My first experience in Tokyo was that of a particularly valuable sheep. From the moment my little hooves touched down in Narita airport, a score of smiling, waving JET-helpers directed me from person to person as fireman used to do with buckets of water back in the day. It is as if little Bo-Peep had informed the folks in charge of JET that a particularly useless bunch of sheep were on their way and that if they kept smiling this might just be enough to not start us into a wide scale panic. The Helpers were so excited that I genuinely thought I was the first person off the plane. Before we were even on the buss, one of our SA crew reinforced our noisy foreigner status by blowing her vuvuzela at full steam, much to the amusement of all the locals. Then we were off in our thankfully air conditioned buss.
The orientation was a circus and I loved every moment of it. I loved that not one person could guess where I was from, I loved that any mention of the world cup converted the most stubborn of awkward silence into a heated debate, I loved my roommates, I love Mike and Shelly for allowing me to latch onto them like a lost puppy while they expertly navigated the train stations to get us to Akihabara, electric city and I loved that we were able to buy Shelly a laptop by stringing the Japanese words box, new, personal computer, now, carry, us in no particular order with no particular grammar. I do not mean to alarm you but Japanese people speak Japanese, even in tourist friendly Tokyo it is rare for someone to help you in English and this fact became even more apparent when I landed in Oita. I will however save that train of thought for my next post.
|When in doubt, follow Mike|