Whew, busy last few days, as one might imagine! I had my goodbye (for now!) lunch at work on Thursday, since there aren't so many people in the office on Friday, so we all went down to Suji's, of course, and it was really nice! I got the sweetest card from everyone and they also bought me a really really cute Anna Sui wallet, which I love! (And I'll be thinking about you guys everyday when I use it!)
That night, Helen I went, MELTINGLY, to the Aoyama/Gaienmae fireworks which were the last ones of the season and also one of the bigger ones of the season with around 12, 000 'booms' as they call it. Beautiful! They went on for about an hour and were very cool--so many different types of fireworks! We went with the Tokyo Gaijins, so saw some people that we'd climed Fuji with, and met a Japanese woman who is just coming out of a divorce and seems to be completely making the most of her 'second life'. She was in yukata, and SO cute! She must have been absolutely dying in it, given that it WAS Tokyo's hottest day ever... (keep in mind when reading that those would be air temps, not 'feels like' temps, which go up a LOT in the 70-80% humidity that we also had... It was basically disgusting!
Anywaaaaay, after we sweated through the massive crowds at fireworks (it was great fun, actually) we took a bus up to Roppongi Hills (I, btw, had SOO much crap, including a bag that was disintegrating because of the sweat/humidity (yea, gross, but true!) and I dumped my stuff in a huge locker at roppongi eki (the last one!) That was an adventure, because it was a pasmo locker, so you don't get a key-you just put your crap in a locker and push the button, and then the machine knows which is yours, and codes it shut, plus takes your money, all of your pasmo. (IC/train card). IC cards are great! Now about 30 pounds and three bags later, we headed with most of the other gaijins back to the HUB and spent a few hours laughing and drinking there...We rand into one someone Helen knows through work (sort of) and he was absolutely hilarious--had both of us in bits for the last hour or so before we dragged ourselves home. great!
All too soon, Friday rolled around and I headed in for my last day of work-Kieron and I were in the office in the morning because Helen was at home greeting Caroline!!!!! Now back after five weeks, which is great :)
I went out for a nice and long (oops!) lunch with Anthony at Va Tout, and then when I got back, Helen was in the office. Later in the afternoon, Kieron had to go pick up his (lucky!) sister who was coming in from Narita that day--here to work at one of the international schools for the next couple of years. So Helen and I closed out my last day at work for the next 8 months, which somehow seems a little bit fitting. I cleaned out my drawers, turned in my key, and we headed down to Suji's for a couple. Just spent a quiet night at home--we both decided we were too knackered to go out 3 nights running...
Saturday, we went to Zoff so I could sort my glasses situation, which I did in a big way! I had a really entertaining vision test where I had to say if the horseshoe was up/down/diagonal/etc. Pretty funny! There was a kana test, which would be the same as our eye charts, but since I could so easily confuse ro and ru or wa and ne etc anyway, we decided against that one!
I've decided Zoff is just like IKEA - you go in, pick your frames (all are one of three prices including lenses), and in 45 minutes, they're ready-in that time, they give you a 50% off drink coupon, and you can go get that at the cafe in the shop while they grind down your lenses. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to do that as we had some food shopping to do at Nissin in the meantime, so we headed back there (oh yea, peter drove for the first time yesterday!) to shop while they made my glasses.
By the time we got home and I showered, Hitomi and I only had 1.5 hours to get all the food prepared before people were supposed to start showing up. Luckily, just about everyone was late! It was not a huge group of people, but it was a great group, very fun! We had the 'lets give Dani her first drink' experience, where Jordon and Helen decided to give me chu hi as as beginners drink and Jordon gave it to me in a martini glass, which was so sweet-the two of them were so funny making sure I was ok and monitoring every sip I took. Helen was very careful to make sure I didn't bolt anything, not that I would have anyway, and there was a 1 small martini glass of chu hi to 2 bottles of water ratio. Everyone was gathered in the room watching this with interest, and laughing at how slowly I was drinking-Mike was like "I've never seen such moderated drinking-Jen could be drinking like you!" and Jen's like "Yea, me and the baby, we'll take you on!" It was "Helen's proven program of drinking for beginners and babies" Anyway, very entertaining!
We all left around 11:30, abandoning poor Peter and Hitomi with all the mess (sorry!) and while everyone else headed home, Helen and Jordon and I headed to Shimo Kitazawa to a really cute bar she knew about.... We just stayed for a couple of drinks (or well maybe a 1/3 of a weak rum and coke and water for me) and then Jordon headed off and the two of us headed to La Fabrique in Shibuya to meet up with that girl we'd met at fireworks, but after a short time, we headed off to another club she knew about in Aoyama.
We chilled out there for the rest of the evening, chatting and people watching, and running into some friends she knew from a few years ago... After a quick dance and an improvised song played for me by a saxaphonist who told me I was very kawaii and that he was 'playing my feelings' we headed out for some coffee and food and at about 6:30, said our goodbyes at Shibuya eki.
I came home for a couple of hours of sleep, and got up at about 11:30--called a couple of people at home, packed a bit, chilled out, etc... Can't believe I leave tomorrow. It's been such an amazing 10 months, and I hope that everyone knows how much I appreciate everything you've all done for me! I will miss you all soooo much!!