it's strange to leave japan at 11am monday and get to chicago at 730am monday. i tried to stay up and force myself into the new time zone but alas here i am at 3am writing my blog, drinking coffee, getting ready for a humble yoga practice and power cleaning my house. i have 2 white cats who have had the run of the house for a month with friends just stopping in to feed them, so you can imagine the hair and dirt buildup. the luggage arrived safely without even a chopstick broken. it's good to be home, but it's so dirty here compared to tokyo. we had a lot of snow and it has been melting into the dirty sludge, creating a mess everywhere you go. something to get used to. many people don't care about garbage here either. often they throw garbage on the ground, the alleys full of flying trash and rats, and many people are too busy to pick up their dog's poo, which is really disgusting. one hand for the leash, one for the starbucks and cellphone.
my final day went by fast. i taught my last led class, which was expectedly small, it was a moon day, but many of my favorite students came to support me. in the evening, over 25 students led by katsu threw me a big sayonara party, which was very sweet. everyone was very kind to say goodbye and express their thanks, and present me with really nice gifts. gifts are so fun and a huge part of the culture. the gratitude in japan is top notch, it humbled me completely, and i felt especially shy because i do not feel comfortable being the guest of honor. we started at a western style restaurant katsu, jeff and i used to frequent, then half the party went home and the rest of us continued eating at a traditional japanese restaurant where we had many parties before. jeff got to eat the natto bowl with raw eggs one last time. it was a very classy send off. i am grateful for all that attended.
on the plane we were trying to make a top 5 list of things in tokyo. mine looked like this:
1-yasuko-emi's mom, my second host. she cooked for me every day for 6 weeks, often lunch as well. it was a true japanese culinary experience that i will never forget, and she was a spectacular and fun human being.
2-asakusa-old tokyo. the temple is the most beautiful, the town is so different from the rest of tokyo. great people watching, great vibe, great area. kappabashi, too.
3-the parties-thrown for me, jeff's birthday and kuma's birthday. katsu is one of the greatest organizers and human beings i have ever known.
4-mori museum of art-this museum blew my mind, and i enjoyed all of the art that i experienced in japan. tokyo city view is great, too as i went day and night.
5-harajuku-a really fun area just to walk around, shop, eat, whatever. i always felt comfortable there.
so thank you, tokyo-yoga, thank you, mindy, for hooking me up with this gig. thank you chama, for having me, yuka, emi & miyuki for hosting me, katsu, jane, zen and many others for befriending me and taking me around the city. special kisses to miho, eriko and kuma and a big arigato to all the students that worked so hard and made my job very fulfilling.