Money: ¥3.316

(Written at home) So it took me a full week before I actually started writing my last entry. I am home, finally. After all these weeks, I am certainly satisfied with my stay in Japan. I got myself to say that it was indeed short. But it is most definitely something that will stay with me for my whole life. If you think like that, you will never have regrets. Well, maybe because I could have gone one year as well. As long as money permits it.

Waking up was a hassle. 5:30, leaving in 15 minutes. Bringing down my luggage, I only had time for a single toast or else we would be late for my first plane. It was a sad farewell, keeping away the tears was hard. Masaharu stayed with me until the Itami airport, even though he had school. To put school aside just to see me off…I really respected that. Somehow I feel like I did not help out the family enough. After all, they have done so much for me.

Meeting up with Stefan, even Maaya and Max were there to see us off, Not to mention she final gave me my souvenirs from Kyoto University for Foreign Studies just before we left. Moreover, I noted all the hugs, it is not that the Japanese do not know how to hug.

Boarding the plane towards Tokyo, I felt it was the best time for a little nap. This plane is not too interesting anyway. Before boarding there was a small problem nonetheless. Right, the weight of my luggage was 21 kilograms…It exceeded the limit with a mere 1 kilogram. Sigh, I had to hold yet another bag for my heavy manga and shoes.

The amount of English increases. Getting the feeling I am a tourist again. When we arrived we were a bit lost, but luckily someone with a little bit of English skill helped us on our way. Apparently me and Stefan were lucky: All the others stayed in a hotel nearby, it seems. Hotel services are also awesome, but you miss out on one day with the host family. Meeting up with the others meant reverting to the Dutch language. To be honest, most people were disliking it. “You have to think too much.” Indeed, Dutch is a crappy language, do not even try to learn it. ‘T was shameful when I put Japanese words in my sentences, really. Words like etoo, anoo, sou, ne, ka, or nanka.

Bought a Weekly Shounen Sunday because I saw interesting manga in it that I happened to read online before. If you want names: The World God Only Knows, Onidere and Hayate the Combat Butler. I also wanted to buy these wooden slippers for my dad, but guess what? Out of money. We still had time left before boarding started. So we began to talk about all the differences. As I though, one did more sightseeing than the other. Some had two weeks o school, other did not have school at all. In some cases the host family was rich; other times they hardly had a thing. Really interesting. If only I had the money I would go again. Another place, other memories.

After finally getting on the final plane – of course it did not go without problems as my front wheels of my suitcase broke off, apparently – we could finally rest and count down for our arrival back in our own country. Well, aside for the Belgians, French and Hungarians. Another twelve hours of boredom. It existed out of two hours sleeping, two hours reading manga, two hours re-watching Avatar, two hours listening music, two hours eating the aeroplane food and two hours of playing games on the personal screen I had.

To be fair, I was quite jealous at the others sometimes. I am like that, always seeking for rivals and opponents. For me, life is a game full of mystery, so you just have to make the best out of it! For now, there is enough time to do what I forgot to do these last days. I will just have to come back later. Actually, I already got myself a backpack for traveling, so all I need are tourist attractions and money! It is quite hard though, because I have only been around Osaka, so I do not know too much of areas like Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hokkaido.

To be reunited with your own family is also a great feeling though. Time continues, I have to make up for the five weeks I was not there. As always that dilemmatic feeling of five weeks compared to one year. This was for the best. Of course, a lot of talking, sharing moments of updating each other. I had to get used to western food again. My hobbies….friends….When I came home at 11 PM, my friends were still in front of my house, welcoming me back. There was a banner up, saying “Okaerinasai, Sutefan”, meaning “Welcome back, Stephan!” In my opinion, Dutch would have been much better at such a time though, but who am I to complain because of the effort.

One week has passed and I more or less returned to my own pattern again, but always keeping the trip in my mind. Mailing my classmates every now and then, while keeping the time zones in mind. And so, normal life continues again. One thing is sure though: My love for Japan has increased, and I cannot explain it. Just pure affection.

By the way, I was totally OK with Japanese food in Japan, but once eating it in the Netherlands left me with a great pain in my stomach. I need authentic Japanese food to go!