This winter was my first time living somewhere that is warm enough to grow citrus. Yet another reason I don’t want to leave Tanegashima. Mikan (satsuma oranges), Ponkan (Chinese honey tangerines), and Kinkan (kumquats) are the main players on this island, and they grow so abundantly that people have to give them away if they don’t want them going to waste. NASA people (some of whom would live on instant ramen and chips if they could) have been able to avoid scurvy thanks to the generosity of the restaurant, hotel, and store owners who can’t seem to give their oranges away fast enough.
Cody and I are trying to process the idea that we’re leaving this island, maybe forever, in three days. But it will not compute. Still, we’re loading up on souvenirs and eating at all of our favorite places one last time, proceeding as planned. Here’s hoping I can hold it together when I say goodbye to all the Sun Pearl people and my Tanegashima friends. Reality awaits.