Monday - 13 Jan 2003
Pittsburgh, Detroit, Nagoya
U. S. A.
Lord, how I hate to fly
Traveling anywhere can be irritating, but international travel is like covering yourself with honey and sitting on an anthill. Needlessly painful. My day went a little something like this:
wake-up. after everyone gets ready to go to the airport, it.s 7.45. my plane leaves pittsburgh for detroit @ 9.35. not good.
upon hitting the highway, there.s bumper-to-bumper traffic. i think to myself, we are not the brightest family.
i get to the airport where i am told that my luggage may not make the connection in detroit. that.s ok! who needs clothing?! i was a girl scout...i.ll wear leaves.
the plane touches down 20 minutes early. this is good,m except now i have longer to wait. i exchange currency (which is easy and fun because the cash lady complimented my hair...hehehe). I then proceed to my gate to wait for 4 hours. i am so bored, but i.m not in the mood to study...and there.s this guy who smells like rum that keeps trying to start up a conversation. hmmm... trey (my fellow traveler-abroad) comes to the gate and rescues me.
***the rest of the trip was pretty incidental. Just imagine being crammed into an airborn Kleenex box with mediocre food and yelling children and you.ll get the idea.
Two sides to every coin...
On the plus side, I managed to pack everything into 1 suitcase, 1 bookbag, and 1 purse. of course, all of my luggage was checked multiple times at the airport and my careful packing went to hell... you can.t help but laugh when it.s 25 minutes before take-off and you still need to get your butt to the gate. life is fun. the security people were fun. they tried to talk me into giving them the chocolates i had packed for my host family.
14 hours later...
We touch down early at Nagoya.s airport and clear customs no problem. Trey.s family comes first and they seem really nice. They don.t leave until after my family comes.
***At this point I should probably tell you that I have just spent 14 hours wondering whether my host mother will greet me in Japanese (which I.m ready for) or English, and throw me completely off balance***
English it is! Interrupted my groove...beware the groove. She brought my little sister Miku-chan (age 4). That child is cuter than you can possibly imagine. My entire family is cute. I love them so much. When we got home, they fed me sweet potato (a personal favorite) and curry (my first Japanese meal...unfortunatly curry is usually eaten with a spoon so i didn.t get to play with chopsticks). THey gave me the grand tour (their house is HUGE) and I found out that I live on the 3rd floor...i have it all to myself. i have a veranda and a walk-in clset big enough to live in. Then it was to bath and to bed. I gave them their presents before bed...you had better believe i reviewed that chapter of the textbook on the plane.
***You.ve GOT to check out the toilets here. i.ll get a picture up as soon as i find a place where i can hook up my camera and upload the shots. anyway, the toilets flush automatically and have so many buttons...with interesting pictures. nobody told me that our toilet was automatic, so when it started to move i was afraid it was going to explode. it.s pretty sad when the toilet is smarter than you.
***I haven.t the faintest idea what anyone is saying. Not a problem...grunting and pointing is universal.