I looked at my hit counter for this blog and I was the 1000th hit. Unlike the 1000th death row inmate scheduled for execution who got clemency recently, though, I don't get any prizes.

But, then, I'm not on death row.

I've come around to the idea of going back. I still haven't completely given up hope of staying on this trip, but it looks pretty bleak. I'll send in a few more resumes to schools offering jobs next year, hopefully get some interviews, secretly waiting for the translation companies I contacted earlier this month will get back to me and offer me 500,000 yen a month to translate academic materials on Shinto or some such. Then I'll get on a plane Dec 11th.

I've gotten obsessed with the idea of staying here, without going back to the US, and have forgotten to have some fun. I've had a really great trip and I've learned a great deal about Japan, and, even more, about myself (that sounds cheesy, but for the first time in a while it is true). I've really been lucky to stay here as long as I have, and now not only do I have two degrees I can put in my resume, I can also say I lived and travelled in Japan for three months. Not bad. Ought to help me get back here someday, hopefully soon.

After the interview a couple of days I go, I went out, for the first time since Halloween, with these three guys: Takatoshi, on the left, Masa (who also visited Hiroshima when I was there), and Takashi on the right. It's thanks to Takashi that I know almost all of the people I know in Japan - I met him as a conversation partner two years ago, and have met 15-20 Japanese/Chinese/Thai friends through him.

Thanks Takashi!

By the way, the tie on the head is a stereotypical drunk salaryman (= Japanese style businessman) thing to do here in Japan. Takashi recently became a salaryman, so, well, he felt obligated I guess.

No caption :(