Savoring My Last Few Days in Nagoya, and Saying Goodbye

Anh Nguyen
May 19, 2014

This is my last post for the IES Abroad Blogs – how time flies!

Today was our graduation ceremony. We received our certificate of achievement from Nanzan, and attended the farewell party.

The end-of-semester party.

A few days ago, I met up with the Japanese teacher who taught us in Inuyama during our first week in Japan (again, how time flies…). She and her husband treated me to conveyor belt sushi, and we chatted about my time in Japan, as well as my future plans. It was my first time in a Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant, and my first time ordering food using a touchscreen! Sensei explained that because of this system, the restaurant wouldn’t have to hire as many employees, and so could keep prices down. And cheap it was: around 100 JPY (or $1) for a plate!

Sushi and the order screen. The screen conveniently alerts you when your order is close so you can pick it up from the conveyor belt.

Sensei also told me about how she met up with an old friend  when she travelled to Germany months ago. She became friends with this person on an exchange program in Germany when she was in high school. It’s great to know that they could still remain friends and see each other again after all those years. The story made me feel better, too – as our program at Nanzan comes to an end this week, it is good to be reminded that life continues and friendships last beyond the graduation ceremony.

With that said, there’s nothing wrong with treasuring the little time I have left in my host city Nagoya. I have been walking around city trying coffee shops that I have been planning to go to and food that I have been planning to eat, taking photos of bits and pieces that hopefully will remind me of my everyday life here.

If you think Japanese portion sizes are tiny, I present… Japanese soufflé pancakes.

Only in Japan – Chocolate Brownie Matcha Frappuccino

I have been trying out a bunch of matcha snacks too.

In one of my first blog posts, I mentioned learning about how one would have to pass through the stage where everything about the host country becomes old and unpleasant. I am not sure about the experience of other students, but I personally never went through it. There were always new things to try and new places to travel to. Could my resolution of trying to go out and do something new every weekend have helped? Or could it be because I could not find fault with Japan’s beautiful and convenient everything? Maybe I have not stayed for long enough to spot all of Japan’s flaws and turn grumpy? I suspect it is a combination of all three.

Osu Shopping Street, where I often go on weekends.

All the different types of tofu in my host family’s fridge – there are many more types of tofu here and they all taste better, so I will have trouble adjusting when I’m back in the States…

This bowl of noodles came with a little plastic knife that you can use to cut the plastic covering. How thoughtful is that?

The path I often take walking from the subway station into Nanzan University (taken way back in April when there were sakura flowers).

Japan’s countryside is incredibly lovely.

Although I am ready to leave for home, the kindness of the people, the experiences I had and the lessons I learned at Nanzan and in Japan are things that will stay with me for a long, long time. I leave in the knowledge that if I do return to Japan, it will be like returning to a home away from home, to the small family that I have made here in Nagoya. But after the difficult goodbye… onwards to new adventures!

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Anh Nguyen

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Anh hailed from Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently a sophomore at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. She plans to major in Computer Science, but decided to take a non-CompSci semester abroad before coming back to it in her junior year (after all, when else will she get the chance?). In her free time she enjoys reading, exploring new places and new types of food, people-watching, as well as reading food blogs, planning to make every single dish that catches her eye, and then completely forgetting about them. She is as excited to blog about her journey as she is about her Spring semester in Nagoya!</span></div>

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Home University:
Haverford College
Computer Science
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