My flight arrived last night at 5pm. Customs, immigration, and the train back were all a breeze. I was worried I’d be caught in the middle of rush hour, but fortunately that was not the case.
I flew Japan Airlines out of San Francisco, and I have to say I’m happy with the choice. On such a long flight comfort, food and entertainment are my major concerns. I was pleased on all accounts. I think JAL is the first airline I’ve flown that keeps complimentary self serve food and drink available at the end of the rows. This should become standard. Entertainment wise there was an excellent selection. While I spent some time reading, I also watched Whip It, Up in the Air, and The Blind Side. I didn’t take my lap top out even once because I felt no need to. I also chatted a little with Natsuha, the girl seated next to me. She was visiting a friend in San Francisco, and is returning to Osaka where she is a college student. Her English is limited, but that’s just more opportunity to practice my Japanese. She’s suggested I check out the cherry blossoms at Osaka castle around the time of my training. I’m happy to oblige.
After arriving at Nishifunabashi, Nick helped bring my bags back to his room. He tells me a lot of the group we hung out with this past summer has since moved or become embroiled in work. I’m sure we’ll stir up some fun times of our own anyway. We’ve never had a problem with that.
Nishifunabashi doesn’t seem to have changed much, and that’s exactly how I like it. There’s a familiarity to this foreignness, making for a smoother transition. Just as in the summer past, Nick and I topped off the evening with some curry, a movie, and idle banter. It’s good to be back.
Also, I made it a point to listen to Apollo Sunshine’s Flip! after I landed.
This song came up first on my playlist when I landed in Japan the very first time. I found it pretty appropriate, and most of the lyrics at the beginning and towards the end represent my thoughts on Japan at that time.
Something’s flipped. Now we’re on the otherside of the world now…