View from my balcony. In the center very far background, you can see a whiteness. That whiteness is Mt. Fuji!
After a nine and a half hour flight on Tuesday February 7th, 2007, otherwise what I like to call a â€śValium Induced Comaâ€ť (thank god for the Valium!) I finally arrived in Tokyo. It was insane. As I walked through the airport heading to customs it was completely dead at 4:30pm. I was thinking to myself â€śIs this a joke? Where are all the people?â€ť It was like a scene from a scary movie and I could have been brutally slain at any point. But fortunately that didn't happen. I walked through immigration where the agent was sleeping! I thought to myself, â€śThank God no one is trying to kill me because this guy wouldnâ€™t be much help.â€ť I head down an escalator where to my great delight I saw a Starbucks. It was beautiful.
It was a 2 hour trip to my apartment in Keio Horinouchi, a suburb of Tokyo.
Fortunately I had a rep from my company with me the whole way or I would still be trying to find my new home. The subways are incredibly crowded. People are literally smashed against the doors and windows! And yes people really do wear those white doctorâ€™s masks, donâ€™t even ask.
My apartment above Hard-Off.
My apartment is great! My room is much bigger than I imagined and my roommates are wonderful. Theyâ€™ve helped me a lot since I arrived. Also on a clear day I can see Mt. Fuji from my balcony!!! I live above a place called â€śHard-Off.â€ť Ha ha. â€śWell isnâ€™t that special,â€ť I thought to myself. Donâ€™t get the wrong idea itâ€™s just a used electronics store. The Japanese use quite strange English phrases for various things, such as â€śHard-Offâ€ť or â€śClimax Sale.â€ť I donâ€™t think they know that these names are odd though.
I took it slow my first day and only ventured down the road to the train station where we also have a grocery store and a 100 yen shop.
100 yen shops are like Dollar stores accept for that they are amazing! They have EVERYTHING and the quality is pretty good. It can get crazy in there. My first trip to the grocery store was quite the experience. First, they play crazy loud obnoxious music, itâ€™s hilarious. Second they literally have entire dead fish just lying around in buckets of water. I was thinking â€śIs this even sanitary?â€ť Third, nothing is in English and the food is so different in every way so itâ€™s kind of a crap shoot. You think to yourself â€śIs this milk or yogurt?â€ť Plus, there is an entire isle of Soy Sauce (they call it â€śAll Purpose Seasoningâ€ť). I know Iâ€™ll figure it out though. It was pretty overwhelming for my first day.
My lovely bedroom. There are no windows, so I improvised.