Woah! A flashback AND a flashforward! Hang on to your butts. Panel 2 is me at my second Japanese job – at a middle school – after I got back from a visit home to NY. Panel 3 is me AFTER I got back from the trip this very comic is about, in my office at the time. I sat in a large sort of cubicle/playpen large enough for 4 people and a couch. O_o; A few months after that, my team and I were moved into a couple of nice rooms with big windows. Much better. : )

For those curious, omiyage don’t have to be food, but edible omiyage are optimal, so that people don’t have to find space for new objects in their small Japanese apartments/houses, and can get immediate use out of, by eating. Fortunately, anyone who’s ever been to an airport knows how easy it is to find shops selling bags of fun-sized candies. And a lot of American candies are hard or impossible to find in Japan (or at least they were in 2007-8), so it was an especially fun bit of cultural exchange to introduce my Japanese coworkers to things like Reese’s peanut butter cups. : ) Mmmm…. ::smacks lips:: x_x;

Anyway, if you’re living in Japan, and you take a trip, it’s crazy rude not to bring back at least a snack for your coworkers, let alone friends and family. Travel is expensive enough! 😮 But hey, it’s kind of a fun thing to do. : )