The Last Days: Memories w/ Meikai (yr. 2 – pt. 1)


These are the memories and emotions that have been brewing in my mind for the past couple days. This entry is definitely the longest one i’ve written, but it’s also my most heartfelt one, next to my entry to Minju…

Well, another year has come and gone. The Meikai students came and only six weeks later, they’re gone. I like to think of encounters as fate and this one was the same. I like to think that fate brings people together and some day, their paths will intertwine again.

Whether you believe the reason is fate or not, you gotta have something that drives you towards new experiences. It’s this drives that fuels me to quit my anti-social tendencies and get out into the world again. If you stay cooped up in ur house all day/nite, u just might miss that special something/someone. For me, it was a special group of Japanese students from Meikai University. Through a little volunteer event called conversation hour, I got to meet these great girls and guys.

As our interactions w/ each other increased, so did our friendship (I like to refer to them as my little sisters from Japan. LOL). We got to share many memories as time passed and I think that strengthened our bond. Getting a chance to show our culture to them really opened my eyes. There’s sooo much stuff I have yet to discover, yet I’ve lived here for so long. Things are always changing and evolving. And showing our ever evolving culture really enthralled me. It may sound really stupid, but seeing the look on their faces when they see a shuttle launch or see the sun setting on Clearwater Beach makes every experience worth it. I may seem like I complain at times, but seeing someone’s smile makes me forget everything and smile back. =)

I’m all about creating beautiful memories, so I wanted to make the last days with them the most memorable. Yuka and Yasuko, my favorite little sisters, asked to spend the day w/ me, Alfred, Yancy, and Trung (i’m sorry Aaron, but this was between us only, which was why I didn’t tell you). Trung couldn’t make it until later, so it was us five for most of the day. I wanted to make the day the most memorable day they’ve had in America, which is kinda hard to top after a night shuttle launch, and a beautiful sunset on Clearwater Beach. So my creative/romantic/fun mind had its work cut out for itself (w/ Alfred’s input too. haha).

So, how does lunch at Seasons 52 sound for starters? I took Minju to this place for her birthday, so there’s great memories here. If you don’t know what Seasons 52 is, it’s this awesome grill/wine bar that’s located offa Sand Lake Rd. in Orlando (Dr. Phillips area). It was named the best restaurant in Orlando by the Orlando Sentinel and I have to agree! We got there around 12:45pm and I requested to sit out in the back, which has a BEAUTIFUL lakefront view. My pic of it doesn’t do it justice.

Zoom forward to post-lunch —>

Now after, we take Alfred’s suggestion and go mini-golfing nearby at Pirates’ Cove. I haven’t mini-golfed in ages (maybe two years?) and this experience was even more enjoyable sharing it with them. We decided to ditch the score card early on, cuz noone felt like keeping scores. That came back to bite us in the butt. Apparently, there’s a secret hole and if you get a hole in one on it, you get a free game after you finish… they shoulda told us that in the beginning… but anyways, the enjoyment that came from spending the time w/ Yasuko, Yuka, Alfred, and Yancy was better than any free game.

After mini-golf, it was time to head to Lake Eola for a late afternoon/dusk picnic. After getting lost for a little bit while exploring downtown Orlando, we finally arrive. We get our picnic gear: sandwiches that Alfred made earlier in the morning, fruit salad from Publix, and orange soda from there as well, and head to “the spot.” Everyone was tired by this time, so when we got there, it was a great sigh of relief. We got our refill of energy by eating Alfred’s deliciously sweet sandwiches and throwing bread at random ducks. After we rested up, we went for a nice walk around the park. Along the way, we came across the children’s’ playground. A couple Japanese sentences between Yuka and Yasuko, and 30 seconds later, they ran into the playground. This brings back all the childhood memories, stepping into a place like that. But anyways, 30 min later, after we’re tired from the merry-go-round thing, we decide to leave and walk the rest of the park. There’s a lotta stuff to look at there and many good pics.

With Lake Eola done, we decide to join Andrea and her group to go karaoke at Aki’s. I was surprised to learn that the karaoke was free, as long as you ordered food! but yes, it was nice to meet up with everyone that I met over the weeks for one last hoo-rah. Lotsa songs later, and homework finished, we decide to head out. But before we left, the Meikai students decided to sing all of us a song. It was very touching, even tho I didn’t understand it. And after, everyone starts to get all emotional when they realize this is gonna be the last time they hang out in Orlando. Many tears are shed amongst everyone. Yasuko tearfully comes to me and gives me a bag with this really cute bunny on it. I take the bag and pull Yasuko over to hold/comfort her. For someone as shy as her, Yasuko can be really emotional. Getting to know her was probably one of the most rewarding friendships so far. She reacted really well towards me and we really connected over time. I tend to notice the shy people and make an effort to speak to them more. They tend to yield better friendships, in my experience, but there’s always exceptions… anyways, we head outside to take last minute group pics and do random talking after all the emotions are settled. Yuka and Yasuko decide to stop by my apartment for a little bit before heading back home.

Fast forward to my apt —>

We arrive at my apt and after we settle in, Yuka pulls out of her bag a gift for me. It turns out to be the “secret” her and Yasuko were talking about last nite. They had no sleep from making it and after presenting it to me, my feelings started to build up. It wasn’t to the point where I started crying, but it was up there. I gave each of them a huge hug and told them that I loved it and really appreciated the effort they took to make such an awesome gift. It’s really a gift for us; me, Alfred, Yancy, and Trung, but I guess I got to keep it.

TO BE CONTINUED… (i’ll post the rest tomorrow morning. i’m sure this is enough to read already. LOL.)


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