I am visiting Britain again. This seems to becoming a ritual for me, I was here in February 2014 and am here again in February 2015. It’s not entirely by accident, the academic year, in Japan runs from April to mid February. This is is a bit like Summer break in the west, the longest holiday of the school year. I was a bit too apprehensive about coming back last time, and whilst it was great to see family, friends and old and now not so familiar places, and was feeling too much of a prodigal son to enjoy it.
This time it’s different, maybe it’s only because this is the second time I’ve returned, that it not being the first time allows me to feel less pressure but I’m certainly enjoying it more this time. I still feel a bit of a stranger here but still more connected than last time. It’s an odd feeling that I can’t quite give adequate expression.
I’m still not quite ready to return to Britain to live, and perhaps I never will be entirely at ease with Britain, one day, the work in Japan might dry up and I’ll have to return, but at least now I don’t feel that having to return would mean the end of the world.