My week 24 can be described by two words, ‘returning home’.
On Monday night, when I went to bed, I suddenly remembered my old friends in Japan. I immediately sent messages to nine people with whom I used to be close when I was in Japan but have not talked to for a while. It was around 8 a.m. in Japan at that time, and they were awake. For the following two hours, I got prompt replies from all of them and we sent messages to each other. I felt happy to talk to them again and realised that I had not properly had time to speak to my friends in Japan. I might have had some feelings that while they and I are close to each other, my real life is now based in the UK. Most elements of my life are dominated by the social norms here, the media here and the same routine work of reading, writing and editing every day.
I really enjoyed messaging with nine of my friends for the first time in 10 months or a year.
On Thursday morning, I flew to Japan and arrived at Narita on Friday morning. The outbound flight was nice, and I was able to work on my research. My colleague picked me up at the airport, and I headed to the office. This trip was for doing some work and shopping for food, snacks and books to take back to the UK. It was really nice to try a new ochazuke restaurant and have some junk food and a sushi dinner with my colleague. I stayed for two nights and left Narita on Sunday morning. My body clock was still on UK time.
On the inbound flight, I slept for the whole of the 10 hour-flight without having any meals but I had some water before landing. Maybe I was too tired!