It’s been so long since I wrote anything here. I’ve been busy finishing off my previous job and trying to address the important things before I go, such as meeting friends whom I shan’t be able to see for a long time.

I’ve spent much of the past few days preparing for leaving Japan. It’s not a huge task, because I don’t actually have many possessions. Psychologically, however, it’s a lot harder than that.

Leaving Japan is something that I approach with very mixed feelings. Part of me can’t wait to get away—from the stifling weather; from the equally stifling society; from the crowding and endless concrete and the thousand cuts that hinder my daily life.

I’m glad that I’ll never have to spend four hours straight on a Monday morning teaching hyperactive six- and seven-year-olds English. Even though I reckon that I was pretty good at the job, it was just too hard.

I’m looking forward to some good Belgian beers, and a variety of foods that my xenophobic local supermarket can’t match. I’m looking forward to cooking in a kitchen where I can set down more than one thing at a time.

However, I’m going to miss this compact flat in which I’ve spent so much of the past year. I’m going to miss catching the tram to Denden Town and browsing through the geek’s paradise of electronic and computer bits and pieces there.

Most of all, I’m going to miss N——. She’s still stuck here until she can get a visa to move to Europe to work, not having the same lucky accident of birth that allows me to live and work in more European countries than I can count on my fingers. And that’s just arbitrary and unfair.