Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Now, back to our regular programming...
Right, where was I? I think I was up to last Wednesday. I didn't really do much on Wednesday morning. Sharon went to work, and I met her at Starbucks around 3 to give her her apartment key. The arrangements about me getting out of her apartment and locking up as I left were more complicated than anything else involved in the cross-world trip. There were originally all sorts of complicated plans for me to unlock the door on the second floor and then leave the key in her mailbox without the mailbox door being completely closed, but then what if someone noticed the second floor door and locked it before Sharon got home? Eventually it got sorted out, though, and we rendevouzed briefly at Starbucks before she had to go back to work.

After an hour of reading my book and drinking tea, I got the train to Tagajo, with my suitcase, to meet Kristel, who was making us dinner. Us? Yes, this was the night that Danola came back from Yokohama! So Kristel had offered to make dinner for me, Danola, and Stephanie, the new ALT who lives upstairs from her. I used my nicely honed chopping talent to cut things for salad while she made a mushroom risotto with the approximately 5 tons of mushrooms she had gotten the day before, and Stephanie applied some muscle to the wine cork.

We had just started to eat when Danola got there, and then there was much hugging to be had. The risotto was excellent, and we were all stuffed for the big ALT gossip session that followed. I must say, I found out very little flattering about my successor on my trip. She apparently has not adjusted to life in Japan very well, and is not recontracting, much to no one's surprise. She also is reported to have once accused me of having stolen the shelves from the refrigerator that I left behind with all the other furnishings. I would just like to state right now that the fridge never had any shelves in it. Sheesh.

We called it an early night, though, since Danola was tired after her trip, and everyone had to teach the next day. Danola gave me her bed with the electric blanket, since I am such a delicate American flower, no longer used to cold Japanese apartments. We did, of course, stay up talking for several hours, like that's a surprise. It was okay, because she had the morning off of work.

On Thursday, we woke up late, and had... coffee! Danola loves her coffee maker. Eventually, she did have to go to work, so I spent a few hours reading before I took the familiar way over to her train station to get back to Sendai. Why was I going back into Sendai? I had a dinner date with Kamiyama-sensei! He and Mr. Ogata, the teacher who sat next to me at Mukaiyama and had such perfect English even though he wasn't an English teacher, (the one with the hybrid car,) met me at the little shrine that was across the river from my old apartment, where I could hear the bell ring every night. We went to get soba, as you might have guessed. Sadly, our habitual haunt was mysteriously closed that night, so we went to another place down the street that Kamiyama-sensei had previously found. Mmmmm, it was good. I miss soba. I can't find it anywhere here.

Kamiyama-sensei sounded so happy to hear from me! I felt so loved. It was a lot of fun to see him again. He was and is my favorite JTE. I wish him only good ALTs in the future. I gave him a Thunderbirds vending machine toy as a present, because when they started replaying all the episodes last year, he said he was taping all of them. He got the pink car when he opened the egg.

Eventually, though, we really had eaten all of our dinner, and they both had to be at school the next day, so they dropped me off at Sendai Station, and I made my way back to Danola's.

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