Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Meaning of Natsukashii...

There is a word in Japanese that I absolutely love and it's natsukashii, which means nostalgic. I learned it last summer and I've been using it a lot lately. I most recently used it yesterday during lunch time. See, everyday at the JHS, there is a student message that comes over the PA, usually about what we're eating and any special announcements, followed by a couple of songs. Teachers and students usually provide a CD and give a brief description of what a specific song means to them. I had to do this one day, without any advance warning, and I was forced to pick a song from Mariah Carey's Greatist Hits. I chose "Dreamlover" because it reminded me of dances at Lachine High School, where Dal, Lenny, Reena and I, would "get down" in our freshest gear. Good times, totally natsukashii. Anyway, Ishikawa-sensei requested "Livin' On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. Aside: I have always been a huge Bon Jovi nut. I can sing the chorus and sometimes the whole song on most of their tunes and "Livin' On a Prayer" is the gold standard when I go out to karaoke. So when this song came on, and my students continued to eat their lunch without realizing they were listening to pure aural GOLD, I was a bit sad. Yeah, they were born in 1991 and this song came out in 1987, but who cares! IT'S THE SHIT.

So while I was eating my cold fish and warm rice, I was thinking about how great this song is and how many times I've sung it at karaoke with my pal Ed. That's us belting it out last year at Jeff's birthday. I don't know how many times I've sung it with him, but we always give it all we have, with Ed sometimes losing his voice. I started to think that the time we've had here has been so precious and I'll be leaving with so many good memories. I actually started to tear up. I heart my time here. For those of you who have lived abroad or in different cities, what good memories do you have? What was hard/easy to leave behind?

I also got natsukashii a few weeks ago when the second grade class, who are going to Canada in a few months, were shown Canadian money. I actually picked up a $20 bill from the table and sniffed it, hoping to find that distinctive Canadian money smell. It was gone. But feeling it between my fingers made me ache for home and shopping on St. Catherine St.

Without a doubt, leaving here will be too bittersweet. My 9th graders will be graduating in two weeks and I know I'm going to bawl like a baby, just like I did last year. But this year's graduation will be even more sad for me as I've watched these kids grow and mature over a year and a half. So not going to be pretty.

Well, I'm going to Tokyo/Yokohama tonight for a three day conference for JETs who will be leaving in July. We'll learn about how to deal with reverse culture shock, re-entering the job market, and how to best use our experiences on JET in our future. I think it'll be useful for me. I'll also get to be in the BIG city, see my friend Petra, catch up with some old heads and window shop. It's exactly what I need right now.

So here is a big ol pic of me. I'm posting this pic to show you how much my hair has grown since I cut it all off last year. This was the first time that I was able to put it all into a massive ponytail and I'm oh so proud. I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

BTW, shot out to my "little" sister Lisa who will be 25 today! Happy bday sis!


dancing chaos said...

oh my god kaki - you look GORGEOUS! and that pic of you and Ed is worth a million bucks - damit, I miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Kaki,

I was just having a teary moment remembering my time in Japan - seems like so long ago now.
We should have hung out more! you were the first Gifu-ite that I talked to, and you were one of my best mates girlfriends over there...
anyway, I hope you are well. What are your after Japan plans?
Find me at


hotcoffy007 said...

so far my best time has been in Bermuda, the cuisine is so delicious, probably because of the fresh caught fish.the beach and beautiful weather, it seemed as if everyday was made for beauty.i got to dabble in martial arts and learn a new language(portuguese)kinda. one of the highlights was seeing so many beautiful natural haired people. the dreadlocks and naturals were awe inspiring. speaking of hair, your hair looks amazing.

nobody said...

I'm so stupid you see.. I'm listening to a song, and reading your profile, and I starte to cry. I'm so silly. This music is sung by a canadian boy, who lives in japan. But I'm crying because I'm really sick... And time is passing so fast. I wish I had a chance to go to Japan, and when I saw you I got so... I don't know... I felt so... like... I could do it, like the time will stop just a little bit, just slowdown a little bit so I'll be able to go. I know it seems so silly, but you give me... a strange feeling inside my heart. Is something so...atatakai... I can't explain.
I wish you the best in the world. From the bottom of my little heart. =]

PS: the canadian boy is Blaise Plant. =]. He also gives me this strange atatakai feeling with his musics. I'm so silly ^_^ but I'm glad I saw you. I'm glad I came here =D