Today it finally hit me that we are leaving Japan for good on Monday morning.
Why the realisation should poleaxe me today, I don't know. Well, actually I do know - today the pets went to a boarding hotel before their early flight on Monday. While walking the dog this morning it suddenly occurred to me that this would be the last walk I would ever take with her along the beautiful sakura-lined walk next to Shinjuku-gyoen. My eyes started leaking and I couldn't blame the blustery wind. Rhiannon's missing her comforter...
The house seems so empty without the furry whirlwinds.
We always knew that our posting here was for four years and we've already managed to extend that by six months. Frustratingly, I keep having to explain to people that we are not leaving because of the earthquake and nuclear events. Our departure has been planned for over a year.
Last night was Tim's sayonara 'do' where we had a nice time with his work colleagues. But it has left me without a sense of closure, as I missed out on saying goodbye to my friends because they left Japan.
We spent today trying to fit the rest of our belongings into suitcases, weighing them, emptying them and starting over. Tomorrow will probably be the same.
And then we will catch a plane on Monday morning to take us first to London and the dubious pleasures of Hellish Heathrow before connecting to Berlin where we will spend the next four years.
While I'm looking forward to our new adventure, I feel like a huge part of my heart will be left behind in Japan. And with the earthquake and everything else that's happened, and is still happening, I would rather be here to help out. But I will be a tryjin from Berlin.
Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven
So what's next for Japanory?
For those of you that read and enjoy Japanory, thank you, I do appreciate your visits, emails and comments. And for those of you who found this little Travelblog through a Google search, I hope you got some useful information from it.
Before the earthquake struck on 11th March, I had only just finished blogging to the end of 2008. (If you followed Japanory from the start you'll know I was a retro-blogger, working from my diaries, memory and photos, and woefully behind!). It seems to me to be a little crass to restart doing that again right now.
Then again, I started writing Japanory for my own personal record. In the future, I hope Rhiannon will be able to look back at this and remember her time in Japan. 2009 was a very stressful yet life-changing year on many levels and there are some stories I think may be useful or interesting to some. There are some posts I dread writing as painful memories will surface. On the flip side, there were some absolutely wonderful times too.
Should I carry on with my retro Tokyo tales or leave it be? What do you think?
And for those of you who have asked me to write about Berlin... get your thinking caps on for a blog name please!
I'm not promising anything, but I have certainly found blogging in the present time very cathartic and useful. So if I do write a Berlin blog, I will NOT let it to get so behind!
But now I'm signing off. I don't know when I will get back online again in Germany but I will briefly update you on our arrival.
Thank you and sayonara for now.