Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going Home

(Sorry it's so late)

Going Home
I awoke about 9 am realizing I need to get up because lord only knows how messed up this day can get. So I get dressed and walk to get my bus ticket that I failed to get last night because during the first attempt the konbini worker did not know how to get the bus ticket. So I headed back to Erin’s, rested, bundled up, then headed to find the other konbini… which ended up being closed. So I went to another konbini where I was showed how to get the ticket but you can only buy it from 6 am - 11 pm or so and it was after midnight. So this morning I walk to get it to find out you cannot buy the ticket for the day you need it. FAIL!

OK time for plan B. What’s plan B? Well… good thing I had a 15 minute walk to figure it out. I decided to call a taxi and just try my luck at the trains… by myself… with 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons… GANBARIMASU! So I stood at the corner where the turn for Erin’s apartment was to try to flag down a taxi… fail… Fail… FAIL! So I decided to walk to the gas station and get some help, it worked well, I got one of the attendants to call a taxi for me and ALL BY MYSELF I got the driver to the apartment, gathered my luggage, got to the station, paid and was on my way.

I had a nice guy help me into the station… not that it was hard to do. But I won’t complain. I searched for my PASMO that had still a few hundred yen on it then realized... it was still in my jacket pocket... the brown jacket... that was packed underneath a lot of stuff and locked up... FAIL AGAIN! I took the train to Nishi-Funabashi then asked the eki-in how to get to the airport from there… I was told to get on the Sobu line to Funabashi the switch to Keisei. A young girl asked me here if I needed help… and at the moment all I needed to know was if the train coming was the one I needed to ride, which it was, so I hopped on there. At Keisei, a nice old lady helped me with my luggage all the way to the Keisei line. So nice, but I was confused about her telling “Eight… Eight” I was thinking platform eight… but the Narita Airport platform was 2. Oh well, I won’t complain. I had help every now and then from other people… I guess the more nimotsu you have the more helpless you look LOL.

I arrived to the airport on the slowest Limited Express ever. What kind of tokyuu was that anyway? It stopped at every stop from Funabashi! I got to the airport around 12, checked my luggage and HALLULAH none of it was overweight :D I proceeded to get lunch… my last Shaka Shaka Chicken… I ordered 2 ^.^ And a small fry. I talked to Ryota a lot from within the airport. Security was a breeze, and immigration stole my gaijin card ;____;

I got to the gate with 40 minutes before boarding started. I took a bathroom break, bought some drinks, forgot snacks, oh well, sorry if I eat people’s snacks LOL. I talked to Ryota more. I love my Japanese cell phone. Instant email… that’s all I really need in transit.

Currently on my long flight. Full flight. Good movie selection this time. Well, there is Harry Potter at least. I’m trying to read, rest, listen to music. I think the movie is starting soon. Had maybe dinner. Teriyaki Chicken. Pretty good compared to the food on the way here.

(Belly Button Check in the USofA)

Got to love going through security in one country just to go through it again upon entering the US. My friends and I dubbed this the belly button check. Customs was easy... where everyone seemed to be interrogated, I was asked what I was doing in Japan (studying) what I was studying (Asian studies and Japanese) and then the TSA guard next to mine started talking to mine... and mine started complaining about being sick on his stomach, feeling like he was gonna puke, wanting to go home, and shoo-ed me away.

Anyways, landing in Detroit I saw a winter wonderland… there was snow on the ground :) WOOO!! That’s something I don’t see often. I wish I could have played in it. I had about 4.5 hours layover in Detroit. I checked my gate, got over there, found it (or so I thought), went to get a drink, ate at Chili's, found some internet, listened to people sing karaoke, went back to the gate, realized it was not the right gate, found my actual gate, read, slept, then woke up within 10 minutes of take off. WOOPS LOL! I got on though. The girl next to me had her little dog on the flight. It was cute.

(One more flight: I'll be home for Christmas...maybe)
Now I’m sitting in Memphis. Short layover. I won’t bother going to look for internet though I really really want to talk to Ryota. They started to announce that our flight was overbooked and if someone volunteers to leave they get accommodation for tonight, a flight for the morning, and 300$ voucher... NO THANKS! I'm going HOME! On the plane, we found out that our landing gear was stuck and we would fly with it down which means flying lower and slower making our transit time over an hour. The lady I sat next to was nice :) We talked all the way there! I ended up being 45 minutes late.

We parked at the back gate with no breezeway to walk through. Coincidentally, it is where I departed the US from in July. As I was struggling to go down the steps, I was asked by some guy at the bottom "You got it?" and I said yes, watching the stairs... despite being in the country full of kaidan (stairs) I had yet become a stair expert... I'm clutzy lol... then he asked again if I was sure... and I looked up and it was a friend of mine :) Wow, that was amazing. I sped walked through the gate and to my family. It was nice to be home. I learned they were worried because the screen with arrivals and departures never changed from saying we were on time.