But yesterday, when my two best girls in Japan went to the airport to send me off, tears were shed as promised.
Jo got there really early with Nao-chan and helped us unpack and repack as we were 14 kg over the weight limit (although we had both shipped many boxes of stuff home and thrown out as much as we could) and the lady at the check-in counter was completely inflexible. We ended up having to race to the postal office and ship my entire suitcase home, which cost us another 25,000 yen (compared to the 59,800 yen Northwest wanted to charge us!). Still we have about 4 pieces of carry-on bags each, but E argued that his cameras and violin were too expensive to be checked in and couldn't be counted.
Mel and Mamo arrived late but our flight had been delayed by an hour so we all managed to sit down together for a last meal at the food court.
Jo and Nao-chan got me a teddy bear (the kind I've always wanted!) and wrote me cards, Mel made me a scrapbook filled with photos, illustrations and written memories of our time in Tokyo. I read everything on the plane and had to stop myself from bawling like a baby.
It was almost 3 in the morning when we got back to my apartment in the heartlands, and my mum cleared out the storage space for a cosy little room for E and I. My things from Japan haven't fully arrived yet, and I'm not quite sure how to fit everything in, but we'll work something out.
The first question E asked me once we got off the plane was, "So what are we going to eat at the hawker center later?". So after we dropped off our suitcases, I took my excited little angmoh boyfriend to the 24-hour kopitiam across the street to have supper. Noodles for 250 yen a bowl! Homemade barley drink for 80 yen! We both died and went to hawker heaven.
Today E and I are planning to go to Chinatown to eat, eat and eat (what else?) and also soak in the CNY festivities. Can't wait!