Flying back to Tokyo on Korea Airlines. The airplane food ended up being pretty delicious, as they served us bibimbap. Thought it was pretty interesting, as up until now, I’ve only been privy to really horrid American food on airplanes. This was tolerably delicious, even if the meat was a bit… strange.
As soon as I arrived, I met with my company representative, who helped me send my luggage to my apartment via courier, and gave me my welcome packet, and then bought my express train ticket into Tokyo. Unfortunately, my plane was somewhat delayed, and I missed office hours to get my apartment keys, but on the plus side, I never got ride of my Japanese cell phone after I moved, and had been paying the low monthly fee every month while I was gone, so I was able to make a few calls right off the plane and didn’t have to worry about wasting time getting a new cellphone service (the bane of a foreigners existence in Japan, they make them so hard to get). I called a good friend who lived in Mitaka, and she said it was ok for me to crash at her place.
When I changed trains in Shinjuku, it really hit me that I was back in the city. Shinjuku at dusk with the lights turned on and the people bustling everywhere is a magnificent sight. I didn’t want to make her wait though, and headed straight to Mitaka after a few moments of letting it all sink in. We stopped by the store on the way, and by the time we reached her apartment, I was so exhausted that I was out the moment my head hit the pillow. I woke up early, and cooked them a big breakfast to say thanks, and then did the dishes, and tidied my bedding, before giving them hugs and headed back to Shinjuku to get my keys.
My new apartment was in Yukigayaotsuka, a few stops south of Gotanda, but the office was in Shinjuku near closet child. I really wanted to go to closet child when I passed by, but decided I should take my time getting settled first. It was easy getting my keys from Sakura House, signed some forms, paid my rent, and all in all it took less than 30 minutes. I was happy to find my apartment was across the street from the train station, which is great since I’m one of those people that is always running late.
The place was upstairs from a grocery store, karaoke, and a ballet studio, which was excellent since I could just go right downstairs if I needed any food. When I got up to my door, my suitcases were outside waiting for me, untouched by passersby. It was the first moment when I realized I truely was back in Japan, as my luggage could have been out there overnight in the hallway, and nobody minded or stole it.
When I get everything in my place, I unpacked, like a fucking tornado. I had a lunch date back in Shinjuku with an old friend, Riri, oddly the last Japanese friend I saw when I left was the first Japanese friend I would see when I got back. She had gone through a rough patch while I was gone, and her mom wanted to meet me, I guess to judge my character. We had ice tea at a cafe in the middle of the cobblestone street between the high rises of the shopping megacenters in East Exit Shinjuku. Her mother was quite sociable and youthful, and she took us shopping, even buying us matching bloomer shorts as a gift. She asked if I could teach her daughter English, and I promised to do my best.
Then, as the afternoon wore on, I had yet another date to meet with Ohrusty and the girls down in Shinagawa. They served me dinner, and we chatted for hours getting to know eachother better, since we had been friends online for a while, but this was the first time meeting face to face. I didn’t make it back until last train. Passed out once again. I hadn’t had that much physical activity in .. well. a year.