Hard goodbyes

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Me with my first host family in Japan.

I said goodbye to my host family this morning – yesterday was my last full day staying with them. We’ve come to the end of our 3-and-a-half weeks together, and it wasn’t until my host mom started crying while saying goodbye that it really hit me. I didn’t realize how attached she had gotten to me, or how attached I had gotten to them. I started tearing up, too.

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A nice walk in the neighborhood.
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I thought someone had lost this umbrella, so I peered in closer to look – they were simply keeping the dog food dry on a drizzly day! So sweet.

Where does the time go? On moving days like these – I like to call them “in-between days” – everything starts to feel transient. I get weirdly stressed about the passage of time, almost fearful that if I’m not careful, I’ll wake up and realize the whole Watson is gone. Obviously, there will be a day when I wake up, and I’m back in NYC and this is over, and I might even have to convince myself of its reality. But today’s truth is that it’s exactly 8 months into the Watson. I still have a full third to go, and that’s a lot, isn’t it?

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One of Tokyo’s many overpasses.

I was going to write a post today about the healthcare expo I went to on Thursday, but I don’t think I’m in the right mood for it at the moment. Luckily for me, two of my best friends in the world are flying into Tokyo tonight to visit me for just over a week. I’ll show them the city, and then we’ll go explore Kyoto together, so I’m super excited about that.

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An exhibit at the National Art Center, Tokyo, on the life and work of artist Yayoi Kumasa. 
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Artwork by Yayoi Kumasa.

So for the moment, I’m moving on from Japanese class and my homestay, and I’m taking a break from expos and project thoughts (as great as all that has been). In a way, I’ll spend this week re-connecting with NYC by seeing my friends that I haven’t seen since I was last there, back in July. Then onto the next host family!

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Every Thursday, I would go with Miria, the daughter of my host parents, to her babysitter’s house for dinner. Here we are just before a sushi dinner with the babysitter and Miria’s friend.
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