I woke up at about 10 P.M. and found no sign of Tomoko. I think she must have already gone to bed. It’s been a strange day, but not a bad one. The last few days have been pretty hectic really.
I was still busy at uni on the 30th of March with the last of my Japanese exams (the written one) and by that time I was pretty tired. This left me just over a week to sort out my flat, sleep off my deadlines, pack and get ready to go to Japan for two months. My to do list was pretty extensive. I’d already redirected the post and got a working holiday visa (I had to visit the Japanese embassy with an application and various documents, and they then took my passport off to add the visa), undertaken a course in Japanese language, looked at phone rentals, researched the best flight options (Tokyo Narita airport taxes are insanely expensive, so I flew via Frankfurt), and a number of other things. Now I had to clean and tidy and shut up the flat, do the garden, pack, check all my electronics and digital storage, check I’d got everything I needed or go and buy it (my canvas shoes were pretty well worn out and had to be replaced), sort out lines of communication I could use, including for data transfer, and check what medication was allowed (I have hayfever, and some over the counter English medicines are illegal In Japan, with nasty consequences) etc, etc. It’s all kind of blurred in my head now.
Eventually we came in to land, and for a minute I thought we would land in the water. All I could see was ocean underneath us until right at the last minute. Then we were down, and I saw a sign saying “CHUBU CENTRAIR” and then one saying “STOP” painted on the ground. So much for the language barrier, I swear everywhere speaks more English than their mother tongue….
Going through customs went ok in the end. Once I found the right counter, they decided piriton would be permissible, and I managed to hold a conversation with the customs people in Japanese. Getting out the other side, I rearranged my luggage and put the passport away while keeping an eye out for Tomoko. I couldn’t properly remember what she looked like having met her only once, I had an impression in my head of a small older lady who wore glasses. The lady who caught my eye was not wearing glasses, and looked taller and younger than I remembered.