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The Last Post From My Apartment

There have been so many lasts by now that I feel numb to them. I am done with all manner of school, work, and most of my packing. I have gone most places for the last time, I have done most of the things I love for the last time, and now it's a fast sprint to the finish, where I would much rather a slow easy walk. I've finished most everything that I was ready to finish, but as the time comes to ride the ferry for the last time, go fishing for the last time, ride the scooter for the last time, and say goodbye to Mori, I don't know how well that is going to go. For now I am doing as much as I can every day, and while I am tired and busy, I am also happy. I'll just jump into it.

I've been diving (moguro) almost every day. Every day I get better, and every day I see something new and beautiful down fifteen feet below the surface. It's full summer weather here, Hazy and still every day, which makes for some beautiful views out on the water.




My trusty captain.

On Friday, when I was not writing a blog update, I was in Hiroshima for a Peace Walk. The 6th was the 51st anniversary of the bombing, and the weekend is always full of activities. This year the march was on the 4th, speeches on the 5th, and the lantern-floating ceremonies were on the 6th. Mori invited me to come along with him and Fumiko, his girlfriend. We actually headed in right after diving, about an hour after the pictures up there were taken. We got to Hiroshima and made our way to the staging area, and found the group we were to walk with.


This picture does not capture how phenomenally hot it was. We stood in the sun, dripping sweat and no shade in sight.



Once we got under way, the chants started. Someone up in the front of our group would shout something into a megaphone, and then all the marchers would repeat it. By and large, I could understand what they were saying, it was along the lines of "No more Hiroshima, no more Nagasaki!" "No more war!" and so on. Then came one that I wasn't sure I understood until I heard it a second time. It was definitely talking about America and American people, but I didn't know the verb. I asked Mori, and with a very embarrassed face, he told me that it was saying "America, get out of Japan!" Oops. He quickly explained that though it wasn't explicit, it was referring to the military. None the less, every time the shouted that one, I just apologized.


This was the tamest march for anything I have ever seen, and yet the police presence was enormous.






As you can see, Mori takes peace very seriously. That guy in front of Mori is really incredibly thin.


Through a tunnel and across the finish.


After the walk, we got a speech by a sweaty man in a funny hat.


Looking back through the tunnel.

After the march, Mori had to go move the car, so Fumiko and I went to wait for him in a coffee shop. It took him about 20 minutes, and we had our dinks and chatted about things - life in Japan, Mori, fashion, girls, what have you. I do it every day, but I am still happily surprised with myself every time I am able to communicate more than just hello and good bye in Japanese. It was fun, sitting in that coffee shop, waiting for Mori, talking and laughing. It felt natural, comfortable. It felt about a thousand times better than any of the times I have ever been in Hiroshima with groups of loud and poorly-dressed English teachers. While it made me sad to be leaving, it also made me happy to be able to be there, doing new things and having new experiences so close to my departure.


Fumiko.


Mori showed up.

That was about it. I don't remember what we did after that, some shopping here and there, and then it was time for dinner. We picked up Mori's friend Tsukasa and went to a sushi place.


A conveyor belt sushi place.

I've been to a lot of conveyor belt sushis before, but this one was by far and away the best. The stuff was far and away the best sushi I have ever had. Horse, abalone, otoro (fatty tuna stomach), sea urchin, and all manner of fish - and every bite delicious.


Tell me if that does not look like the single most delicious piece of unagi sushi you have ever seen.


The line of customers, all looking to see what comes down the line. Conveyor belt sushi is like getting your luggage off the baggage claim at an airport, except no one owns any of the luggage until it comes off the belt, and everyone tries to take the best looking suitcase.

That night, Mori and I stayed with Tsukasa, who is a carpenter in Hiroshima. We stayed up and listened to new music on Mori's computer.


Mori and Tsukasa.

Tsukasa had work at around 5:30 in the morning, so he headed out and Mori and I slept until about 8:30. Then we had that morning when you wake up in a house that is not yours, you haven't slept well, and you just feel like your body is not quite with your mind just yet.



Walking out was kind of surprise. We had arrived at night, so I hadn't seen the outside before.


That is not what I am used to in the morning. Nice - but not what I am used to.

And that was about it. I met up with Graham on Saturday and we did some shopping for things. When I am doing things other than sightseeing in Hiroshima, I don't take any pictures. I took maybe five all day, and nothing terribly fantastic. Come about 4:00, we headed home.



We stopped at a 7-11 in Akitsu to get some dinner, and also because Mori wanted to show me a really great spot for skateboarding. I obviously took a picture, which came out nicely.



And then that was really it for my time in Hiroshima.


My remen (pronounced "lay-men") dinner - so delicious, especially in summer.


And Mori set out to take some pictures with my camera. He succeeded in taking a perfect ending shot for this post.

On Wednesday, I am moving my computer downstairs because Dave is arriving from Tokyo, completing the set of new teachers. I will make a valiant effort to update, but you know how these things go.
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posted by Blogger MertMengelmier at 4:49 AM

Before you move your computer, you should just write "future" blog updates with what you hope to do. Then we can sorta know what you'll be doing. Or, give me access to your blog and I will detail the amazing world of corporate boredom.    



posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2:18 PM

you should give mori those sunglasses as a parting gift. it seems like he's wearing them every time you point the camera at him.
leila    



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