After two long flights I finally arrived in Japan yesterday late afternoon!! We (Gyano, Chantal, Guido, my mother and myself) spent a couple of hours together at Dusseldorf airport hugging eachother a lot, laughing, crying and drinking some nice Starbucks coffees ;). I still didn't feel very well because I was so nervous about going to Japan. When the dreaded goodbye hugs and kisses finally arrived I kind of collapsed into Gyano's arms because my knees just went totally weak all of a sudden. Luckily Gy is very strong and nobody got hurt! Saying goodbye was extremely painful and I couldn't remember why I was going to Japan anymore... I kissed, hugged and cried as much as humanly possible and left. The customs people were very friendly and sweet to me and tried to cheer me up by reminding me about MSN and Skype. The plane was delayed for about an hour, but that was great for me because I actually got to see my family from the window at my seat the whole time and they actually saw me sitting in there very clearly (after a coordinated signal with the windowshutter and some cellphone communication they found my very quickly). When my plane finally did take off, I sat there bawling like a baby for a while until I regrouped and tried to enjoy my front row seat. In Dubai I just waited around a bit for the next plane while observing all the Japanese faces around me. The second flight lasted for 9 hours and it was way too much, especially after just having experienced another 6.5 hour flight. I wasn't comfortable during the flight (even though I sat front row again) mostly because I was anxious to get to the ground again and I was extremely tired.
Once I landed in Nagoya, I was very happy! I met a trainer at the airport who welcomed me and helped me forward a suitcase to my school in Inuyama. We had to wait for another trainee to arrive a couple of hours later, so I had a small adventure trying to buy a international phone card and making a phonecall home. With some extensive help from two Japanese airport employees I managed to call home and talk to Gyano for about 6 minutes which cost me 1000 yen! Unfortunately my parents were out grocery shopping but they called Yasu's cell phone later last night so that was good. Once I got to the hotel around 10:30 P.M. ( I landed at 5.30) I dropped my stuff in my room and went to Yasu's room (who's in Nagoya for a weekend seminar) and had a nice and surreal reunion with him!
We grabbed some dinner with the other trainee at a small restaurant in the street here, where you throw some money in a machine and push a button (written in Japanese) and it spits out a ticket which you take to your table. An old lady appears to pick up your ticket and a couple of minutes later she reappears with your food! It's really quick, and the food was delicious. Today I went there again for lunch with four other trainees: Jennifer from Australia, Warren from Chicago, and Eric and Steve from San Francisco. It's fun to meet some people who understand the whole-moving-to-Japan-and-teach-thing, without looking at me like I have lost my mind :)! We also did some browsing in a huge electronics store and department store and it's fun wondering around without understanding anything with four other people who are totally clueless as well! I didn't take many pictures yet, so I guess I'll go out soon do just that! My jetlag is starting to kick in so I need to get moving now... We had to do some reading for training tomorrow and it's quite hard to read with your eyes closed! But it's dome so now I can relax the rest of the day, Yasu is coming over for a few more hours after his seminar, before he takes the Shinkansen (bullet train) home. The next two weeks are going to be extremely busy and intense with full-on training and a full-on jetlag! So you guys may have to be patient, but I'll try to blog when I can! Even though I miss my family so much and tears start rolling down my face when I think about it too much, I am enjoying myself here and I am so excited to be here, finally!