The Arrival

I just managed to connect to a very spotty wireless connection in my apartment, so I think I'll try to post this while I've got a chance.  I wrote this the first day I got here.  You can expect a couple more posts soon if this connection holds up.

Well, I got here in one piece.  The day, however, was bookended by two terrible, terrible events (particularly the second one — you'll see).  I'll start with the first one and, naturally, end with the last.

So I got to the airport, and after checking in and dropping off my luggage and all that stuff, I went to go wait at my gate.  See, the ticket said gate 151, so that's where I waited.  Do you see where this is going?  So it was around 8:25, and I had been waiting there for a while.  An I'm thinking, this is odd, because the flight is supposed to leave at 8:30.  But I was sure I was in the right place; the ticket said so!  Plus, I was like the only non-Asian in that little area, so I thought it must be right.  Well then I hear my name over the loudspeaker, which I was sure couldn't be a good thing.  I went to the desk, told them what was going on, and was promptly informed that I missed my flight.

"What do you mean I missed my flight??"

At that point she called some number, told them what was happening, and then told me the real gate and said, "you can still make it, but run!  Run!"  So I made a mad dash to the real gate and was greeted by a surly stewardess who seemed quite put off by my lateness (I think it was ten minutes past the departure time at this point).  She muttered something under her breath, but the only thing I caught was "ten thousand dollars."  What's ten thousand dollars?  Did I somehow cost the airline that much by delaying the plane?  I guess I'll never know, because I wasn't about to ask her to repeat it.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful.  The in-flight movie was King Kong (which I would occasionally look up at and watch for a few minutes at a time), and no food was served.  The second flight (the ten hour one) was a bit more interesting, as I was sitting with some other Nova people.  The in-flight movies were Tristan and Isolde, Tootsie, and Aeon Flux.  I watched none of them.  Lunch was some mediocre chicken, some rice with a weird, chewy texture, potato salad, some smoked salmon and vanilla ice cream for dessert.  The whole thing was about what you'd expect from a frozen dinner.  Dinner was more of that chewy rice and a bowl of fruit for dessert.  I spent most of the flight reading the Last Juror (which is not bad at all, so far) and occasionally making small talk with the girl next to me.  Plus I was sitting next to the emergency exit, which meant I had enough leg-room to stretch out all the way, which really helped make the flight bearable.

Then we got to the Osaka Airport, and one bus ride and another subway ride later, I was at my apartment (with the help of a really nice Nova guy who guided my all the way from the bus station to my apartment).  The apartment is tiny but fine; it's not dirty and it has air conditioning, which is all that really matters.  I'm only here for eight days, so even if it was a dump it wouldn't really make a difference.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow once I get my camera cable from my luggage.

But here's where the second disaster happened.  I got settled into my apartment at around 7:00, and I decided to explore the area a bit to pick up some food and maybe some water too.  So I started exploring the area (which is CRAZY, by the way — it's like being on another planet, everything's so different).  And I was trying to remember landmarks so I could get back to my apartment (I couldn't use road names for obvious reasons).  But by the time I got back to the area where my apartment is, it was all dark, and everything looked different.  Plus the whole area is all these tiny interconnecting roads with all these weird little shops that ALL LOOK THE SAME. I'm not kidding.  So I ended up wandering around for almost an HOUR trying to find the damn apartment.  By the end there I was so frustrated I was just about ready to explode, and I was this close to going back to the main road and trying to find a hotel.  Five minutes longer and I probably would have done it.  Plus the food I got ended up being crappy.  I'll post a picture and go into more detail later.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a bit better.

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