I live, I learn, I travel, I write.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm here!

I'm in Japan!
Alright, this last week has been RIDICULOUS. Of course, I waited until the last minute to pack everything. Figures. At least I made a list? Anyway, I had my last few days of work this week, and it was a sad goodbye. I love the people I work with, and I've been with them for SO long that it's going to be odd not having them around all summer. On Thursday, I woke up and started packing up all of my stuff to bring home before I left. I basically just brough all of my clothes back, as well as the electrical appliances and accessories that I planned on needing.

Friday was a pretty boring day; I went to Ann Arbor for band practice at Tommy's house, then I came back and basically did nothing for the rest of the day and night. Saturday was a crazy day of running errands... I went all over the place and spent a lot of money on last-minute things. Then GAB played a show at the Modern Exchange... basically, it was the perfect sendoff. After the show, Elyse, Mikey, Collyn, and I grabbed the last late-night dinner and beer (in the United States) for me at Old Chicago.

Sunday morning was a little bit crazy too. First of all, I was exhausted from the show when I woke up. Then I went to breakfast with Kyle and Kyle at Mom's (which was delicious), and then I came back to my house and just packed. Very quickly.

The flight was LONG. It was actually shorter than the last time I came to Japan; then it was 14 hours, and this time it was only about 12. There wasn't much turbulence, so it was pretty smooth, but it was still just outrageously long. I had a book, I had an iPod, and I had my Japanese textbooks, but it still just dragged on the entire time. It eventually got to the point where I was making really awkward conversation with the girl sitting next to me just so that I would be talking to someone. I slept for maybe an hour, but that's it. On the bright side, the videos they played were pretty good. They didn't just have movie after movie like some flights do; instead, there was a television block (in which they played 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Modern Family), followed by a movie or two, and then back to the television, etc. So that helped. A bit.
Finally, we landed in Nagoya. I forgot how it feels when you're dropping in altitude really quickly, and it took me by surprise. Then the whole ear-popping thing started, which was uncomfortable, but whatever. The airport was nice... the people try to be incredibly helpful and accommodating, which is nice in an international airport. It was a slap in the face, however, when I has to use some Japanese. It wasn't TERRIBLE, but it definitely could have gone more smoothly had I practiced some more over the past month. It's crazy how fast some of that stuff leaves your mind.

I made a new friend before boarding the flight, too. Her name's Jackie, and she's going to JCMU with me also. She spent a semester in Osaka last year, and her Japanese is MUCH better than mine, so it was definitely nice to have her with me when trying to store our luggage overnight and get a hotel room.

Our hotel is pretty nice. The room is small, but it's air conditioned and the bathroom is nice. We have to check out at 9:30 am (it's 7:30 as I write this), so we're doing things on our computers and watching a Japanese news TV network (which, by the way, is way more entertaining than American news and weather). After this, I think we're going to head back to airport and shop around a bit, grab something to eat, and wait for the JCMU people to get here.

Evidently, the FIFA soccer world cup or something is starting in ten days. I don't know much about soccer or sports, but it seems like it's a big deal here, especially since soccer in Japan is so popular. I'm actually interested in watching it, which is bizarre.

I'll update again soon... maybe with video? I want to do video tour type thing of my room and campus when I get there. Tonight is a meet-and-greet (I think), and tomorrow is a tour of Hikone, and the next day is placement exams... which I am NOT looking forward to.