With august progressing, the end of the programme approached more, and with it the sense of early nostalgia increased.
As in January we had been welcomed with parties (歓迎会, welcome party), so Japanese traditions bind when parting.
送別会, soubetsukai, a “farewell get-together”.
The first, with friends and coworkers, in a local rental store where we grilled some meat and shoved it down with beer and japanese liquors, then with teammates, bosses, and supervisors, more drinking, more last laughs….and of course, some pasta cooked by me…I’m Italian after all, what the hell.
It was amazing to focus on how fast time had flown.
The first month in Yamaguchi seemed very slow, compared to Tokyo life, countryside life dragging itself on quietly, slowly, but relentless.
Relentlessly winter gave way to spring, then summer. I didn’t acknowledge it at first, it was only when the warm weather started to ease up the conditions in my dorm that I felt the first change. And when it became deadly hot, that was another turning point.
So, before I knew it, the daily life I had been growing accustomed to, the faces I had been seeing every day, were almost over. This sensation arrived like a punch in the stomach when my friend Stephen told me (despite my request not to ever make a countdown) how many working days he had left.
I had to take all my vacations yet when he told me this, so I made a quick calculation and…well, I had less than 2 working weeks left.
This meant only 2 sweating meetings on tuesday mornings, 2 fridays “have a nice weekend” to everyone, and all that stuff.
But also, 3 weeks or so before being back in Italy. Dammit.
Time to focus on the party, time to enjoy these last moments.
And hope that there will be chance in the future to live them again, not letting these memories fade away in time, “like tears in rain”.
Goodbyes, a set on Flickr.