There are those of you who actually know me well. Some of you, residing back there in my motherland, have yet to be introduced to the key players of my life in Japan. I realized this while on the phone to Gabriel, who met most of my cronies during his yearlong stint here in the land of the rising ball of fire. However, since he's left, I have yet to tell him of my newest buddies.
Then, there are the rest of you, who have yet to visit, have yet to meet the special people who keep me happy here in Japland. I figure the fairest way to determine the order of introduction is chronological. It makes the most sense. Despite meeting a myriad of awesome people in this country, there are actually just a few that I feel will be my lifelong friends. There has always been a special feeling I get from a person that lets me know that. Gabriel, Janine, Kenny, Daniella, Traci, Sahar, Angela, Kalila, Griselda...I'll never lose touch with you special people.
So, it's important that you learn about my Japan people now, because you WILL meet them eventually.
A few days before leaving San Francisco, we had a conference preparing us for what is to come. On this day, I met Michelle who lives a few cities away from me. Despite our proximity, I haven't had much of a chance to get to know her well. However, I do remember asking her if she met the third Shizuoka-ite, and she pointed to the opposite side of the room. From my standpoint, I immediately deemed him a frat boy, and turned back around to focus on the glass of wine that rested upon the bar.
Little did I know at the time, that this guy would become my closest buddy. His proximity is near, as he is my closest neighbor. It takes less than ten minutes to ride my bike to his apartment. Despite that matter of convenience, I now feel extremely grateful that we are neighbors because perhaps if that wasn't so, I would have never got the chance to know him as well as I do. By now, he has become one of my favorite people in this country to spend time with. His sense of humor is by far his best quality, as I am quite the critic in this arena, he never fails to make me laugh whenever I'm around him. It isn't very often that I meet someone who influences me so strongly in regards to people, movies, and music the way he does.
D-Force is someone that all of you MUST meet.
The next person that I met who bestowed a great impression on me was the one I nicknamed "Leonigiri". I met her in my Japanese class, and we bonded over our mutual abiltity of speaking English. However soon, over beers and izakaya food, I came to respect this lady immensely. Her defining characteristic, I'd say, would be her extreme chillness. She, like D Force, has an impeccable sense of humor...one that I haven't encountered in a girl in a long time. Though I named that as her special quality, her sweetness and sincere generosity is another of the traits that drew me to her as if she were the tip of a magnet. I only had the opportunity to know her for a short time, less than a year, however within that time, I came to know that she is someone who I will always strive to keep in contact with. She's a good, good girl.
I would say that the closest person to me at this time is Chubabe. So, ya, obviously, your girlfriend quickly becomes your best friend.
But besides that apparent fact, she is the coolest woman I have ever met. Though I am quite lax about who I allow around me, I am ridiculously strict in regards to who I allow myself to fall in love with. I am constantly in awe of her impressions of everything. Her way with people, her obsessive love of art and musik, her undeniably original outlook on life, her sensitivity, her ingenuity, her need for freedom and originality, her sexuality, her way of speaking....I could go on and on. But I doubt you need me to, or really want me to. Perhaps you should just take my word for it. She shares her birthday with my brother, Ricky, my best friend in this world. Born twenty one years before him, to the day....she has become my best friend.