Welcome to my new blog all about the semester I'm studying abroad in Japan. I arrived in Japan on the 25th of March, and have been writing a blog every night since arriving. I've finally had time to sit down and set it up online!! Hopefully I'll get them all uploaded soon! I'll be sharing almost anything and everything while I'm abroad. I'll also be updating my twitter and sending out emails to let people know when I've posted and uploaded new pics and other fun things like that. If you would like to receive these as well, please send me an email or message me with your contact info and I'll add you!! XD Anyways, now to the main event (remember I wrote this the night of and am just copying it over!)
March 25th, 2010:
So it’s currently 7:30 here in Japan and and 4:30am back in the states. I am in Japan. It seems like everything was being set up for me to be late so I could have this experience. As most of you know, there was a huge snow storm in Denver. My flight wasn’t technically delayed or canceled, but it took a while for take off because they had to check the wings like three times and then had to deice the plane twice. The flight was okay. I was stuck between a business person and a middle-aged person that just slept the entire time. I tried to get some sleep, but alas that wasn’t to happen. Every time I would start to close my eyes there was turbulence or someone on the plane laughed really loudly or little things like that. Basically that flight was just me resting my eyes. Then I arrived in LAX and was more confused than I had been for a long time. I finally found someone who could help me get to the ANA departures area, and it was so confusing and I must have looked like I was confused because she offered to write it down for me! I still have it, and will now let you know what I had to do on my first layover!
1. Head left to the escalators and take them down three floors.
2. Navigate through the baggage area to the bus pick-ups.
3. Walk about 3 blocks down to the big blue sign that says “Airport Connections.”
4. Take Bus “A” to Tom Brady International Terminal. (Although the story for this is I found the signs that said that I had to go to gate TBIT. I was so confused. I asked one of the security guards and all he said was to head to “the buses outside and they’ll take you to it.” Thanks dude. That really helped. Anyway, back to my list.)
5. Go left when I get off the bus and enter in the Arrivals area.
6. Go to the right and take the elevator to the third floor. (The elevator was kind of hidden behind a corner that was behind a corner. It took me like 10 minutes to find it.)
7. Go right to aisle B.
Yeah. So that was the beginning of my great trip in LAX. So I wait in line like seven minutes. Oh and this will be on of the first things that makes Japan, the Japanese people, and ANA (All Nippon Airlines) better than United and the Americans. There were two ground staff people waiting at the beginning of line and and would chat with you while you waited and direct you to the next open person for check-in. They were really nice and I talked with them about the snow storm in Denver that made my flight get in light. It also helped explained why I’m wearing a turtleneck and in L.A. (although I’m glad I wore it because the planes were so cold. I ended up leaving my jacket on and using the blankets!) Anyway, when I get up to the check-in counter I find out that my flight to Tokyo is delayed because there were weather conditions (wind is what I think the guys said). I was a little happy because I was getting short on time due to the Denver flight being late, but I wasn’t thinking about my layover to Fukuoka, which dawned on my later (thanks to EVIL!). Anyways, because there was over an hour delay, I got a free meal ticket worth $12 to any of the restaurants. I ended up going to the Mexican one because it wasn’t that busy and had some delicious chicken fajitas! Anyway, so I went through over to find the gates, and they were really weirdly set up. Thankfully the check-in guy told me about it otherwise I wouldn’t have known where the entrance was.
Anyway, continuing on, went through security and all that Jazz and found my gate pretty quickly. I had just under an hour of a wait until departure time. While sitting there waiting, I noticed the flight attendants gathering in a nearby area. They were all coordinating, walked the same, acted the same, and can in together (in small groups). I totally thought of the Japanese drama “Attention Please” (starring Ueto Aya) and wondered if it was realistic. Overall it was. This is another thing that is better than American airlines. Before they went and prepared the plane, they had a meeting where (I’m getting the details from the dramas) they would talk about the different passengers and go over who would be doing what and such. It was really neat to see them all standing around taking notes in their little books. This may get out of order, but since I’m on the flight attendants I might as well continue. Not only were they all matching (the only difference being if they wore a blue or purple scarf and button-up shirt), but they all would boy and have their movements in sync. It was a really neat effect. Almost everything was accurate in the drama. They change into aprons when serving food and beverages, walk around with newspapers and other pamphlets, and just are always smiling and pleasant. This isn’t anything against the flight attendant I had on my United Denver flight, but he had a zip up hoodie like thing on and had the sleeves pushed up around his elbows. One of the other flight attendants had a huge hole in his pants. I hope he knows it and fixes it soon.
So getting back to chronological orders and such, my 12 hour flight from LA to Tokyo wasn’t that bad. It didn’t feel that long. I feel asleep right after take off (my eyes were closed and it helped lull me to sleep <- Yeah I know I’m weird :P ). I was woken up by a flight attendant some time later asking if I wanted my meal. I was tired and just kind of nodded. While I looked around there were a couple people still with their empty trays and most everyone was watching movies. (Side note, I just watched the cutest cat commercial. I have no idea what it was for because there was a butterfly and then he got swallowed by a sombrero!) I felt really bad that they had to wait for me wake up before they could put all the meal things away, but I was really tired. So I ate this really delicious chicken, noodles, side dishes, and something else, but I can’t remember what was in the other
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! I just saw an Arashi commercial NOT ON YOUTUBE BUT ON TV LIVE IN JAPAN!!! It’s the one with Leader/Ohno playing Wii Super Mario Brothers with Nino!! XD OMG! That just made everything!! XD
Back to what I was saying, I can’t remember what was in the other little dish. I also had a sashimi, but I didn’t know what it was but it tasted like the ham that was sitting on top of it! It was really yummy! Yay! My first sashimi! So right after I ate my meal I asked one of the flight attendants what our projected time to land was, and it worked out so I would have like 25 minutes to get through customs and immigration and stuff. I asked her about my connecting flight, since I’m new to this whole flying thing (especially internationally), and she let me know that I would have to talk to the ground staff if anything were to happen. After talking to her, I (sorry I just got distracted by an Aflac commercial that started out with the duck meowing and then him and a cat danced. It was really weird, but I love it!) went back to sleep. We had some pretty bad turbulence that woke me up, but I was too tired to turn a movie on or do something else so I just focused on things to help me fall back asleep. I eventually did, and woke up with about an hour left on the flight. They served us another meal, but I didn’t finish this one. I was still full from the earlier meals and felt bad if I didn’t eat anything. OMG! I had real sticky rice. It was absolutely delicious, but I wasn’t able to finish it because I had eaten too much already and the turbulence was a warning to stop eating. I did take a couple bites of the stuff that was in the tub with the rice, had some of the tune & carrots, ate my broccoli and ate my fruit. The fruit was honeydew melon and pineapple. That was the most delicious pineapple I have ever had in my life. It was so delicious. I could have probably just sat there and ate more of the pineapple even though I wasn’t that hungry. Afterwords I just (now there’s a talking bidet commercial) went back to sleep until I felt the downwards plunges to head for landing and woke up. Oh and I forgot to mention, I was again seated between a business man and a middle-aged man. The only difference was that I have never seen so many Japanese people in one place before! It helped make it that much more real that I didn’t really understand what anyone was saying.
Anyway, so when I went to the bathroom and used my first bidet. It was…interesting. I’ll just leave it at that. So by the time we landed I was already twenty minutes late for my next flight because it’s raining in Tokyo and we had to wait a few minutes before we could land. After going through customs and immigration (It actually went really fast. The longest part was waiting for my luggage.)
OOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!! Another fangirl moment. I saw an add for a variety show that had Sho, Aiba & MatsuJun. Speaking of which, I can’t believe that I’m not only in the same country as them now, but the same city. Which leads me back to what I was saying, I missed my flight to Fukuoka. It’s unfortunate, but I have a free night at the Holiday Inn Narita airport and that is where I’m sitting now. Out my window I can see this huge grouping of trees, the JAL building, and another building (kanji kanji I).
OOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG the Arashi variety show I was just mentioning is on now!!! Omg! Sho (my favorite) and Aiba (my second favortie) and MatsuJun!! Omg! So I’m going to finish writing my blog now. I’ll try to post it soon, but if not I’m writing this the night of the 25th here in Tokyo where I’m spending my first night in Japan. Unfortunately I won’t be going to Nagasaki with everyone tomorrow because I have my flight and then have to take a bus, but the upside is my host family is picking me up and I’ll get to spend more time with them!! YAY!! So good night/good morning everyone! I’m going to enjoy fangirlling over Arashi now!! XD