Well, on Sunday, July 30th, I'll officially move away from Yashio, the city that I've called home for the past 2 years. I'm moving on to greener pastures (literally, lots of rice paddies near the new place) to a city called Kasukabe. While my new city will definetely be a more metropolitan place, I am already getting a little bit nostalgic about Yashio. It was the place that I used as my base for exploring the intense city of Tokyo. It's also the place where I experienced my first earthquake (on the first night in the place, mind), ran around outside in my first typhoon, met some of the coolest people in the world, played some super-fun gigs, and the place where I've hosted family and friends on their adventures with me in Japan.
It'll be a bittersweet farewell, as many of the good friends I've made here in Yashio are also returning to their respective countries. Others will stay on in Yashio and work for a different organization. Still others have lived and worked in Yashio for their whole lives, and will never leave. Luckily, Kasukabe is only about 40 minutes away, so I'll still be able to come back and visit friends, go to my favorite izakaya (restaurant), and see old students.
In the roughly 700-odd days that I've lived in Yashio, I've changed so much. I was having a discussion with a friend the other night about this, and we both agrees that it is hard to remember what we were like before we came to Japan. I'd never been on a subway, been in a building higher than 30 stories, never been immersed in a foreign culture. I was totally green. Two years later, and I've never felt more independant. Now if I could just buckle down and really start to study some Japanese! I'll always remeber Yashio and never forget what it has meant to me.