First night in Japan! The picture from the window is of the Bering Straight! I’ll fix up the pictures and replace them when I’m less exhausted!
The first picture is of the last view I had of New York (because once again I got on the airplane and crashed before the flight took off). The following is of something I saw while we were driving to the hotel from the airport! The hotel is super nice, and my two roommates seem pleasant! Some fellow-tokyo-JETs and I headed out to check out the food nearby!
Arrival! I’ve touched Japanese ground! Woo! It still feels a little surreal!
The All-JET Orientation starts tomorrow, since today everyone is still slowly arriving from around the world. I’ll be rooming with one to two other girls! I hope I get to meet some cool people~! Most everyone so far has been extremely friendly (there’s been one particularly eh mannered chick I met, but maybe she was just having a bad day or stressed about packing or something. Who knows)! It almost felt like NYU Welcome Week in freshmen year all over again, all these bright-eyed greenies running around excitedly talking to everyone even though the chances of you meeting again get slimmer and slimmer. Nonetheless, it’s fun, and I hope I do manage to stay in contact with some of the people I’ve met!
For today, I’ll just be settling in at the hotel and trying to get rid of the airplane funk. I have to check about internet and stuff, and try to facetime my parents a bit!
It was also fun to pass by Alaska all over again – saw it from the window as everyone around me winced in pain when I opened the shades. No regret, but I definitely lost eyesight for a good couple minutes after.
This is a picture of all the awesome plane food! No ramen this time, but delicious none the less. Something weird going on with the mac and cheese, but still yummy!
Omiyage for my host family! – I bought a candy tin, and plan to break into the bags of candies and crackers I have and disperse haha. For the little sister, I picked up a I heart NY teddy bear, and I’ll have to think about the boys. I have two little statues of the statue of liberty, but I wonder if it’s a bit weird to give them both the same things. I’ve got a number of other things I picked up to use as prizes that I can see what I can find!
Wow now that I think about it, I sure hope I can find those statues of liberties later…I have no idea where I packed it, actually!!
I received my host family information today! It’s a good thing too, since Homestay starts on Tuesday and I leave tomorrow!
Other than the Tokyo JET-wide Orientation, which has all the JETs from around the world that are headed for different prefectures in Japan, each prefecture seems to have their own arrangements for post-arrival party or orientation sort of thing. For the Tokyo JETs Orientation, due in part to the fact that many of us will have to go apartment hunting, we will be spending about a week and a half at a host family’s house, traveling to the workshops about living in Tokyo and teaching English.
My host family is located in the Chiba prefecture, bordering Tokyo. I have host-siblings!! My host mother and father are both in their 40s, and they have two sons and a daughter, all aged from about 7-14. Pretty precious! It’s exactly the age group I’m uncomfortable with, but we’ll see! Hahaha
Teaser shot, for Ying’s Inori cosplay. The legit shots will be posted on lymatphotos once I get around to them!
Guilty Crown: Inori - fakewingsx
For anyone still waiting for aNEXT shots - Sorry for the delay! They should be there in a couple weeks. I’ve been super caught up packing (and repacking) and preparing for my move to Japan, but I swear I haven’t forgotten!
With regard to my post-a-day: clearly I’ve failed. XD For the same reason as packing has become difficult haha, but I will be writing some posts while on the airplane, so I’ll put in some on backlog! There should be a post about my luggage problems and >23kg lifestyle.
Guys my luggage is like. 18 lbs overweightttt
(justlikemeeee twinniess *shot*) . I’m already down to literally only work clothes and the omiyage I’m bringing. What else can I even cut?!?!
On another note: I LEAVE ON SATURDAY! That’s two full days from now! This is crazy!! ヾ(。◕ฺ∀◕ฺ)ノ
Let’s talk about packing!
In short (this is the super TL;DR): PACKING SUCKS.
This is a picture of my backpack at the airport (overfull, with technology), and yes, Booze, and some chocolates. This is not including two very large luggages. There was much regret to be had. Taken to replace the place-holder picture, though I might redo that again!
I started packing about a week before leaving, since I figured I wouldn’t need my winter clothes anyways so I may as well get a head start. It was going pretty well, right up until I weighed it. For the record, I weighed it on the same scale I weigh myself – no fancy luggage weighers for me. I guess maybe my scale is really accurate but the luggages weighed in the same when I got to the check-in at the airport
But I digress:
PACKING. I’m headed to Tokyo, so lucky for me I get all four seasons! Yay~! I’m told Tokyo weather is a lot like New York, but a bit milder and sometimes more humid. That means I get to try to fit all seasons of my clothing, plus work clothes for all seasons, into 100 lbs.
Also for the record: I failed.
But lucky for me New York JETS fly JAL to Japan, which means we get two luggages at 50 lbs each for free, with a $60 extra cost for overweight. It seemed like a lot until the packing happened. I also had a small carry on luggage, and a backpack that fit literally all my electronics ever. It felt so excessive to bring my camera, laptop, ipad, and kindle, but alas.
Other than clothes I didn’t actually bring much with me. I think a lot of me is made up of photography, and the memories pictures represent. In the end, I printed a photo with my family, stuck it in a frame and bought it with. All my others will have to be printed in Japan, or just viewed digitally.
What really took up all my luggage space was a nifty thing in Japanese custom called omiyage. In short, it is a souvenir. Traditionally, whenever you go to someone’s house, you bring omiyage. If you go on a trip you bring back omiyage. To not bring omiyage is a real no-no.So naturally, I went overboard. I hope everyone likes what I picked up! Here’s some of the things I grabbed!
Candy: Smarties (because it’s kind of cute. Smarties, to make you smarter!), jolly ranchers, licorice and black berry hard candies I’d grabbed in Alaska. I also decided to just suck it up and take the risk and bought two things of chocolate for the JTEs (along with the other candies, I plan to share somehow!) and a chocolate tin for the host family.
Postcards: Because my area of my state has a really low tourism industry, it was a really hard time finding paraphernalia. In the end, I drove by a rest stop along the highway, since I know I’d found postcards liked that for other states before! I was lucky and managed to find a few post cards, and a state magnet!
Other than that: I bought a number of somewhat cheesy New York things, and some of the things I’d collected during NYU’s commencement (NYU Bubble pens are really nifty, let’s be honest)
The Booze: Yes, I’m planning to pick up booze. Don’t know what yet though!
Omiyage actually ended up taking over my luggage – the bad thing is that I have barely any casual clothing, but the good thing is that means I get to go shopping! Haha a couple other JETs and I have already been talking about shopping and getting purikura! I already know what will make me broke haha!
Some more pictures from Alaska! It was truly beautiful, and it’s a bit hard to tell in this last picture but there were points where the water was blue in a way I hadn’t realized were still in existence. I’m a bit behind on posts, so I’ll be rushing to catch up! Sorry - I’ve been in the city and enjoying myself too much; not too much time to edit between friend meetups and such!
The last picture, in my opinion, is especially notable. This is a picture from Tracy Arm Fjord’s Sawyer Glacier - it’s currently retreating, and this is as close as the cruise ship itself went. One day, I hope to return on a smaller vessel, and get the chance to get closer!
On a separate note: rantrant time. Apologies in advance. Read at own risk~! TL;DR - People asking about what you choose to do with your life is a thing I don’t like, and then people questioning the decisions I have made myself and making it sound like an impulse is frustrating too. Fun things.
Cruise food is truly amazing.
I have about 60 pictures of the food we ate alone. I wish I had also stolen the menus, because in hindsight it would have been incredibly helpful to be able to actually remember what everything was. But at least I can tell you it was delicious.
20/7 delicious food really does a number on my stomach, but how could I stop when it was a free for all?!
But here’s my post dedicated to the food! There’s some desserts, some lunches, and some salmon because evidently salmon in Alaska is well known!
Sidebar: Am I the only one really excited for JAL food? I’m so glad JET NY has us flying JAL - their airplane food is scrumptious~!
Hi everyone! So I’ve recovered from the food coma!
I have ten days left before I leave for Japan. I think I’ll cover my Alaska in 7 days, and then the last three for the last preparations!
This is from our trip out, which, as could be gathered from my last Alaska post, was a shit show. After our flight from New York was canceled, we made the three hour drive to Boston to catch the only other possible flight that could get us to Seattle on time, arrived in Boston at around 2AM and spent the next five hours waiting for the airport to actually open.
A lot of things actually went right after that - our group had originally had to be halved in order to get us all there on the existing flights, but the second half was able to join us. By some miracle, their luggage was even transferred onto our flight, giving us a much larger leeway to find the pier than we’d expected.
It was smooth sailing (hurhur) from there, which I’ll talk about more later! We were taking a cruise from Seattle to several ports in Alaska, finally stopping briefly in Canada before returning home. Each port was great, the company was wonderful, and we in general had a lovely time.
The first picture is from the long, long trip out. I can’t even say how many pictures I have of people sleeping. I bought along my sketchbook in the hopes that I’d have some inspiration and lo and behold haha. The doodles are of real things, and I’ll share the real photographs sometime. The last four pictures are all taken in Alaska. It was really beautiful!
These are all taken via my cell phone, so excuse the quality! Can’t wait to finish going through the several k of pictures and share a few of the real ones~! But from these, at least, it’s pretty obvious Alaska is beautiful, and we are derps :D
In other news: TEN DAYS. TEN DAYSSSS. So much to do.
Ask Away :D