Saturday, May 12, 2012


I couldn't give you a proper introduction to my life in Japan without talking about Emily, my lifesaver. She lived a floor below me in an apartment identical to mine. She arrived in Japan with the Group A JETs, about a week before I did. She introduced herself to me the day I arrived - our predecessors had been good friends. The girl who used to teach at 〇〇 High School had previously occupied my apartment, while the girl who taught at 〇〇 N High School had occupied hers. Convenient!

At a ryokan in Kyushu
At a ryokan in Kyushu

Emily was American, from Pennsylvania, and she had an amazing range of hobbies, from cooking to sewing to crafting jewellery. I didn't realize, when we met, that we had so much in common, but I was happy there was another JET in my apartment complex. We didn't really hang out much until she invited me to go to the Tokyo Game Show that September (I definitely had an allergy to fun at times), but from then on, we were pretty inseparable. Between carrying 30 pounds of food home in a duffel bag to make Christmas dinner, a week-long hot spring vacation, seeing Phoenix Wright: The Musical performed by cross-dressers, attending a party in formalwear in a rainstorm - most of my best memories in Japan involved Em. She was very good at having a good time and excellent at prying me out of my apartment when I didn't really feel up to facing the world. I could not have asked for a better friend.

Emily is still in Osaka - she's finishing her final contract year in Japan and coming back to the States this summer. We are....really bad keeping regular contact. Between the busyness and the time difference, it can be tough, and it's still crazy sometimes to think that she's been there all that time while I've been here. (What was I thinking!?) But Pennsylvania and Toronto are not so far apart, so I'm hoping to see her again soon. You're the best, Emily! I miss you!