I got a phone call at the office today. It was from Ashley Brooks, one of the Prefectural Advisors for Shimane. She made a bit of small talk about the Group B orientation from which she'd just returned, and how she'd met the new CIR for Yokota, a young woman from Thailand who speaks and understands English well enough but is inconfident about her abilities. "But that's not why I called you," she said. Apparently Dad, not knowing what had happened with me, had dug up a phone number for CLAIR (where he got it, I don't know), and had called someone asking about me. The message had been passed along to Ashley, and she called to ask that I contact him, "and tell him, 'I'm here, I'm alive, I'm eating.'" Feeling mildly embarrassed, I explained, "I talked with my mom, and she said she'd e-mail my brother."
"Ah, okay. Maybe that message didn't get to your dad from your mum and brother."
I chuckled. "My brother lives with my dad, but I guess they don't communicate much."
"Well, it's nice to be loved."
"Yes, it is."
I was a bit on the defensive, but mostly because I was feeling quite foolish. I mean, how stupid of me to fly off to the other side of the world, and not even drop Dad a line to let him know that I'm okay. He hadn't heard from me in eleven days. So I sent him an e-mail as soon as I got off the phone. :P
Before I left NY, someone commented to my dad, "Oh, she's going to be gone for so long! I'm sure you'll miss her." Dad looked at me, shook his head, and said, "Na."
Saturday morning, the day after he dropped me off at my hotel near JFK, he called my cell phone and left a message: "Hey Em.... I didn't think I was going to miss you, but I guess I am. Darn it." I laughed. Love you too, Dad.
Oh, and that typhoon over the weekend? That wasn't anything. If I hadn't heard about the typhoon, I would have thought it was just lousy weather. Other parts of Japan got hit harder—I saw it on the news—but our little corner of the country emerged unscathed.