Thursday, August 23, 2012

23.08.2012 - To Japan!

Hello all,
Well, I'm here. In my new bedroom. In Tokyo. Where I will be living for the next 10 months and 8 days, which I only happen to know because I had to give the exact length of my stay at the airport yesterday.

Here's my story of getting here! it's not especially thrilling, but hey, neither is most of what I blog about.

yay flying

 Currently in the air, about two hours in to my 12 1/2 hour flight to Tokyo.
Already napped and watched a horrible movie called A Thousand Words. A guy (Eddie Murphey, which is the first problem) i a jerk and blah blah if he speaks a thousand words he'll die blah blah his marriage falls apart blah blah and then he realises what really matters blah blah used his last words to say kind things and guess what? he doesn't die.
Nicolas Cage was a co-producer, too.

So far my day's been pretty good.
It started at 4 this morning, woke up, showered, packed some last minute stuff (still managed to forget some bras I just bought, seconds of the makeup I wear on a daily basis, a dream catcher my friend made me, washcloths… I'm sure there's more.) and then went to the airport. I made or may not have cried while saying goodbye to my family. Mum cried, so that was the end of playing it cool.

Flight to Toronto was uneventful, managed to sleep for most of it. Which was important because I've slept like, 15 hours in the past week.
Went to my gate, ate some french fries for breakfast and waited for my flight to Japan.

choose to be healthy, kids.

I would say 90% of my flight is made up of Japanese people. It's bizarre to look a tourist when normally I travel and everyone thinks I'm from wherever I am, regardless of how lost I look. But seriously, no one will think I know what's going on in Tokyo!

I did sort of realise how much I'm going to miss my family while watching that movie. He was all emotional with his mother about how family's the most important thing and I may have teared up a bit.
Anyway, still can't really believe I won't be in North America for a year. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I'm off to start watching Doctor Who. I've watched a fair bit of Season 6 with Magnus but I'm actually going back to the first episode of Season 5 and going from there.


Watched Some Doctor Who, and watched Sky High. Because I needed some stupid entertainment.
But it's ok because the elderly japanese man in front of me has been going back and forth between reading/taking notes on various philosophical texts and watching Puss in Boots: The Movie.

I'm really beginning to get nervous. I mean, I guess it's starting to sink in that I am really for real moving and will be living in Japan and holy shit.

I've been listening to the playlist I made myself though, it's really nice! I'm going to maybe try to upload it somewhere so you can listen to it, or maybe I'll just link each song. But they're all songs that remind me of someone, or I've just been really into in the last few weeks.

Three of these are covers sung by friends of mine, but other than that you can click through to the song.

    1.    Ten Things - Paul Baribeau
    2.    Chinese Translation - M. Ward
    3.    Californiacation - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    4.    Cosmia - Joanna Newsom
    5.    That's What's Up - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
    6.    Penny For Your Thoughts - Joel Plaskett Emergency
    7.    Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    8.    When I Was Younger - Rizzle Kicks
    9.    Drunk Teenagers - Joel Plaskett Emergency
    10.    Shake It Out - Florence & The Machine
    11.    1904 - The Tallest Man on Earth
    12.    The Cuckoo (Cover, though I don't know who wrote it) - Liam Britten
    13.    Love - Nancy Adams
    14.    A Million Years  - Alexander
    15.    Euphoria - Loreen
    16.    Raise It Up (Rabbit Heart) - Florence + The Machine
    17.    The World Spins Madly On - The Weepies
    18.    You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor cover) - June Adams & Lucy Albert
    19.    Carries On - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
    20.    The Book of Love - The Magnetic Fields
    21.    Oh Gabriela (Carsie Blanton cover) - Zara Canon-Mohammed
    22.    All Wash Out - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
    23.    Oh Very Young - Cat Stevens
    24.    Good Morning Sunshine  - Alex Day
    25.    Fairytail - Alexander Rybak
    26.    Walking On The Moon - Karmin
    27.    Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf
    28.    Koka Kola  -The Clash
    29.    Super Bass - Nicki Minaj 


Well, end of my flight was uneventful. It did take me almost an hour to get through immigration though, since they kept sending me to the wrong lines for someone with a working holiday visa.
Anyway, finally got through, phoned Paul, got on the train.
But the train guy put me on the wrong carriage, so I was in some old ladies seat and blah blah blah.
anyway, she very very kindly offered to switch with me and go to the other carriage since I had my suitcases and she didn't.

It kind of just hit me on the train that I live here now and I can't just go home. It's scary.

Met Paul at Shinjuku station, came to my new home for the next year. 
I've only met one of my roommates so far and he wasn't kidding about only speaking 'a little english', but hey, it's going to spur me onto learning Japanese faster!

I phone my family to let them know I was ok, it was really nice hearing their voices. As amazing as it all seems, I feel so very far from home right now.

Went to the grocery store with Paul, which is adorably called Tesco's. It may be filled with things who's labels I have no understanding of but it makes me feel oddly good.

I put a few photos up and put some books on the shelf, I have to properly unpack tomorrow.

Unfortunately I can't currently figure out the wifi, so hopefully I'll have only been here a day before everyone gets to read this!

Tomorrow Paul's taking me to get sorted out to train at the Hombu Dojo and then so register my address, so I can, you know, be here.


Perhaps my most horrible night of sleep ever?
I passed out around 9, but then Yuki woke me up when he came home at like 11. I think he wanted to introduce him and didn't realise I was asleep. I was half asleep so I'm not 100% sure.
So then I was up until about 1.
Slept until 2.30 and then just got up and unpacked and organised everything, which took until about 4.
I found a letter/little present combination from each of my parents which, not going to lie, made me cry. Even though I've been gone for like, two days it's just really hitting me how long it'll be until I can see them.
Listened to some music and slept until 5.15
got up and finished unpacking my carry on stuff.

all the movies/books on the shelves are Paul's, but everything else is mine!

two of my delightful parting presents from the dojo when I left.

these are the books I chose to bring; flawless description of myself.

two most important photos to have up.

It is so hot in this room I am actually dying. We're not meant to sleep with the AC on so people generally leave it on all day but Paul forgot yesterday and I don't understand how to open the windows, or even if I can open them at all since I'm at street level so they may be sealed.

I think once I've showered (I didn't get a chance to shower last night so I still feel plane/travel gross) and get the wifi working so I can talk to everyone I will feel much better.
Probably once I eat too, I haven't had an actual real normal meal since Monday night and haven't eaten anything at all since yesterday morning.


Showered, sort of. I don't have any shampoo/condition or soap, so it was more of an intense sponge bath? The water pressure if really good though! I figured out how to make the water very cold, which was really all I wanted.
It's still only quarter past 6, so I won't be able to get the wifi sorted for a bit, waaah.


I ate a very not-japanese-at-all breakfast of Cornflakes(or as I will now be calling them, should I mention them again on here, Llama Flakes. No need for you to need to know why) with chopped up bananas and soy milk.
Watched a few more episodes of Doctor Who to pass the time.

Around 10 Paul came over and we walked to the Hombu Dojo to get my registered, I have a special ID card and everything.
I even managed to bare having my photo taken by the sign, just for you Da!

Then we walked to the something-or-other building where I had to register my address to make my alien resident card actually valid.

we stopped by a 100 Yen story (the equivalent of a dollar store) and look at all this candy!
I haven't gotten any yet, but it's all so delightfully colourful.

And then we went to get me a train card. Had to go to Shinjuku station for that one, and while I hate to sound small town, holy moly! So many people. So, so many. Something like twice the number of people who live in all of Nova Scotia go through there daily.

Came back and he sorted out my wifi for me, turns out I was just trying to login to the wrong network, typical.

 I just skyped with Magnus for an hour or so, which was good. I miss him.
After this is posted I plan on taking a nap for a bit, then I'm going to be going to Paul's for dinner this evening.


I hope you all have a pleasent tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Great to read the first part of your trip diary, Signe! I LOVE those convenience stores - they're so cute! I trust you won't feel homesick long - there are so many cool things to explore there. Take it all in and enjoy! Love to hear about your first time on the mat.