This was taken just before we were about to walk up the Brooklyn Bridge. H E L L O Brooklyn!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The First Three Days of Entering Japland

Ok where do I bloody start? So much has happened in the ‘getting settled’ department, but since you people are so intrigued with me and my ‘going away to faraway lands of Japland,’ I’ll just give it to you.

Saying farewell in the airport wasn’t easy. My mum burst into tears at the last moment and immediately walked away as if it was too hard for her to stand around and continue mourning me going away. As for Radomir and me, it was dramatic. Hmm, dramatic is an understatement. I say no more.

So my trip wasn’t emotionally positive. I was upset, depressed and anxious. Leaving home and people I love. Not easy. So my trip to Zurich was fine with a Peruvian guy next to me trying to talk to me in broken English, but I made out most of what he was saying. I got onto my next flight, which was filled up with mostly Japanese people and already I was experiencing REAL Japan. So the Japanese lingo was coming back with the hostesses speaking to me in Japanese and even giving me a Japanese migration card to fill out. I found it amusing. So there I am trying to read what’s left of my Cosmo magazine or what little I have left of London fashion and style, then I turned to the common method of flight entertainment – new movies. Watching Love in the Time of Cholera didn’t help given the sentimental position I was in. I ended up crying while everyone else was sleeping. Things started to perk up as I realised there was only 3 hours left of the journey ahead and as soon as I arrived, wow was it warm. London is really missing out. Although it was slightly windy, I still felt warm. So immigration was around 1 hour waiting for queuing and later some zap-page of finger print scanning and a grotty photo of Mary feeling like shit after a 10-hour flight… ooh very snazzy. But, as soon as I went onto my first train ride, I started asking myself thee question, ‘what the fuck am I doing here?’ Close to an moment of anxiety.

Once I arrived at the designated train station, I rung up Interac, (company I’m working for arsehole,) and they told me to go to Yokohama and ring them. I thought hmm, ok, but when I got to Yokohama they told me to go to Kannai and I was getting angry because I was lugging around 30 kilos of baggage. Wee little Mary didn’t like that and until this day, my arms are still hurting. However, what is interesting is on one occasion there was no escalator and I had to go up these 40 stairs. At first I was going up step by step, picking up my 23 kilos and then my 9 kilos, and throughout that time probably 5 women and some guy came up to me and asked if I needed help and that made me happy. I kept saying ‘daijoubu,’ which means its ok, but when it came to 5 steps left, a mother with her daughter came up to me and asked to help. So she help carried my small luggage, which was so sweet. Yet when I got to Kannai station, same problem, no escalators. I started off going downstairs with the same method when a Japanese woman asked to help me, she grabbed my 9 kilos, and all of the sudden a ‘salary man’ (or Japanese business man) shoved his laptop bag into my left hand and took my 23 kilos down to the end of the stairs. As I was saying ‘arigatou’ he had already taken his laptop bag and ran off, which I found amusing. I have to be honest here - these people must have thought I was Japanese otherwise they wouldn’t have helped me. Why? I know because I’ve met another ALT who is staying at my hotel, who told me that he had the same problem, but no one came up to him. Comparison he is a Caucasian male from Los Angeles and I don’t think gender makes a difference.

I could spend all day explaining everything that has happened, but that would take more than an hour to explain. I’m annoyed at myself because I’ve forgotten my digital camera so I haven’t been able to capture what I’m seeing and this place is so lovely. From the hotel I’m staying at, to what it looks like on the streets, I know that you, people would like it. It is so clean and more than futuristic.

I’m also staying at a nice hotel which is more than decent. I was so impressed with the room that I immediately took my kit off and ran into the white sheeted bed and slept like a baby for 3 hours. After all that lugging around 30 kilos and frustration that no one was picking me up at Yokohama as I had been previously told. So far I’ve met a Hawaiian girl, two Australians, and two yanks. But today, I saw someone in the lobby who looked like my class- mate on my SOAS diploma course and it was Rich-san and fuck yeah I was glad. I’m so pleased that someone from England was here!!! SORRY, I’m all for embracing globalisation, but there is nothing wrong with seeing a familiar face especially someone you’d been studying Japanese with for a year. We were pleased that we bumped into each other, we grabbed a drink (£1.50 for Tiger beer) from the convenience store. This is going to make this week easier since we know what we are like, etc. We are also meeting another fellow Soas course mate in Tokyo, which is also good, but I think it’s the element of Britishness that I miss. Yesterday I got a full pounding from these yanks that didn’t understand what I meant when I said, ‘eager beaver’ and one yank who makes me laugh and is in Japan for the cars, claims that indubitably isn’t a word. LOL! And the other yank was getting to comfortable with my patriotism that I called him a ‘fucking American,’ which all turned out into laughs anyway. So I got away with that one, but either way everything is cool so far.

As for my Japanes, it's er, broken, however, I’m getting around fine and I’m coming to grips with my kanji. I’ve realised that I know more than I had originally thought and these other buggers can’t read it. However, I reckon they’re better at forming grammatically correct sentences than I am. Ah, I’m on my third day and I’m definitely not ashamed of being a ‘crap at Japanese foreigner.’ Oh, yeah I’ve been observing some hot Japanese girls. Not bad! Lol.

I also had a look at my my area and annex guesthouse in Yokosuka and so far I've seen three black guys and some white Americans, which proves that the area being a US Navy Base is not just a name for it's history. It's pretty much prevalent, but I don't think I'll find that a problem. Yanks, I mean. I also live close to Tokyo Bay, so I want to find out where my nearest beach is. The weather is so hot during the mornings but I really do love it. Anyway, more to come.

Right, I’m off to meet my friend Tommy (also at Interac) to go to Shinjuku (Tokyo.) Fun Fun! I might also get a new mobile today as well as a new post office account. Over here, its like a regional bank. See you later!

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I've moved to NY

I've moved to NY
I have certainly moved to New York City