I've been meaning to post an update regarding my job search, but it's such a depressing (and complex) topic, I haven't been motivated to describe the ins and outs. I will soon.
For now, this is more fun. Remember all of my cutie pies from Japan? I miss them all! I miss them coming over and tearing the crap out of my house. I miss them putting their sticky hands in my hair and giving me crazy hair styles. I miss them getting louder and louder as they spoke to me in Japanese, hoping I would suddenly understand. Remember how they would come over to my house and ring my doorbell thirty or forty times? And I would answer the door and then say, "ICHIDO, KUDASAI" ("One time, please!") I would give anything for them to come ring my doorbell thirty times right now.
I keep in touch with almost every child I met (and lots of adults, too) and send them care packages with toys and treats about every other month. They send me letters and treats back, sometimes they're written in Japanese (which I can't read) and sometimes I just get an envelope stuffed with pictures they've drawn for me. I have my sister take pictures of me holding their letters, and then I send them the pictures and more treats.
My favorite little one, Chiaki-kun, the one with the shaved head who is pulling on his ears being a monkey, probably gets treats more often than the others, but I hope he shares. When Chiaki would come to visit, he would pound on my front door and ring the doorbell 800 times, and when I finally would answer he would scream at the top of his lungs, "ASOBIMASHO!" Eventually I learned this means "Let's play!" And we did. I spent more time with him than almost any other playmate. He didn't speak any English (not even a little "Herro") but I could understand enough Japanese to know he was under a lot of stress and seemed to have a difficult situation at home. When he should have been eating dinner or spending time with his family he would bring Pokemon books to my house and we would sit on the porch and he would read to me. At times he visited almost every day. The first day I met him, he came into my house and asked for lunch! I thought it was so strange (remember, Japanese children are forever polite and bear little resemblence to their American counterparts), but I made macaroni and cheese and a friendship was born.
I can't even count all the hours I spent with these cupcakes looking for bugs or playing jan-ken-pon (rock-paper-scissors). A Japanese friend is coming to NY to visit me in March, and I can't wait to see her. One special treat for me is that I'll finally have an interpreter, so I am going to call all the kids while she's staying with me. I can't wait to check up on them and let them know that I'm still thinking about them.
I could talk about these kids for days. I miss their tiny hands and loud voices. I miss them sitting on my lap and lining up to give me hugs when playtime was over. I'm going to indulge myself and post a few Japan memories this week.