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kyonoki - 京のキー 12 months to the day

kyonoki

京のキー 12 months to the day

12 months to the day

What a difference 12 months can make. A year ago today, I had just wrapped up my professional involvement with Team Fable, said goodbye to my amazing friends, filled some of their houses with my clutter, and just about come to terms with the fact that I was leaving to live in Japan for the 2nd time in 3 years.

The transition from 'idle dream', through 'possibility', to 'really happening' was very, very quick. The ticket was booked pretty much on a whim, after an evening discussion at Wagamama's with my colleagues in which I presented the question, "should I stay or should I go"?

I already knew the answer - some of my most trusted friends had told me that I should go for it already - but I wanted to gauge support from a few more people before taking the plunge.

I remember incredibly vividly the day of departure - getting picked up by Rob, finishing packing literally as he walked in the door. A whirlwind trip to the office to say goodbye to those people I hadn't yet been able to see, and then to collect Ange before heading to the Airport. One final pizza-express later, and I was on my way to Germany for a one-night stopover.

99 Luft Balloons is playing as I write this, coincidentally, as that song still plays at least once a day on Frankfurt's radio stations. A few games and a good night's sleep later, I was back at the airport and en-route to Japan. All the travelling was smooth, and my newly presented, shiny, instantly beloved iRhod made good company for the 12 hrs to Osaka. By the 7th, I was in Kyoto, navigating as if it were my hometown, and on my way to my friend Jolique's place to think about what I was going to do next.

Turns out what I was going to do next was get re-acquainted with my Kyoto friends, find a nice flat, snag my dream job on a dream project, and fall in love. Not bad for the first three months here. Since then, it's been mostly fantastic. Work is harsh at times, but I'm learning so much, enjoying it every day, and working on a project that is simply brilliant. Despite having had serious food poisoning, twice, since arriving, I feel generally healthier than I am used to and I eat much more healthily than I did in the UK. Kieren and I are really happy together, and every weekend is a bit like a mini-holiday for us. I've seen just about every temple and shrine in Kyoto, been to many of its restaurants, and feel as settled here as I ever have in Britain.

There's just one downside, then. My friends.

I really miss just the idle everyday banter with my friends in the UK. I miss impromptu karaoke parties. I miss chance-encounters in town, shopping. I miss gaming evenings. I just miss my friends. It's funny that someone so fond of upheaval as I seem to be, is also so dependent on their friends, but hey, that's me. Since being here, babies have been born, wedding vows have been exchanged, houses have been bought, relatives have died, and I have wanted to be there all the time, to share the happiness or try and ease the sadness. But that's not possible. That's the downside of my big gamble coming back to Japan. I'll be here for a fair while yet, but thankfully, I know that when I go home, there'll still be my friends there. It's ok to miss people when you know you'll be with them again, I think.

So in general, turns out that throwing everything up in the air - in favour of the unknown - can work out just fine. If the next year is going to be as much fun, as challenging and rewarding, as exciting and surprising, then I can't wait to write my 2 year anniversary blog entry next October.

Wow – I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

You are certainly missed back here in the UK Rhod! Things just aren’t the same without you around! :)

I hope a year from now, Rob and I will be as happy with the outcome of our crazy leap into the unknown as you are with yours! :D

Ange :)
Ange - 06 10 05 - 15:00

I know it’s something you’ll probably be frustrated at hearing, but I, for one (and Ruth for two) are so proud and impressed it makes only speaking once every couple of months a bit easier. We’ll be here when you come back as long as you’re there when we visit.

x
Robert Howells - 07 10 05 - 13:22

I miss karaoke evenings too, and should take this opportunity to point out that I will be forever grateful to you for introducing me to its musical goodness. I can see and hear your “Mandy” right now!! (That sounds a bit like a euphemism… “er – mate I can see your Mandy”)
Emily (Email) (URL) - 12 10 05 - 13:51

  
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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

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