It has been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog. Reading it, reading about my past life, only five months after returning to the UK I get this slightly sicky feeling in my stomach - it's homesickness, homesickness for Japan ! It's a nostalgia, a craving I never felt so acutely over there for my own country, my own culture. On my lunch breaks I walk to the Japan Centre, wander the aisles, letting the familiar wash over me. I see two Japanese ladies chatting away by the bento boxes, I sidle over, pretend to be admiring a teapot and crane to listen. I ask random questions to the shop staff, "Ano, kuki cha ga arimasu ka?" just to speak some Japanese.. I notice other gaijin piling their baskets with miso, mochi, natto..
I realise that Japan is a large part of my life now, after only three years. I lived six crazy years in France and I barely think about it, apart from to think about the friends I made out there.. but Japan has a powerful hold over me. The pull that it had from afar, the chilvalry of its samurai heroes, the fabulous animations, the clean tastes of its food, the exoticism, got me over there in the first place. The reality of life in Japan was very different of course - how could it ever replicate my fantasies - but the country was so different, so complex, its people so warm and welcoming, I could not fail to come away profoundly changed.
A lot has happened since I last wrote in this blog, I got married to another Japanophile.. and we moved back to England and are now living another life in South London.
Since I came back to England I have been doing far too much working and far too little reading, filmwatching and musing.. By the end of each week my body is aching and my brain is frazzled. I think I shall continue to tap away into another blog.. Say goodbye to Japan and reflect upon my life in my 'home country' after over eight years away.. It's good for the soul.. I hope to post a link soon..