with me hitting on him every week, and I still don’t know why he remembered every stupid thing I ever told him. I miss my two Americans and one Brit making fun of me every time we set foot in the place, and I miss the Cheers style greeting I used to receive.

I miss looking at magazine racks and seeing bands I adore. I miss traveling to see concerts and standing a head taller than all the other fans. I miss Meguru’s comments about Americans, the rush of moshing, the way my breath stopped when I heard Gara’s voice, the comedy act between Yusa and Yuudai. I miss hearing people say, “I’m cheering for Takanori!” And I really miss sitting out late into the night listening to a guy with pink hair play guitar and sing Kazuyoshi Saito’s music.

I miss my host grandfather offering me beer at 10 in the morning and refusing to take no for an answer.

I miss Oshimao with the scent of cigarette smoke hanging in the air, the beautiful employees, the lugia toys on the counter. I miss the disgusting taste of 泡盛 and the way your legs would fall asleep when you sat too long. I miss やけざけ and toasts to nothing in particular. I miss how angry Korean would get when we stole his things, yet for some reason he always came back.

I miss having someone we all loved to hate and rumors about AKB48. You need that, right?

I miss drinking by the lake. I miss chatting about man-things with Steven. And sometimes not-so-manly things. I miss my lovely friend who always came to me with confessions when he got drunk. Now look at the things he links me to on tumblr! I miss people who dress like Pikachu. I miss ginger jokes, whore jokes, jokes about a lack of purpose, people who tell crude jokes about slitting… something or another, and a whole other multitude of bad reputations.

I miss midnights walks regardless of weather and the way people used to always suspect us. Were they right in doing so?

I miss waking up and every day looking forward to something. Even if I was in a bad mood, I knew there had to be something that would be worth getting up for.

I miss a multitude of things. I doubt I could ever list them all.

I miss every single friend I made while abroad. Every day I daydream about you coming here to visit me, or the day I set foot back in Japan – it’s what keeps me going.

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~ by megumiwasframed on October 6, 2011.

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