It is cold outside and my lazy bones are encouraged by the onset of winter. The temperature has dropped below ten degrees, the sky a perpetual dreary grey, daylight so short that an inexplicable feeling of panic comes over me- it will soon be nightfall and I have barely accomplished anything.
On my train to work I see the bare branches of the trees shedding their crown of glory, their nakedness almost offensive. I want to freeze-frame the landscape just a few more days so that my dad and relatives can enjoy the understated beauty of autumn when they arrive this weekend, but time does not obey me.
Having started counting down my days of teaching left, I realized that as much as I am ready to leave the job, I will miss my students. The children who know me by name, whom I taught the ABCs and other curiosities of a language foreign to them, who laugh at my antics and follow my rules. The adults who have become my friends, who respect my ideas and values and share private information about themselves with me. I look forward to having real weekends, but I'll also miss my late starts.
Meanwhile, the yen keep appreciating against the dollar. It works in my favour, but everything here becomes an outrage when I convert it to Sing currency. A pair of no-name basic black pumps for $100? A fast-food meal for $12? A tall Starbucks Mocha for $8? Don't envy me, because I still have to shop, eat and drink in yen for 2 months.