I Think I'm Turning Japanese
It is 1:55AM California time, which means that right now it’s almost 6PM here in Japan. I’m on a bus heading to the Keio Plaza hotel with a bunch of New Zealanders. I got separated from most of the SF JETS, so now I feel even more foreign and weird, especially since I am sitting in the back of the bus by myself wearing a dorky neck pillow. How did I end up on the back of the bus by myself? I feel like Jenny waiting for Forrest. The bus ride to Keio Plaza is anywhere between 1.5 and 3 hours, depending (on the strength of the Yen? Ha.) on traffic. So looks like I’ll have a lot of staring out the window and blogging I can do!


Things don’t look terribly different, although I just noticed that we are driving on the left side of the road. You’d think this is something I would have found out in my research except –oh, wait—I didn’t do any research before leaving. You’d also think that going into this “moving to Japan for a year” thing blindly would be scarier than it is. But I think the fear is actually overrun by the guilt of me leaving a ginormous mess back at home for Dan to clean up.


The last night before leaving was almost an all-night frenzy, except for the hour nap I took  at 2am when I felt a potential migraine coming on. Otherwise, It was just boxing up all the junk and stuff that I’d intended to sort through before leaving, except I was just having too much fun saying bye to friends and enjoying my last couple weeks in the States to actually take any sorting/packing seriously. This is a decision I definitely regret. Instead of having a relaxing last evening at home with Dan on his first night in our place, I was freaking out about overpacking, figuring out how to organize things so Dan could find them when I’m gone, and wanting to go through all the old paperwork I was supposed to shred and get rid of. Leaving a heap of laundry and piles of stuff for Dan to clear out makes me feel like the worst person in the world, compounded with the fact that I am moving to a foreign country for a year. What a jerk.


Anyway, because I hardly slept at all last night, as soon as I was settled into seat 56C on flight JL001, I popped 2 Excedrin PM and said good night to my seatmate Jess. I literally fell asleep about 10 seconds later, and it was a near dreamless sleep. The only thing I remember dreaming about was hearing Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” playing on constant loop.


Some time later, I woke to the smell of food. I really really really wanted to eat what the guy on the other side of the aisle was eating. It looked like dumplings and teriyaki chicken. However, silly me told the travel agency about my minor allergy to peanuts, and they gave me an allergy-free meal. I opened up my little tin tray to find a piece of fish floating in some kind of tomatoe-y sauce. Thank god I like fish and I was starving, or I would have pitched a fit. It was actually pretty good, and it came with some sticky rice that Dumpling and Chicken Guy didn’t get, so I wasn’t too bummed. I tried to stay up and watch Date Night, which seemed really funny, but the Excedrin PM was still coursing through my veins and I promptly passed out once my food tray was collected and my tray table was locked. I again had a dreamless sleep, except this time I heard Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” on constant loop. Not that I minded.


Next time I woke up, it was yet again time to eat, which must mean I slept for a solid 4 hours since the last meal. This meal was less easy to identify. Perhaps it was a fish cake? Was it tofu? I wasn’t sure, but I gobbled it up, tried to watch Clash of the Titans, and promptly fell asleep again. I woke up to the cabin violently shaking, and for a split second I actually thought I was on LOST, but then I realized that I was awake and that we were going through turbulence. I looked up at the TV in front of me (I forgot to mention that everyone on JAL flights have their own Tvs with at least 4 movies and 5 shows to choose from) and saw that we were 15 minutes from Narita. How did a 9.5 hour flight feel like only 20 minutes? I was kicking myself for stuffing my backpack with reading material that I will now have to lug around, untouched.


The plane touched down in Tokyo, and I am still waiting for it to feel like I am in Japan. The extreme heat (90 degrees F) and ridiculous humidity might trick me into thinking I’m in a hot day in Hawaii, and so far all the Japanese are speaking English, so I’m safe. I have a feeling things will change as soon as I’m out and about in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, though.


I am too tired to be missing home yet, although the first thing I wanted to do when I got through customs was call my mom because I promised her a phone call as soon as I got here. However, There are no pay phones in sight, and obviously my cell does not work here.


I’m feeling slightly Amish.

Got to the hotel. Used a bidet for the first time. Life changing experience. :-)

Heather Holladay
8/2/2010 03:34:45 am

You made it! What is Tokyo like? Love the blog and look forward to reading more.

8/2/2010 12:45:37 pm

And so your adventure begins...I'll be
reading your blog everyday or each new entry.
I'm happy to see my name mentioned in your blog, made me tear up. Love you baby girl.


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