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Wednesday, September 13

Trying Hard to Buy A Friend Or Two

One of the biggest challenges I have faced since I moved here is making new friends. Because I have such great ones back home! Really the very best! You all have set the bar at the tippy top.

You’re right… enough with the sucking up. I do love you. But not enough to make myself gag.

Seriously, it has been very hard to meet people. Plus, I am a bit off-the-wall and sometimes don’t leave people with the best first impression. I have been told this time and again before and will likely hear it again. It’s something that I have come to terms with and doesn't hurt my feelings at all. (Nope, I no longer cry at night... not at all... not really... ok... just not much.) Before I moved here, I remember one comment in particular, "they’re gonna hate you.” Yes, those were the words exactly. I thought about that a lot. While I refuse to change who I am or pretend I am something that I am not, I did at least try to tone the myself-ness down a bit.

Now that I am a better version of myself (or at least appear so to the untrained eye), where do I meet these exciting, new friends?

Today there was a welcoming event for all of the groups that you can get involved with while here in Japan. I had talked with a lot of people before going to this and had an idea of what groups I was interested in. I want a group who is interested in travel, learning something new, making new friends… just plain interested in the experience of living in a foreign land and not doing it alone. There was only one group that met those requirements. Maybe not totally but it is closer than nothing at all.

And so I dropped some yen and am now a member of the Ikebana International Kamakura Chapter. And that is how you buy a friend, my friend.

You say - I am already in Ikebana? Well, Ikebana International is actually about Ikebana. When the organization was established, it certainly was. But now… well, not so much. There is honestly just not that much interest in Ikebana to have a whole group thing. I mean, there are only seven people in my weekly class, and that is including me. I totally know what you are thinking… how could they not be interested?

The organization meets once a month for a social event and lunch. The first event is next week and I am already signed up. It is a Biwa performance at Daibutsu (The Great Buddha - for those of you who aren’t paying attention). No, I don’t know what Biwa is. But the pictures from last year looked really cool, dude, so like, I’m totally there. I’ll let you know next week what it actually is. Unless you are not as lazy as I am and look it up on the internet now. Then would you tell me, pretty please?

Other cultural events include:
An couple of Ikebana shows – surprise, surprise
Embassy visits in Tokyo
Japanese dance performances – last year it snowed and the pictures were so amazing. Must remember to do a snow dance for this year…
A Hawaiian Luau & a Christmas party
Indigo Dying & Tsumugi weaving – cannot wait for that one actually, when I learn what a tsumugi is. Love that word... tsumugi. Rolls off the tongue.

All this and I get to make a friend or two! Well. Hopefully. If they don’t hate me.

Oh, man… I’ve got to quit already.

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