Sayounara 左様なら

Sayounara is normally written sayonara in English, and さようなら in Japanese, but I’ve chosen to leave in the long o and the kanji today. Japanese greetings are usually translated into their English equivalents, but the literal meanings are different. Translated as “good-bye”, sayou means “like that” and nara means “if that’s the case”, so all together it means “if it’s like that…” or “that being the case…”. The Japanese language is full of beautiful inferences, sayounara being one of them. To add more words to this translation, it could be “If we really have to part…” I can’t think of how to end the sentence because it is already wonderful as a cliffhanger.

Yesterday we had a ryuugakusei (study-abroad student) farewell party. I cried and I cried and I cried. I cannot bear thinking about parting from my friends with whom I’ve spent most every day with for nine months. 最後って言いたくないで。After that I went to karaoke with girls from my literature club. I didn’t cry when parting at the train station. Tonight my host grandparents were over for dinner. I didn’t cry when they left.

Why didn’t I cry? I was such a crybaby at the party. Was it the tightness of the bonds with the other students? Maybe. I think it’s because I was with the students every day, but my club friends and my grandparents I only see once or twice a week. Thus, I’m used to seeing them for a few hours at a time and not seeing them for a longer times inbetween. Still, I know it is the end, even if I can’t believe it.

“Five more days,” I said to my boyfriend. That I can believe, because I have felt every single day apart from him. I can believe that I’m going home, but not that I’m leaving Japan.

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to write this into a story. I love torturing my characters. Some people just love to watch the world burn.

We had a farewell/birthday party tonight. (Today is my host mom’s birthday.) They got me a fruit bouquet instead of cake. Yay! My host sisters got me a Winnie the Pooh Bear photo frame. Their cute faces are definitely going inside. My host mom got me a Japanese-English Japanese cookbook. おいしい~ My host grandma is going to stop by with some dried Japanese foods, like katsuo, konbu, and niboushi. Mmmm. They are so nice to me, how can my heart take it?