I have officially been in Japan for three days but it actually feels like a lot longer. Time has started to run together between feeling tired and feeling ridiculously excited and being crazy wet or crazy hot. Japan is really humid. It actually feels a lot like spring in Florida or Mexico. It's actually still the end of monsoon season here so my group got caught in a thunderstorm after dinner and I had no umbrella. Apparently umbrella's are actually used in Japan, and no one wears rain coats. I had mine but I still ended up getting soaked. All the JSP kids have big plans for going out at night to sing or something - but it hasn't happened due to the rain storms. Also the air is so moist we all look like we're drowning, whereas the Japanese barely look disturbed. The Japanese do all dress well, it's a lot like france where everyone has a really great outfit on all the time.
I had the best international flight of my life though, thanks to my dad upgrading me to economy plus. Since no one really knows what that is yet I had a full row all to myself. The movies were some I actually wanted to see and the only sucky part was the food- which is really expected. Thanks to that flight I got to sleep and adjust better to Japanese time. I'm still tired though, even though it's only nine thirty.
I got though customs alright and then I stood around the airport with the other kids in my program. We all bonded pretty quickly and I roomed with two girls at the Holiday Inn. I knew I was in Japan but everything still had an American twist. After we left that hotel and spent three hours on a bus it started to hit me a lot more. During random periods in orientation we would all just look at each other and say "I'm in Japan!" That's still the feeling. At our hotel in Kawagoe we all have our own rooms and so right now I'm watching someone sing on t.v. and listening to traffic in the city. And wearing the hotel robe, which every hotel has, all of which are pretty comfy.
Tomorrow I meet my family and take a Japanese placement exam. I am more nervous about meeting my family than the placement exam, even the oral. I don't actually know why.
I'm enjoying all the food and all the people but I do feel lost in the language. Thank god I know some, though, or I would be totally lost. Apparently one of the common effects of culture shock, which we are assured we will all experience it, is to get depressed or hate Japan after our 'honeymoon' stage. So, I guess that will happen at some point but right now I am in full force with the Honeymoon stage. Hopefully I will get through that state pretty quickly.
Some of the strangest things I have experienced is the very very very advanced toilets. There are a million buttons and a built in Bedai, The funniest thing is the sound button that projects a flushing noise while women go to the bathroom to cover up the noise.
So my posts will probably be pretty erratic since I think I will only have internet at the school and it's harder to make friends when I am online all the time. I will try and keep posting pictures and writing but we will see. I will say this - Japan has crazy t.v. Right now there is a girl who can make portraits by cutting out paper like snowflakes. That is insane.
Well, I'm going to go to bed now- and you all will be waking up in a few hours. Good luck and Good Night.
And here is the link to see the pictures I have taken so far
Friday, August 22, 2008
I like to think that there are people who will want to be informed about my experiance overseas- and I probably won't get around to sending everybody detailed e-mails. Thus the travel blog. Hopefully I will be able to post interesting things, and write funny stories, but I'm still pretty unsure of what to expect.
I fly out on Tuesday!
I fly out on Tuesday!