Thoughts of TokyoTokyo, Summer 2010

I finally remembered to take my passport out of my wallet.  I was still carrying it around with me for a week or two after I went home to Chicago, along with a bad of unused yen coins.  The jetlag coming back was worse than I expected.  Now I’m almost sleeping normally and it’s back to regular life in America.  It feels like I was frozen in time while I was away, because I missed everything that’s been going on this summer, with my friends and in Chicago in general.  I went to my favorite bookstore downtown recently and when I stepped out of the building I saw a gigantic eye in the park across the street.  It is a new public art installation.  Seeing a huge statue of an eye when you aren’t expecting it is surreal. 

I’m actually looking forward to school starting up again.  It will keep me occupied, because too much free time leaves me to think about how much I miss being in Tokyo.  I miss how lively and colorful the streets there were, and random things like how the air outside the dorms sometimes smelled like incense. I have a strong craving for green tea, miso soup and some sushi.

I have to figure out where I can continue studying Japanese, since I’ve already taken the handful of language courses offered at my school.  I need somewhere where I can get speaking practice.  While in Japan and immersed in the language, I was speaking it every day and even thinking in Japanese sometimes.  It wasn’t hard to switch back to speaking English all the time, and I’m worried about losing everything I learned, just like how I can barely remember a word of the French I labored over all through High school.  The big question I have now that I’m back is “Where do I go from here?”  I want to keep studying Japanese, and I want to go back to Japan, for something longer than a vacation.  Half of a summer wasn’t enough for me.  I now wish I had gone an entire semester.   I don’t know when or what I’ll do there, but I’m hoping to go to Japan again someday.

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