Hello! Well I’m in Japan now and I’m slowly getting myself settled in. Everyday so far has been an adventure, even the little things like microwaving food and taking the trash out are proving to be quite a challenge. A ton of stuff has happened since last Saturday when I left so I’m going to start from there and write new blog posts about each day instead of writing a novel on one post.
The days leading up to departure were especially hectic. I tried to make it a point to see as many of my friends as possible, which was kind of difficult because I have many social circles that don’t hang out with each other so I had to have a different party or get-together almost everyday. But it was great because I got to see almost all of my best friends and share some memories with them before heading off on the adventure.
Anyways as departure loomed ever closer, I had felt that nearly everything I needed to do was complete, but it wasn’t until Friday morning that I realized I still had to settle my visa and close my bank account, arrange matters with my student loans and buy more Yen. So word to the wise; don’t be like me and leave a couple things up to the last minute. Especially packing. Being all set and completely ready to go is more fun than trying to pack and repack your luggage to make sure it meets the weight limit 2 hours before driving to the airport.
Finally I was all ready to go and it was time to bid adieu to home. So my whole family piled into the van and it seemed the 1 hour trip to the airport took no time at all. The drive to the airport was both exciting and bittersweet. Stopping for gas and grabbing some coffee at Tim Hortons was the first of many surreal experiences as I realized this was the last time I would have a double double in quite some time. I sipped slowly, savouring the mediocre but comfortably familiar taste and aroma.
We arrived at the airport early and I felt grateful there wasn’t too much traffic on the highway. As we walked inside the terminal my sisters kept trying to reassure each other that they wouldn’t cry at the gates. I wasn’t so sure I could promise myself that much.
Check-in went pretty smoothly. Thankfully none of my bags were overweight, although in retrospect, I feel like one of them were and the Air Canada lady just let it slide after I used a bit of the ol’ Apollo charm. After that we still had a couple hours to kill before I went into the gate. I saw and chatted with a bunch of the TO JETs as they rolled on by, but my family and I waited in the overpriced cafe and just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company one last time.
Eventually it was time to go. As I gave my family hugs and kisses, I was overcome with a wave of emotion. I turned and gave them a tearful waive goodbye as I stepped through the gates to scan my luggage. This went pretty smoothly until one of my carry ons started going off because there was something metallic inside. We couldn’t figure it out until the security lady pulled out a small sharp nail file. I thought to myself oh crap – this could be bad. But the lady told me don’t worry about it. She even let me keep it. I thanked her for her for all the help and rolled on along, just as a brown guy was asked if he would submit to a full search, standard protocol and all. Ah, racial profiling. Haha. I turned and looked out the gate to see my family still waiting there and waving at me. I waived back one last time and pushed my luggage on through down to the terminal. I had reached the point of no return.