Long time no update! I don’t have much to report, really, aside from the fact that my JET contract did, in fact, end on 7/29 and, on 7/31, I returned to the United States. So for the next while, probably a year or so, I’ll be blogging from the Seattle area about my Stateside adventures. It won’t be the same sort of interesting as Japan was, but I’ll try to keep it from getting too heavy on the minutiae of daily life in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently, I’m unemployed, but I’m sort of taking the month of August as a holiday, so that doesn’t worry me yet. I’m seeing friends, spending time with my sister, and getting some stuff sorted out before I start properly job hunting. I’m also not aiming for long-term, career-like employment, so that broadens the field somewhat. I just need to make some money and have something to do until I figure out my next move. I’ll get back to you on what exactly that move is going to be.
So far, aside from just enjoying being back with my family, the most exciting thing that’s happened is a day spent with one of my two high school best friends, Hannah, who I hadn’t seen since 2007. She went to university in New York City and has stayed over there, so it had been a while since she’d made it back to the west coast. But her family came out here to have a holiday in the San Juan Islands and we spent Saturday the 5th together.
We met up at Pike Place Market and had a leisurely sort of lunch at a random cafe. She hadn’t been in Seattle for a few years and I hadn’t spent time there for about a year myself, so we just picked a place that looked promising. It was nice – fairly quiet and relaxed and perfect for chatting and catching up. We also went into Border’s, since the company folded and everything is massively on sale, and then went to meet up with her father and half-brother at their hotel.
It was really nice talking to her dad, actually, because he also did JET (in 1989) and speaks Japanese, so we talked in Japanese a bit and also talked about Japan and the program and whatnot. I’m really worried about losing my Japanese, which is pretty good after a year on Shikoku, so the chance to use it like that was great. I also saw her grandparents for the first time in years (I stayed with them when I visited her in New York back in 2006) and it was just really pleasant.
Then I got a bit of a good surprise when I was offered a ticket to Porgy and Bess at the opera house at the Seattle Center. I didn’t know much about it, but I do like opera well enough and was definitely happy to accept the invitation. Hannah’s brother’s friend also came with us, so it was just the kids, so to speak. I had a really good time and it was so nice to spend time with Hannah again. We’re going to try to keep in touch better and this was a good start.
And so far that’s been my major excitement. But this weekend I’m heading out to Whidbey Island for the Coopeville Arts and Crafts Festival, next Thursday I’m seeing Les Miserables with my friend Dana, next weekend I’m off to Salem to spend time with my friends down there, and at the end of the month I have a trip up to Canada to visit family, so stuff is happening. It’s very good to be home.