I'm on the final bend of my fabulous experience of living and working in Japan. And while occasionally it seems as though I'm hurtling past stationary objects at a rate that James T. Kirk would envy, and probably bum roll forwards to counteract the effects of destabilised inertia in the Nanoo-nanoo Quadrant, the bulk of the past week or four has felt like the complete opposite. It's felt as if time has stood motionless by a Sulo bin. Perhaps it's stood long enough for my wife and I to get our bearings and to take necessary precautions to ensure we don't move on from the end of this chapter of our lives and into a chapter where we've left something essential behind; something as essential as a vital piece of our minds, for example.
Where is my mind? In Francois Black's double frapuccino.
We've made arrangements to have our junk transported from our home here in Japan to our home in Australia, including our beloved car, which we had acquired at an auction here and which we had, until recently, entertained the poorly-conceived notion sans credibility of getting back to Aus without necessitating the amputation of any of our limbs. How wrong we were? This wrong *grabs the vacuum cleaner cord and begins to run* There are hidden costs at not virtually every turn, but at actually every motherfucking turn.
We've opened mail kindly brought to our doorstep by the Japanese postal service and been bewildered by the neverending stream of strategically timed tax bills, each sealed with more mystery to their validity and / or origin than the previous and each, as though by decree of soon-to-be written laws governing miraculous connotation, bearing a due date which falls painfully shy of our departure date.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck and motherfuck you, you motherfuckers!
We've offered to friends items of no further use to us. Hopefully our fellow foreign gringos will find suitable homes for the likes of our rice cooker, fridge, stereo and android love slave. Farewell, Ursula B34GT; memories of our times together will be written so that the annals of history may reflect with a modicum of accuracy the mutual satisfaction that went unnoticed for the past twenty-eight months. Perhaps one day, movies to educate future generations about the importance of human-cyborg sexual interaction within a strange land may be made and people will no longer wonder about the wherefores, the lubricants and the hows of the how oftens.
On the better side of shit, at least for me, have been the farewell ceremonies that my schools have thrown, partly because it's traditional and partly because the staff and students genuinely care.* These have been lovely if nothing shy of emotional in the key of Vinnie Jones, with at least one school's first and second graders banding beyond expectation by synchronising their tears flawlessly. Judges awarded tens all round, followed by hugs, kisses and waves of a permanent, never to be repeated final goodbye nature that ensured it will forever be a positive memory of my time there, as will the unmistakable intervention of fate throwing her five cents into the equation by demanding Shonen Knife's On Top of the World, incidentally the only track of theirs with any real meaning to me, be played as I drove off towards the overcast skies and unto a fate which would heavily feature Asahi Super Dry.
Twenty days till re-entry. But who's counting? I am, Chuckie. I am.
* An assumption.