• 18 . 04 . 06
  • And so, to leaving. It’s still hard to believe I don’t live in Japan anymore. I’m writing this from Singapore, where I’m staying for a few days with my cousin Alan, his wife Aneta and his kids Sarah and Stephanie. I was lucky enough to be seen off at the airport today by three of […]

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Goodbye Nihon, Hello Singapore

And so, to leaving. It’s still hard to believe I don’t live in Japan anymore. I’m writing this from Singapore, where I’m staying for a few days with my cousin Alan, his wife Aneta and his kids Sarah and Stephanie. I was lucky enough to be seen off at the airport today by three of my friends, which made the whole process a little less lonely. I think I’m in some state of shock to be honest. I can’t really comprehend the fact that I won’t be seeing Japan again for a long time. This, despite numerous going away parties, packing and goodbyes. Thanks once again to everybody who made my experience in Japan as amazing and exciting as it was. There are far too many people to thank individually for all the support, photographs and presents I got, and I suspect they would be embarassed if I did so publicly anyway, so I hope it is enough to say that it wouldn’t have been the same without you all, you know who you are, and I hope we can meet again soon, in your country, my country or somewhere else in the world.

I’m sure there are a load of things I forgot to do before I left, but I’m doing my best not to worry about it now – there’s nothing I can really do anyway. In their defence, after the slagging off I gave them last week, Vodafone really wasn’t that bad. I did have to go in person on the day, which is a pain, but it only took 30 mins and the final bill can come off my credit card as usual, so it wasn’t a total disaster. They did hit me with a £20 severance fee which I wasn’t too happy with, but I was too tired and stressed to argue (for all the good it would have done me anyway). In actual fact, the worst thing was sending stuff home. Having accumulated a lot of crap in 2 years and not wanting to carry it all over Australia, I wanted to send the bulk of it to England. The best way to do this was in a suitcase, which I eventually managed to convince them was ok. I don’t know how many times I heard them say “A cardboard box would be better”, despite me repeatedly explaining that I didn’t have one big enough. They were worried about locking it, customs, security and all those things, but I was beyond caring really. If it gets lost or stolen, there’s not much I could do about it anyway, so it’s not worth worrying about. For anyone else though, do yourself a favour – use a cardboard box, weigh it before you get to the post office, make sure it is securely fastened without actually locking it and make a note of the number, value and weight of all the items inside, so that you don’t have to spend an hour and a half in the post office, like I did. It would also help if you did all this earlier than the evening before your flight. Same old, same old.

Singapore Airlines are awesome by the way, worlds apart (not just literally) from United Airlines which I flew in October. The 6 hour flight, well, it quite literally flew by (Eric, that one’s literally for you) and between watching The Producers, playing Super Nintendo, lunch and copious drinks, I’d barely looked out the window by the time I’d arrived. Singapore itself greeted me with temperatures of 31 degrees and a fantastic thunderstorm with forked lightning and heavy rain, which just goes to show that maybe I do take the weather with me after all. I’m told that the humidity here approaches 95%, which puts even Japanese summers to shame, so the next few days might be a challenge for me. It did let me go swimming outdoors at 9pm, though. Over the next 4 days I’ll be heading off to see the botanical gardens, the zoo, downtown and some of the local islands as well as whatever else I can cram in. Also on the cards is a genuine Singapore Sling in Raffles, the hotel that created it, and a ropeway / monorail ride out to view the local island of Sentosa. I’m looking forward to lots of new experiences, as well as rediscovering things that I’ve forgotten. – I’ve already had grapes for the first time in 2 years – it’s amazing the small things that you really appreciate.