I am here now.
Which evidently takes a very long time to actually get to: 13 hours, by plane. And for me, specifically, 13 hours by way of the middle seat in the middle aisle of the plane--which is what happens when someone else books your ticket.
But that also means that someone else buys your ticket, so I really can't complain.
The sky is thick with clouds and rain drizzles down intermittently. So far, aside from the Japanese writing and, well, the many lovely Japanese people, Tokyo does not look so very different from other cities. I am sure I will find some unique properties once I, you know, venture to do more than walk the five feet it took to get from our coach bus to the hotel lobby.
I got to practice a sort of bow today. It was quite small because I read in a book that one can tell by one's bow whether they are either mature or immature, respectful or not. Yikes. For the inexperienced bower, that is some pressure. So I opted for a downcast head in the steward's direction as I de-boarded the plane. Hopefully that was neither immature or disrespectful. Although it was probably a very touristy thing to do. A very, this is my first step onto Japanese soil, can't you tell? thing to do.
You know what would have been a really good idea? Buying an English to Japanese translation book to keep with me. Like many of my smart friends have done. Or, I could have not lost the Japan information booklet that our company manager made for each of us. That could have been helpful too.
My friend and I practiced some Japanese phrases onboard today, but unfortunately, the sounds seem to fall out of my brain as soon as I think of anything else. Or blink. Or breathe. Or take a two hour nap on a plane. I am pretty sure I can manage to avoid the latter for the next month at least, but avoiding the former will prove to be impossible, I am afraid. Maybe once I actually get a full night's sleep I will be able to retain some of those words. It'd be nice to at least learn the Japanese word for please, I think.
But in the meantime, thank God a smile remains universal.
Lack of sleep upon lack of sleep has made me feel like I am the most recent recipient of a lobotomy. Nice. Usually, I feel very excited about certain things--like a bride all dressed in her finery, for instance. But I passed one, beautiful and shining in folds of white swirling around her, and didn't feel a thing.
It's going to be a good night for sleeping, I think.