I've decided to stay another year here in northern, small-town Japan. It may be dark and snowy six months of the year, but what the hell - so is most of Canada (just not this year). I haven't signed another contract yet, but it's basically a done deal. My boss was so happy to hear I would stay he nearly cried. Well, maybe not, but I could have sworn I saw him do a the happy dance. And being the fourth ALT here in as many years, I can't blame him. It's like being dumped continuously, only more expensive. And the other small towns make fun of you.
The day after I accepted the town's offer of another contract, there was a box of chocolates on my desk and giant piles of snow were mysteriously removed from my driveway. My driveway that is separate from the driveway of the other three households in my building. On my isolated street (ours is the only building on the block). You know they're excited to have you stay on when... I should have asked them to throw in a snowblower!
To celebrate, I'm going to meet my parents and brother's family in Hawaii! Next week! Why? Uhhh... a week in Hawaii? Why not? What better way to beat winter? Besides, I've been back in the snow for at least four weeks -- time for some more sun!