So, as I wrote earlier in the week, I had a meeting with my supervisor at the Board of Education. The purpose of this meeting was to announce my intent of resignation as of the end of December. However, unlike companies in North America, Japanese comapnies must "accept" your resignation, which was why I was so nervous about the said meeting. All went well, and my supervisor's supervisor approved my resignation and as of December 17th, I shall be calling Ontario home once more. Some of you are aware of the reasons for my resignation, some of you don't know and I suspect will create rumours, and others still I shall tell personally in the next few weeks.
Anyhow, that said, in three weeks today I shall be on a plane back home! I'm very much looking forward to this, though I shall miss my dear kenny and the boys and the Snoeks, I shall miss going on trips and looking at bamboo, and I shall miss my students, though I would be changing students anyhow in January.
This past week was my vacation week. On tuesday afternoon after my meeting with my supervisor, I took the train up to Fukuchiyama to spend some much needed time with my Kenny. We chatted, ate pizza, went shopping, walked in the beautiful weather, and enjoyed understanding eachother. On Thursday morning I got on the train and went down south to visit the Snoeks in Himeji-- and I've fallen in love with their apartment. I suppose that some of you have seen the pictures of their apartment on their blog, but trust me here-- the apartment is much MUCH smaller than it looks... But I love it. If I had an apartment to myself, I'd love one like theirs, though perhaps with a slightly bigger kitchen and bathroom.... I think I just like the idea of the loft that they have. It's cool. I want one.
We went to Mt Shosha on Friday, took the rope car up and walked around for quite a bit of time, saw many different Buddhist temples and shrines all over the mountain. We saw part of the mountain where "The Last Samurai" was filmed, which I think that I shall be watching tonight to see if I can spot where it was that it was filmed... I'd love to show you pictures but I didn't bring my camera with me, so I'll have to wait for some pics from Rod and Bec.
I returned home this morning to find a box from my boy waiting for me by my bed... Shortly after opening, I was dining on the fine dish of Kraft Dinner, wearing Brian's hoodie and listening to a recording by the BNL of the music in the Stratford Production of "As You Like It."
This afternoon I went to a Christmas concert with one of the other members of the PTA Chorus from my school, our director sang in this concert. Unfortunately I left my programme in the pew so I can't include all the details, though it started with a Christmas mass by a well known composer, progressed to six different versions of Ave Maria, switched to a fun performance of carols performed on handbells, and then went on to serenade us with six different "Christmas Carols for Choirs" by the one and only John Rutter (My thoughts were with dear Anton during those songs... I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jacqueline in choir for a year, during which I was lectured every practice on Anton's....dislike for Rutter...) The concert concluded with a carol sing-along, which I thought was fabulous... I can't for the life of me sing any christmas carols in Japanese, so I sang away in English while all of my neighbours were looking at me kinda funny.... It struck me, though, how strange it was that in a nation where less than 1% claims Christianity as their religion so many people know and sing carols like "O Holy Night," "O Come all Ye Faithful," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and so on. I mean, it's not like the West where Christianity was at one point the majority of the population. It has never been a big thing here... which makes me sad, because that means that the Christmas songs are truly nothing more than Western Commercialism, meant to bring those warm fuzzies of shopping to mind... sigh
On the more amusing side though, I found two rather delightful spelling errors in the concert programme--
1) the Hand bell choir played a delightful rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on Higt" and
2) One of the last songs that the choir sang told of "Gabriel's Massage". It must have been a really good one if they're still singing about it after all these years.... I could use a massage like that.
Oh yeah. I also returned home to find that when returning from Bec and Rod's this morning, I left Brian's birthday present on the subway. Boo. That made me unhappy. Now I have to go out and buy it again.