Posts Tagged leaving Japan

November 15, 2006 part 2 – Goodbye Japan

After a busy morning, I had lunch with The Penpal and her family at their house. They wanted to come to the airport with me to see me off.

We took the shinkansen from Mishima to Tokyo, switched to Yamanote Line briefly (which is not fun with giant suitcases), and took the Keisei Skyliner from Nippori to the airport. The Skyliner is cheaper than the Narita Express, but the Express is much more convenient if you have large bags.

Check-in went smoothly, leaving enough time to sit and chat before I went through security. Over the past few years, I have gone from being the overseas friend to gaijin boyfriend to gaijin fiancee, and eventually part of the family. I’m really going to miss my future in-laws and I’m excited about showing them around Canada in the future.

I told them that in Canada there is a lot more crying at the airport when someone leaves. The Penpal’s father told me that Japanese people cry too, they just hold it until they get home. He gave me a handshake (not a bow), I hugged The Penpal’s mother, then hugged my wonderful fiancee before going through security. I will always remember seeing them waving goodbye as I took the escalator down to the immigration area.

At immigration, I had to turn in my gaijin card and they cancelled my visas and remaining re-entry stamps. I had dutifully carried my gaijin card everywhere for the past 3 years, so it was strange to leave it behind permanently. My 3 year adventure was over, and it was a fantastic experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Good bye Japan, and thanks for the memories!

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June 17, 2006 – A ticket home

Today was the first day of my short paid holiday! I made good use of my time by spending most of the day with The Penpal.

During the day, we went to the nearby travel agent to inquire about a plane ticket back to Canada in November. I have pretty much decided that I’m going in November, although I haven’t given any notice yet. My thought was that plane tickets are usually cheaper in advance, but the travel agent said that they weren’t currently selling tickets six months into the future. I’ll try again in a few months.

After the travel agent we had lunch together and spent the afternoon playing Final Fantasy 3 (aka Final Fantasy 6) on my computer by using a SNES emulator. I’m happy that we can both enjoy hanging out and playing games together.

**¬†As someone who currently lives with a retired game programmer who made his living from video games, I do appreciate the fact that software piracy is a bad thing for creators. However, since I actually own a physical copy of this game (it’s stuck in a box in Canada) I don’t have any moral issues about playing it on an emulator in Japan.

In the evening after The Penpal left, I watched yet another terrible MST3K movie with my roommates. Tonight’s debacle was The Master Ninja, an American TV show that was edited together into a movie. It goes to show that adding ninjas doesn’t automatically make something good. However, beer always helps.

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