A long time ago, in the previous century in fact, I taught in Japan. I taught in a small city jammed up into the corner created by the corner of Osaka and Nara Prefectures. It had beautiful mountains that housed a huge Buddhist complex and a river which was probably mightier in years past. It didn’t have the hustle and bustle of Osaka, a mere 1 hour journey by train, but it had friendly people.
In the years since, I have taught many Japanese students. I’ve had students from Sapporo and I have had students from Okinawa. A few times, I have taught people from the same Prefecture, but never anyone from the same city I lived in all those years ago.
Today changed all that. Today I met someone who lives in that idyllic Japanese city. She was even alive when I lived there, albeit rather young and probably not interested in English classes at all.
Funny, I could feel my connection to Japan slipping away. Yeah, I had some treats, but fewer and fewer Japanese things were finding their way to me. When they did, I wasn’t as interested. Nothing was sparking my imagination. Then this happens.
It brought back lots of memories from my time there. I remember being the new arrival wandering around, mouth agape at everything. I remember the beer vending machines. I remember my first MOS Burger. I remember drinking at Murphy’s Bar. I remember the drives up the winding road to Koyasan.
Good omens indeed.