Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Back to Japan

I think I've told everybody about this by now. (And I have also alluded to this possibility a couple times before in this blog.) But if I've missed you...Surprise! I'm going back to Japan for another year.

This was not what I was planning on when I came back to America in May. But it was always a plan that Shoko and I had discussed.

The thing is, Shoko is at a job now which pays very well, and with her limited English it may be a long time before she has the same kind of earning power in the US. So she wanted to stay one more year at her current job and save up as much money as she could before leaving the job behind.

So last year, when we were discussing all this stuff, she said, "What about staying one more year in Japan with me?"

And I said something to the effect of, "No thank you, I've put in my time in Japan. 5 years is enough for me. I'm ready to get back to the US. I'd hang myself if I had to stay one more year in Japan."

And Shoko said, "Well, if you feel so strongly about getting back to the US, why not spend a few months there, and then just spend the last half a year in Japan?"

So I said I'd keep that as one of our options. At the time it didn't seem very likely, but a couple things have changed since then. (As Rob would say, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.")

1) Instead of coming to America in July, Shoko has decided to stay at her job until December of 2007. Those of you familiar with Japanese companies know that the year end bonus represents a significant percentage of the yearly salary (the rest of you will just have to take my word for it), and Shoko decided it would be foolish to leave before then.

2). I underestimated how hard it would be to stay apart. I thought to myself if I just kept occupied everything would be okay, but that wasn't true. In fact almost the reverse was true. When I was watching TV or reading my mind was completely zoned out, and I didn't care. It's when I was working that I had a lot of time to just reflect on how much I missed the girl.

So, I figured I probably had one more year of Japan left in me after all.

I hope to be back in Grand Rapids this summer for my brother's wedding on July 21st. So I'll probably see many of you then.

Time and internet access permitting, I hope to give you all more updates in the next couple days as to what the new situation is going to be like, and maybe do a recap on the past 8 months back in the US. Watch for more updates.

Useless Wikipedia Fact
Similarities between Captain Marvel and Calvin and Hobbes:
The modern-day Tawky Tawny was a stuffed tiger doll who was animated by Lord Satanus to assist the Marvel Family in their battle against Satanus's sister Blaze. He only appeared as an animate being to Billy, Mary, and later Dudley, much in the same way that Hobbes only appears sentient to Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes).
Miss Wormwood. In modern-era comics, Billy's schoolteacher (and later principal), presented as the typical "mean teacher" stereotype. Her name is referenced in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, where Calvin's schoolteacher was also named Miss Wormwood.

Link of the Day
Bork and I rented "Judgment at Nuremburg" the other night. Despite being over 3 hours long, and despite being over 45 years old, it was a very gripping film. I'd recommend it highly.
Parts of it are available online at "American Rhetoric". Such as:
Ernst Janning Confesses his Guilt
Hans Rolf Delivers Closing Argument for the Defense and
Judge Haywood Delivers the Decision of the Court


Whisky Prajer said...

With one single posting, your rapacious capacity to devour and report on books suddenly makes sense! Godspeed, brother.

Word verification: "twktaxi", which I believe is what they call those little airport shuttles that run amok in downtown Tokyo.

SN said...

bye joel! have a great trip "home"...at least for now :) if you DO get married while you're there...be sure to send pictures to your friends who care about you HERE. -sn

Maria said...

bye joel.