Another great post by Al Bartle…I completely agree with his comments regarding missing his students. Life just doesn’t feel the same when I can’t hear about their adventures. Walking around Hirakata I do run into a few of them and we chat or sometimes go and grab a cup of coffee (or juice for me as I’m neither a coffee nor tea drinker) at one of the 3 Starbucks within 2 minutes walk of Hirakata Station. It’s hard to believe but I’ve been here for 12 years now and while Hirakata might not be well known to many people I find it just the perfect little city with easy access to both Kyoto and Osaka and it seems to get more and more stylish each year. I know lots of the store owners and am happy to keep their flyers at my classroom and do whatever I can to help them grow. It’s symbiotic…I help them get more customers and hopefully if they hear of someone looking for an English school they send them my way. It’s kinda “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours kinda thing.” While my school is relatively small I’m confident in time the sky’s the limit.