Monday, September 18, 2006

Wait... what time is it?

Screwed up sleep cycle + moving my life + different language = zombie

So yea, got here with actually very little trouble. my first time in a 747, so that was really cool but... well felt like any other plane i've been in really, haha. Except... they didnt have the personal video systems in each seat!!! i couldn't believe it, grr!! haha, the flight got in an hour early though, so that was nice. But lets see... went through immigration, picked up my luggage, went through customs, and then i really had to start using Japanese to get around ^_^

Now theres a delivery serivce at Narita that will deliever your luggage to wherever your ending up. However, once you get past customs, less and less people know english. So i couldn't really read the form i had to fill out for the delivery, but they don't really expect you to know a whole lot of Japanese (being obviously NOT Japanese) so they're really nice about helping you out. Most people know a certain amount of Japanese, but not usually fluent of course. Anyways, i asked one of the guys at the delivery service counter for some help and said that i couldn't really read the form but i want to have my two suitcases delievered to Azalea (i had the address on hand). So he just showed me where to write the address etc, well ok, actually i knew that there was a line for an address, phone number, name, etc, but there were like, two places for that, and i wasn't sure which i should put where, etc. Anyways, worked out without much trouble, and they should be getting here sometime in the next couple hours i hope. They said they would be delivered by tomorrow morning (ie:... now) So, i'm hopin they arrive soon cause... i'd like to shower, oh wait... crap i need a towel -_-

Anyways, from there i had to purchase my train tickets. So, i'm pretty much like, 'i want to go to Ikebukuro on the Narita Express' (in Japanese of course), and she explained that there would be an hour wait for the next N'EX that goes that far, and that was fine. So i had an hour to kill. What did I do? Found where i needed to go, saw a Starbucks nearby in the station, got a frappacino and parked it. Now the only problem with the train however is that at, i believe Tokyo station half of the train continues while the other half goes down SW of Tokyo into Kanagawa on to Ofuna, I needed the half that goes to Omiya, which is the route with Ikebukuro. So i just asked one of the train attendants on the platform. I told him i was going to Ikebukuro and he told me i needed to be on car 1 through 6 for that, but my reserved seat was for car 5, seat 12a, so he showed me where car 5 would be, piece of cake. Oh, and i already learned something, 'gosha' is the counter for train cars. Good to know

So that got me to Ikebukuro without much trouble. Sat next to some buisness man, had to ask him if i could get something out of the overhead while en route (in Japanese, w00t), as well I asked about the rain, oh, its raining by the way, well it was last night, and it was this morning, but seems to have let up. You see its Typhoon season, and one went through last week and theres another coming through this week as well if i'm not mistaken. Nothing really THAT serious, but lots of rain/thunderstorms. Oh well. But yea, found out from the buisnessman that there was a typhoon, haha. Then i bought a bottle of tea, SO GOOD!!! real tea again, omg so good!!!! haha, and after about 90 min or so, i got to Ikebukuro, easy

now comes the hard part. You see, the airport is an international hub. Therefore, it is very common for there to be quite a number of foriegners, and english isn't that difficult to find. Leave an international airport, and the english disappears quickly. Fortunately enough through, Ikebukuro is a giant station, so there is actually a pretty descent amount of English, or at least romaji (so that i can read where my line is since i dont really know the kanji yet). Well first i had to purchase another ticket for the subway line, and I just asked someone to make sure i got the right amount. You see, the train system in Japan works like this: Theres a giant map above the ticket machines, and it shows you where to go and how much it costs. So you put your money in and buy a ticket for how much it is to get to where you need to go. Anyways, i found where the track was, but wasn't... exactly sure which direction i needed to go, like i knew what the next stop was and was looking for the train in that direction but... well w/e, a bit confusing. so then this lil boy is like motioning to her mom to go help me out (i looked so totally lost btw), and they ask me where i need to go, I then proceed to surprise the crap out of them speaking Japanese how i did, hahaha, that was funny. Turns out they live in Heiwadai or the stop right before close to the station. hahaha, and the little boy wants me to come over next time, hahaha, that was funny. Had a nice little conversation with his mom. Turns out she went to Sophia as well

So anyways, I made it where i needed to go, with... a little bit of help, but safe and sound. the walk from the station to Azalea was a bit... difficult, it was raining a little and such, but i made it, dropped my things in my room, settled in a bit, oh yea, and then met someone from Germany who's here this year as well, had a nice little talk with him, mostly in english tho. i have more of a tendancy to speak english to foriegners and Japanese to the locals, haha. anyways, then i found my way to the lounge (where i am now) so i could get the internet and check up on things. this is definately a nice place. my room may be a little small but ya know what? i dont need anything more than what i've already got. It's just right for what i need. Plus this lounge is very nice, its a nice gathering place, and the people here are pretty cool. Representing quite a number of nations around the world, primarily Europe and other Asian countries though. Germany, Denmark, Poland, France, China, Korea, etc. Very interesting to know people from all over the world like this, heh. It is kinda weird now to refer to the US as 'back in the states' since not many people around here are really all that familiar with it. I definately feel in the minority, haha.

Well i'll write some more later. I gotta go check in with the superintendant or w/e runs the place, as well my luggage SHOULD be here soon i hope. Sufficed to say, i'm definately having a good time ^_^


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