Sunday 27th December 2009
Hello. After two years of silence it is time to remove the dust sheets, sweep away the cobwebs, splice the mainbrace and reactivate the central core, for a few weeks at least.
I stopped writing here because this was really only ever meant to be a travel journal, and when my travels ended it didn’t feel like there was much left to do. However, since I’m about to go back to Japan for the first time since I left three and a half years ago, to see in the beginning of the new decade on the small Okinawan island where I spent two of the most interesting years of the previous one, it would seem a waste not to reactivate and continue this journal, if only temporarily.
Whether in practice I’ll get much time to update it is hard to say, but the intention is there. I’ll try to put up some photos at the very least. I’ve missed writing – missed having something specific to write about – and it’s nice to have an excuse to start again.
Now I really must go and pack.
Tuesday 29th December 2009
Well, I’m back in Okinawa, and making use of the kind of jet lag that tells you at 3am that it’s still the middle of the day to catch up on emails.
I arrived in Naha, Okinawa this afternoon, and after checking into my hotel went out to have dinner with T-sensei, who was my favourite of all the teachers I taught with. It was lovely to see her again, but since arriving I’ve been haunted by the slightly uncanny feeling that almost no time has elapsed since the last time I was here. I had exactly the same sensation – something a little like deja vu – the first time I went back to Edinburgh after coming back from Japan.
After saying goodbye to T, I went for a walk around the city – it seemed a shame to waste any time here, and I knew my body clock wouldn’t allow me to sleep if I went back to my hotel anyway – to see which of my old haunts are still the same, and which have changed. Walking around Naha now, like Edinburgh then, the city felt slightly unreal, probably because it now consists of about two parts memory to one of stone.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to get my old phone reactivated. Then I will be unstoppable.
Ps. Writing this from my room in a great newish hostel called Burney’s Breakfast, which I would totally recommend to anyone going to Naha: for ¥2,800 (£19 at the current exchange rate…) I’ve got a room with a double bed, a PC with unlimited free internet, and as much free coffee – proper filter coffee – as I can drink.