Well, we've had our last IIE fair (four hours of soul-crushing boredom), our last school visit (my table was mobbed after one kid who wants to play drums in a jazz band talked to me for a while, then brought all his friends over), and our farewell dinner (we almost got away without any karaoke but failed in the end to restrain ourselves and most assuredly shamed our entire nation). I've been to the Meiji Temple (see below) and have made a date with Rosemary for breakfast tomorrow and a stroll through the Imperial Gardens across the street from our hotel. If all goes according to plan, I have only to board one more bus and two more planes to get home. I've had a great time this year, but am really looking forward to being home.
Some highlights from the past few days:
Sunset at the Beijing Airport.
Mt. Fuji from the plane window.
Favorite building in Harajuku.
Favorite business name in Harajuku.
There was a huge antique market outside the venue of our last IIE fair, causing many of us to stampede the only cash station within several blocks (the vendors did not take credit cards).
My apologies for the fuzzy picture, but the item on the left was called "Barbarian Pumpkin Scone." At least one other person in our group got a better picture than me, I'll try to get it. I did purchase and eat the Barbarian Pumpkin Scone. It was somewhat pumpkiny but not at all barbarous.
Visited the Meiji temple with Emily, Jennifer, Monica, Joan, and Jason on a beautiful fall morning. Am ashamed to report that we stopped at Starbucks both before and after we were there.
Emily, Joe, Jason, and Erick having way too much fun at our farewell dinner at Fujimama's (great food and open bar, it's a wonder we ever left).