Monday, November 26, 2012

Greetings from the future! (Unless you're in Japan too, then Hi!)

It is 5am and I am sitting in my Tokyo hotel room watching a Japanese infomercial for a water cooler. I can't look away! It's genius! And look...that woman is so happy she's dancing! Even babies are happier! Every sip is like reaching the peak of Mount Fuji! It's changing their lives!!!

Hi. So yes, I MADE IT!!! I'm here!!!!

Okay, so I got all of my suitcases down to under 70 pounds (68, 68.5, and 69 pounds, thank you very much!), and conveniently was met at the curb by a porter at the Miami airport who took them and checked them in, but not without a judgmental glare as he hefted each one.
Dude, don't look at me like that. Thank me for the free workout. No, I take that back, the workout I PAID YOU FOR.

I had been very concerned about how I would get my luggage from the airport to my guest house, and did a lot of research on luggage delivery services and worked all that out, so I breathed a sigh of relief and felt very relaxed about it once American Airlines took charge of my bags. It wasn't until about an hour before landing in Tokyo that I realized that I would have to collect my bags before clearing customs, and somehow get nearly 250 pounds of luggage (let's not forget my 2 carry-on items) onto a small luggage cart and maneuver it all through the airport myself to actually get to the luggage delivery service counter. Somehow missed that step in my planning...oopsie! But thank God I am good at looking helpless and that chivalry is alive and well in Japan. Once everything was on the cart, I relied on a little bit of magic my former roomie and I like to call MONKEY STRENGTH to get through the airport. And I made it. And I only ran into like 6 people. And everyone is so polite here that they all apologized profusely to ME. No one was bleeding, so I think they're okay. I hope.

Now here's a little secret: I may have lied to the luggage delivery people about having a Japanese phone number. They wouldn't take my bags without one, so I might have given them A phone number, but it's definitely not MY phone number. I opted to push the delivery date back a day to give myself time to go get a Japanese cell phone, and figure I will just call the delivery service once I have it and give it to them. Silly clueless American! Doesn't even know her own phone number!?! Psh!

So, speaking of clueless, I'd like to address this next portion to the man sitting in front of me on the plane.

Dear Sir:

If you’re on an airplane full of people and are wearing noise canceling headphones, don’t think just ‘cause you can’t hear your own farts, the rest of us can’t. Do us all a favor, man.

Love, Risa
A great idea that quite literally backfired. But once I put mine on, turns out I didn't care if he was farting or not. They really need to put that in the marketing materials!

Travelling allows you to meet all kinds of people! It's so great!

To say my life has suddenly become completely surreal is an understatement. On the plane I had to keep telling myself, "This plane will land in Japan. JAPAN." You would think actually being here would make it more real, but so far it still feels dreamlike. It's going to take a while to sink in. I'll keep you posted.

So far I've only been in the airport, the airport "limobus," and my hotel, but here are some pics to keep you vicariously here with me:

My last view of the US. After this, I pulled the shade and settled in for a movie marathon. Priorities!
For when your ions are in low supply.

Haha, fooled you! I'm in Paris! Or that's Tokyo Tower, as seen from the interminable bus ride. I bonked my head on the window at least 5 times nodding off.

Slippers EVERYWHERE! Take off your shoes, but don't let your feet touch the floor!!! And point your shoes the right way! And you better not have holes in your socks! WHY ARE FEET SO IMPORTANT, YOU WEIRDOS!?

Night view of Shinjuku from my hotel room

Part of the mirror is heated, so it never fogs. First world pointlessness at it's finest!

Robo Toilet. Who knew a heated seat could be so nice! 

Sun's coming up...better get this day started!!

Today's agenda:
  • First things first: Eat a donut. Krispy Kreme downstairs?? That's why I love this hotel!!!
  • Call my employers, let them know I survived the fartstorm. Or maybe just tell them I'm here.
  • Find the guest house office, check-in, then find the guest house. This is where my inability to understand Japanese addresses is going to make things superfun.
  • Go to the government office in my "ward," register as an alien resident (LOVE being an alien, btw) and sign up for health insurance (thank God there will be no blog post this year entitled "Japanese Pap Smear").
  • And if all that doesn't test the limits of cluelessness, then maybe I'll get a phone today too. I mean, I do want to see my luggage again!!
  • Dumplings. How did I get this far down the list without including dumplings?? That is definitely happening today. I almost feel like rearranging the list to move this higher up, but forget it. Trust me. They're delicious.
  • Stay awake until 10pm! MUST! I am a jet lag master. Jet lag ninja? Jet lag sensai? Whatever. Usually takes one day, and boom. Done. Travel with me, kids...I'll have you sleeping like a baby! Well, a baby that actually sleeps through the night. And I won't even swaddle you. Unless you like that kind of thing.
This was just on TV...I'm going to take it as a warning:

Have a great day! I know I will!!! 

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