This is a very late first post! I apologize for not uploading sooner! More posts are on the way and should be uploaded more regularly. Thank you for your patience and I hope you enjoy the post!
It was a very early morning today (June 9th, 2019). Yesterday and today sort of blurred into one as a result of my nervous energy in anticipation of the full day of travel ahead; as well as the venture to work in a country in which the language and the culture are still relatively new aspects of study in my life. With less than an hour of sleep, it was time for the day to begin. It was a little after 3:00 am. I gathered my remaining toiletries, sealed up my suitcases, and then made a quick breakfast of plain oats, Cheerios, and Muesli. As a side note, oats are my favorite grain and I’m a little sad to have been informed that they are not very prevalent in Japan at all. However, I quite like rice as well, so I’m sure it won’t be too bad.
After saying goodbye to most of my family, my mom, my cousin, Phyllis, and I left for the Denver International Airport. It was a very easy drive, with it being 4:00 am and we arrived sooner than I would have liked. My mom walked with me until we encountered the three bizarrely crowded security lines and then said goodbye (for now). It then took a good hour to make it through to the gate. Thankfully, there was time to buy a neck pillow before the flight boarded and the 2.5-hour flight to Vancouver arrived safely. Despite a fair amount of turbulence, I was able to get some much-needed rest (no thanks to the neck pillow, unfortunately). I’m now writing this post within the Vancouver International Airport during a 4.5-hour layover. This airport is one of the nicest I’ve ever been in, honestly. It’s not due to the immense size or number of shops it has, but due to the living decorations. There’s a mini stream that runs from one end of the shopping area in the international terminal to the other. Surrounding the stream are water grasses, flowers, and trees. And at the base of the stream is a decently large fish tank filled with big, funny looking fish, water plants, and starfish.
I’m happy that I get to be here for the next three hours, but now I’m going to take a coffee nap. I’ll write again soon.
In spite of the powerful headache that resulted after I woke up, the nap was effective. I also forgot to mention that I found two Canadian dollar coins in between the cushion of the seat I took a nap in, which helped me to buy a pretty good Subway sandwich. While eating my sandwich, I had a very sad realization. All of the pretty plants, flowers, and trees that I had admired turned out to be fake. During this realization, my Mom called me and helped me realize that I was late to the gate. Since there was still 25 minutes until the flight was going to take off, I lightly jogged to the gate. When I arrived, there was a huge line of people standing in front of the gate. I asked someone what was going on and they told me that the flight had been delayed and that no one had boarded yet. I was very relieved! We are now boarding, so I will write again soon!
The flight went much better than I thought it would! It was a little under ten hours, actually, and I slept or rested for about half of it, so it really wasn’t bad at all! During the hours of consciousness, I listened to some Game of Thrones on Audible, ate some pretty delicious food provided by the airplane, and watched two movies. Going into a little more detail, the first meal was chicken with pasta and a side of corn salad with balsamic dressing and the second meal was ginger pork with rice and a side of fruit salad. Aside from the potential carcinogens from the very hot food being served in a plastic container, the food was very good and filling! The two movies I watched were Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Both of these movies were fantastic in their own right! I ended up liking Into the Spiderverse a little more than The Hidden World, but would highly recommend both of them.
After the flight ended, we left the plane and went through customs. In comparison to the United States and United Kingdom customs, this process was a breeze. It was handled so quickly and efficiently that I could hardly believe that it had happened when I had finished. The next part of the journey was finding a bus that could drop me off close to where the hostel would be. I was afraid to try speaking Japanese, so I asked about bus tickets in English. A little disappointed in my fear to practice the language I’ve been studying, I walked outside and waited a short five minutes for a bus that took me to a place called the Excel Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo. Shortly after arriving, I made the silly decision to try to walk to the hostel. This was silly because I didn’t have any data and planned to memorize the path on Google maps while using free WiFi from a nearby mall. Needless to say, I got lost. I had no idea where to go and since it was raining, I was too nervous to stop someone to ask where to go because I figured I would waste their time. After about ten minutes of wandering, I circled back to where I started and tried to get my bearings. I then tried a second time. About seven minutes into my second try, I gave up, went back to the hotel, and called an Uber. I was fairly disappointed in myself at that point, but I got to see a lot of cool shops while walking in the rain and pulling my two suitcases, so it wasn’t all bad! Also, the Uber driver was very kind, so that made me feel much better. It was a quick trip to the Wise Owl Hostel in Shibuya and checking in went very well also. I was afraid that my reservation might have been canceled, but I’m happy to say it wasn’t!
I went to bed at about 11:00 pm last night, without finishing my post, and slept until 9:00 am. I slept very well and feel really good this morning! I don’t think I’ll experience much jet lag, but we’ll have to see. Now that it’s 11:30, I think I’d better head out and start the day! I’ll write again soon, though!