Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm back in the USA

Let’s see I got up around 8:15 on Tuesday morning in Japan. I had some last minute packing, and cleaning to do. Yes I vacuumed my room before leaving. No dust bunnies for お母さん to pick up. My last breakfast at home was my favorite, two 梅干しおにぎり and a glass of 豆乳. We rushed out the door, me profusely sweating in my suit, to the bus stop where we hoped to flag down a cab and get to 西北 before the 9:45 bus left. Well, I forgot the keys to my luggage so I had to run back and get them. Thankfully by the time I got back お母さん had stopped a cab driver, but it was like 9:25. We were worried if we would make it on time, however we got the best cab driver in 関西. Serious. He recommended catching the bus at JR西宮 and taking a short cut through a cemetery. We got to the bus stop with time to spare.

Arriving at the airport I found out the fatal flaw in my get there early plans, the check in gates hadn’t opened yet. Which wasn’t bad in the long run anyhow as we ended up having coffee and waffles at the 喫茶店.

Check in was easy however it started late because the scanner was broken and we were re-routed to the one next to it. I was able to request an isle seat, and my bags weren’t too heavy either so no fines.

Still with a few hours to blow お母さん and I went through the stores together, me getting some last minute gifts and a bottle of しそ焼酎 for the family. That done I said an almost tearful goodbye to my super great host-mom promising to have dinner together once I returned to Japan. Maybe because I know I’m returning this whole experience hasn’t been as emotional as I thought it would be.

I had a little trouble going through immigration as I had an unused re-entry permit. All I had to do was sign a form and explain why I bought, but did not use it. That done I was on my way to the Duty-free shops, which were, sadly, unappealing, So I headed to my gate stopping to get a few beers and some takoyaki to much on while I waited and checked my email on the free internet at the airport!

My flight was pretty nice. I helped the flight attendent understand my next seat neighbors drink order scoring me super brownie points with them making the flight even better.
Getting through American immigration wasn’t too bad either, I did have to wait around 1:15 minutes to get my luggage at SFO so I could go through customs, who just flagged me through. It was right around then that the return culture-shock began to set in. Super fun.

I ate a turkey and havarti sandwich.

The flight to LA was gloriously empty. I knew I was coming back to LA because the lady behind me was having a loud, animated conversation with her friend on her cellphone which was only ended by the stern laws of the FCC and the closing of the airplane’s door.

I arrived in LA, got my bags and was picked up by my mom. Now I’ve gotta bunch of stuff to do here before flying back in 3 weeks.

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