Monday, March 15, 2004

Jet Lag
Yes, I did actually get back from Japan. This time coming back, though, I have managed to totally screw up my sleep cycle, so I fell asleep for 5 hours upon arriving home on Saturday, and somehow still managed to be completely dead to the world until noon yesterday, and thus, no blog updating goodness until now. I'd still rather be sleeping, but instead, I have to stay awake to go teach yet another class later tonight, as our practicum has now started, and my teaching workload has correspondingly increased by half again. Joy. Let me instead return to thinking about the pleasantness that was last week.

I got to Japan after a mere 14.5 hours, direct from Detroit to Narita. This is the first time I have ever been relegated to the middle of the middle row, and it sucks. However, I did get all my midterm grading done, as I had nothing else interesting to look at. The woman sitting next to me was a Chinese woman who now lives in High Point, NC. The guy sitting on the other side of her was noting that she had managed to pick up a Southern accent in her 5 years in High Point, which is why he didn't recognize the name of her home city in China when she said it the first time. Ah, accent confusion, it is so much fun. Anyway, upon landing, customs wasn't too bad, even though I couldn't go through the resident line, (the customs agent looked very confused about my old visa, since it looks like it's still valid through 2005,) and I did manage to find an ATM right away. This made it easy to get my ticket for the Skyliner to Ueno, which I felt very clever about getting, since the Narita Express to Tokyo Station was full, and I could just change my plans all quickly and confidently like. Go me. Yes, I did live in Japan before. I am not just a dumb tourist. Not that I could answer the customs baggage person in Japanese after 14.5 hours on a plane. All I could think of was a combination of Chinese and German, which was really not so helpful. Good job, brain.

From the Skyliner, I crossed over to the shinkansen station and caught a well-timed train up to Sendai. Then I caught the subway to my old station, Atago-bashi, and walked the rest of the way to Richard's, just like old times, except with a wheelie-suitcase. He fed me rice and offered lots more, which in my addled state I couldn't eat, and I actually managed to stay up until 11 talking to him. He gave me a nice bed on his new fold-out couch, with lots of covers and a hot water bottle, declaring, "If you catch a cold, it is not my fault." I then fell asleep in much warmth and comfort until 6:45 the next morning, which isn't bad for jet lag going that way 'round the world. Richard had woken up at 5, though, unable to sleep anymore, so I woke up panicked that I had slept ridiculously late. Since I hadn't, we had a good 4 hours until he had to go to work, since he had take two hours of nenkyu, as there is nothing for him (or anyone) to do at work during March. For breakfast, I got rice with gyu-tan (beef tongue, Sendai's specialty), toast with jam, juice and coffee. I don't eat that well pretty much anywhere. I felt quite the guest.

Eventually, though, Richard had to go to work, so it was time for me to be handed off to the next person to house me for the week, Sharon. The continuation of the story, however, will have to wait for tomorrow.

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