Friday, July 28, 2006

Sayonara Maiko

It was my last day at Maiko today. It was sad. Heart-breaking really.

Bit by bit I've been slowly clearing my drawers, desk and locker. My desk is so bare.

I bought slices of Marui-pan's apple pie for all the teachers and office staff. When I told her that I was leaving, Mrs Marui-pan gave me a huge discount and a free ice milk tea. She's so cute.

I gave out all of my last thank-you letters, cards, photos and gifts. Teachers kept giving me presents and cards. It was hard to control the emotions.

Gai-sensei and Senou-sensei

I went for my last lunch at the bento shop. Being summer, unagi is the season's favourite dish. I don't understand how grilled eel served on hot rice with sauce is so popular during the hot, humid summer. Woulnd't something cold be more appropriate? But it was super tasty and satisfying!

Perfect timing - my Maiko baseball hat and shirt order arrived just in time. I put it on straight away and wore it around the staffroom.

Me and my baseball boys

When it was time for me to go I packed up all my stuff and prepared for the worst. Kocho-sensei announced that all the teachers were to see me off at the front gate. As I walked down the hallway and cleared my shoe locker, I couldn't hold back the tears.

As soon as I got to the front door, it was waterworks central. All the teachers, office staff and students who were at school for club or whatever had made a guard of honour from the front door to the school gate. They clapped. I cried. I tried to smile. They took photos. I kept crying. I bowed. I said thank you's. I waved. I shook hands. I hugged. I sobbed. Eventually I made my way to the gate, walked down the steps, and like any good predictable movie ending, I turned back and waved and said goodbye to Maiko through tear-filled eyes.

I am forever grateful for my placement at Maiko and so thankful to all the teachers and students who showed me the heart and soul of Japan. I'm going to miss Maiko a lot. Thanks for the memories.

That night I was invited to a student's house for dinner. Now before you start singing to me ("..and here's to you Mrs. Robinson.." thank you very much, Alison) it was his mother that invited me because I had helped her son (a 3rd year student) with an English speech and other English work.

I invited Leigh along and he was the perfect guest. He impressed them with his Japanese and made them laugh with his Osaka-ben. I thought he would be a great encouragement to my student too because he studied a foreign language in high school and university and is now living in a foreign country with a job that utilises his foreign language ability. I think that impressed my student a lot.

The home-cooked dinner was delicious. We were stuffed on asparagus bacon rolls, gyoza dumplings, tempura, vietnamese spring rolls and this tofu dish with slimy beans.

Then it was back to Leigh's place, running for the bus (we are awesomeness) and eating ice cream with Alison.

Thanks Leigh - I owe you.


Post a Comment

<< Home