Published: March 14th 2009February 2nd 2009
They're both teachers
Scarcely had I arrived back from my own snow adventure, when I had to go and collect two bodies from the train station after theirs. I had offered my place up to Mr and Mrs Merritt, parents of one of my closest friends and one of them an ex sensei of my own.
Linda and Peter Merritt have to be two of the most fun and happy people you could hang around with.
It has been almost 10 years since I left school, so it didn't feel awkward. I can actually call him Peter now (after years of calling him Mr Merritt, and once calling him Paul). It did feel somwhat surreal though, but it always does when people from back home are over here.
You constantly think to yourself 'wow...I normally see you in Australia...but now I'm driving you around my city...ok'. Not to mention the fact that Peter is now Vice principal at my old school...
I was having odd thoughts (that sometimes I wished I hadn't) like 'Kyoto sensei is in my house!' (/toilet/shower)...I could have done without some of those.
It was lucky for me (but luckier for them) that
they were avid snow chasers, because if they hadn't been, I might have been murdered in my sleep for the amount I went on and on about snowboarding. (It really is an addiction, and not once I want to fight!).
Unfortunately I wasn't on holidays so I only saw them in the mornings and afternoons once i'd finished work. We would talk - and drink - in the evenings, they'd make plans for sightseeing the next day, and in the morning I would get ready for work, drop them at the station, and hope they made it back in the evening.
I was lucky on their final day, as I had a meeting in Kyoto that afternoon, and was able to meet them in Gion afterwards. We just walked around, taking in the Japan-ness of it all, and I was able to re-expierience it through their eyes.
It gave me an extra little reason to love it here, as it is far to easy to get used to my surroundings and be blase about it.
Seeing it through someone elses eyes brings back the newness, the freshness, and through no fault of your own, the realisation
of how expensive things actually are.
I got used to spending x amount of Yen on things, and when only they goggled at the price did I realise how much I was spending in their eyes. Of course it doesn't help what with the economic downturn lately.
Perhaps another reason to go home with my super yen! (Or stay and earn more!).
Having that last night together was great as I didn't feel like I was just their room and board giver/ taxi driver, and got to have a bit of midweek fun.
I dropped them at the station the next morning where they embarked on the next leg of their journey - to Hiroshima - before hitting Tokyo and heading home.
Thanks for coming!
And for anyone elese who has met the Merritts...they are AWESOME houseguests!
There are more photos below