Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Five Years

Five years I've been in Tokyo.
Five years I've been teaching English.
Five years I've been missing my friends back home.
Five years and seven days since I left London.
Five years, five months and some odd days since I started the blog.
Friends have got married. Had kids. Had more kids. Moved in with partners. Got divorced. Got new jobs. New lives. Moved to different countries. Five years. A long time. A life time ago.
London. BBC. England. English. The NHS. Long daylight hours. Short summers. Understanding. Being understood. Shoe shops. Clothes Shops. Boots and Superdrug. Weekend newspapers. Pubs. Beer gardens. Europe. Cheap flights.
Five years. A long time.
I'd never been to Asia before moving to Japan. Unless Israel counts. Now I've visited Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India. India for the second time this coming winter.
But enough is enough.
Friends have come and gone. Some haven't come. Europe is calling me. England isn't. Weekends in England are, but England isn't home. Japan isn't home either. Not really sure where home is. But I'm making preparations for where might be home. Researching. Language studying. CV prepping. Europe beckons. Access to friends. Access to friends' kids. Access to London shops. To budget airlines. To friends all over West Europe. To Europeans. To a different way of life. To a different mentality.
There are many things I like about Tokyo. There are many things I've loved about my time here. But it's all too predictable.
That's why the blog slipped.
I had nothing to blog about.
I've been likening life here to a marriage recently. The first year or so was the honeymoon period. It was all new and fresh and unpredictable and exciting and wonderful.
And then the routine set in. It became increasingly more comfortable and predictable.
And more comfortable and predictable.
And more comfortable and predictable.
And, whilst glasses didn't get thrown around, boredom started setting in.
And in.
And in.
And in.
And as the comfortableness and the predictability grew, I knew it was time to make a break.
Spring 2009. That was when I planned to leave.
But the diploma came along.
And now it's like waiting for a divorce to come through.
And the diploma is ending too fast.
And too much of the year has been spent stressed.
And sick.
I've never had so many health problems in my life as I have this year.
Now it's a tooth infection.
Before that it was something else. And something else and something else.
And with the studying and with the tiredness and with the stress there hasn't been the time or energy to do anything this year.
But the bigger picture. That's what counts. The money I'm saving. The holiday I'm planning. The diploma I'm going to get. The experiences I've got. The knowledge that this isn't forever. And the day of packing up will come quickly. And new adventures will start. And things will again become unpredictable. And I can reconnect with friends who lived in Tokyo but moved to or moved back to Europe. To friends in England. That I'll be able to stop my stagnation.
That maybe I'll find home.


Blogger The Pixy Princess said...

Here's to the past 5 years, without which we would have never met and a great big cheers to whatever lies in store for you.

7:20 pm

Blogger David said...

Five years is a long time.
Back then I'd only arrived in Australia a few months previously, and now it's two months until I move back to Ireland.
I know I need a change. It sounds like you do too, and when you make it happen it will be a step forward, which regardless of what happens in your new life will be a wonderfully positive start.

7:29 pm

Blogger Jo said...

Thanks guys. Love you both and Nix, can't fucking WAIT to see you in India :D

David - I guess some of us aren't meant to stay put, eh!

9:14 pm

Blogger Jo said...

D - I thought you went to Oz after I came to Japan.

Paul moved to Oz after I moved here too, didn't he?

9:16 pm

Blogger Cecilia said...

Hi Jo,
Long time no see. I really understand. You'll get a new energy back in Europe - there is something to be said for touching base with culture and friends and what not.
It would be great to see you before you go.
Take care,

12:51 pm

Blogger David said...

I moved to Oz in May 2004, I remember you being at my leaving pissup in London. I think you're right about Paul, something tells me Kate went over to England later that year and brought him back?

5:59 pm


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