Sayonara Superfluity (aka I’m Sick of Saying Goodbye)

I’ve only seen 5 sayonara seasons in my life but i’m going out on a limb and saying this one has surpassed them all.  For those readers unaware of a sayonara season its usually the last two weeks in May and the first week in June when your days and nights are filled with various parties in honor of friends who will be leaving Japan in June.  It’s one of the few sad components of being an expatriate and living in a transient society – the fact is, for the most part, your friends can be categorized by their visa status, as  in 1-3 years, 3-5 years, etc… Of course there are always the lifers who might have come here on a 1-3 or 3-5 assignment and never left.  And thank god for them because they provide the only real continuity in our ever changing lives.  And even though we hear throughout the year of friends who will be leaving at the end of the school term, those last three weeks are a killer.  It’s like ripping bandages off all day long.  There is the sayonara coffee, the girl’s lunch, the mid-week dinner or pole dancing event (yes, I did write pole dancing) and then there are the big over the top lavish parties on Friday and Saturday nights.  And you might have 3 or 4 in one weekend.  This year, the odds were in your favor that you were saying goodbye to at least 5-10 good friends.  And one friend of mine who has lived here forever counted 76 friends leaving this June.  76!!! I guess the flip side of this is that we get to meet scores of new people and each year the possibility of making a new friend that you will love is pretty high.  But maybe not this coming year.  I’m not sure there will be many new faces to replace those who have left.  If you were comfy in your living room in your home country and your husband came home and said you were moving to Tokyo, would you say “that’s great honey, i’ll pack right now”.  I don’t think so.  The 9.3 earthquake in March might have put the official kibosh on that for awhile.  So, this year, I’m squeezing my friends tight and sending them on their way, but I’m giving some extra special love to those who will remain behind.

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8 thoughts on “Sayonara Superfluity (aka I’m Sick of Saying Goodbye)

  1. So perfectly said…counting my blessings that Tokyo is still home to me and so many wonderful friends.

  2. you didn’t dare eat those artful cupcakes! are they from kappabashi and will last forever?

  3. Holding those leaving close and counting on the stayers for next year!!! Even after 7 years it doesn’t get easier. Great post!

  4. Lisa, it isn’t easy for those of us who are leaving either! Although I have only been here for the 3 year (almost) term, it is our time to move on and I do have to keep explaining to my Japanese and some of my wester friends, that no, it is not because of the earthquake that we are laving, it is simply a matter of “time up”. My daughter and I have not left Japan since well before the earthquake, I think if it was because of it, we would have gone before now! I love Japan and I truly hope that we will be back some time to visit, there is so much that I have not done, it just isn’t fair. The tears keep rolling whenever I have to tell people that we are leaving, even the guy at Dog Inc where our puppy will stay while we are on vacation had me in tears saying that Chloe (the puppy) is a rockstar and we will miss her so much, I think my eyes will be all dried out when we actually leave.

    To those of you staying in Tokyo, you lucky things, God bless you all and keep you safe, happy and well, I’ll miss you, but will never forget you!

    Big hugs
    Angela x

  5. Well said! We always have a room for you in Shawnee and Phuket. You all are very lucky to have this community to come back to in the Fall, the past few months have been an incredible time of bonding in Tokyo and I will miss you all and be back often;)
    Khop Kun Ka, JSK

  6. Nicely put Lisa! And the cupcakes?! Works of art, seriously!!! A huge squeeze from my desk here, grateful you and your fabulous gang are still here! xxx KIT

  7. Jennifer Napierski June 10, 2011 — 4:55 pm

    Great article Lisa. At home now nursing my cold probably due to the craziness of the past sayonara week. So many friends leaving one of which has been with me throughout my entire journey here in Japan. And very worthy of a pole dancing sayonara!

  8. Your next article can be about the Post Sayonara diet/detox! 🙂 Hugs

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