About Me

maker, creative, living lightly, local, craft, minimalism, and taking joy in the small things

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Tokyo Orientation

I got up at 4.45am which is seriously inhumane. Played my last GH song for a fair while... It had to be 'Carry On'! At the Canberra Airport Erin J and Erin H, Ange, Dan, Katie, Xav and Geoff came to see me off - literally waited for my plane to leave! Faye came and said goodbye too! It was really great to see so many people so early in the morning! Thanks for coming.
Arrived at the Keio Plaza (lonely planet classification: Top End) at 9pm, and went out for dinner with the rest of the Canberra crew and some random Americans we found. Some annoying Australian 2nd year JET came with us, and thought we were from Brisbane, or otherwise loves Brisbane, because that is all she talked about!
Monday orientation was nothing special - I may or may not have attended all the sessions. It seemed to be different people from different parts of the government telling us how important the JET program is to them. So instead I went electronics shopping with the rest of the Canberra Crew and in true Australian style grabbed drinks at a bar after the shopping, rather than attend more seminars.
We had our prefectural night out - props to Louise and Panama Rob for the fun times. We went to the top of some train station and did nomihodai and tabehodai (all you can drink and all you can eat). Louise also introduced us to some of the Tokyo sights - very effeminate J-boys trying to pick up girls at train stations to go and work in the hostess bars, using original lines like, 'you're so beautiful'!
Tuesday's sessions were equally thrilling, so jumped on the subway down to Harajuku for some wandering/shopping. I tried on shoes, and was excited to realise I am a 24 over here, so shoe shopping here we come!
Tues night was Embassy Night - Aya came to visit me at the hotel and walked with us over to the Embassy, where she pointed out her old apartment. At the Embassy it was basically do the JET program and then come and work with us! Followed by a weird dinner.
Wednesday morning I had to get up at 6am to go to Hagi. I was honestly thinking at the time, this city better be great or I will be annoyed about the early start! After dealing with the bureaucracy at the airport - you have to present your bag so an airport staff member can check that the bag you are taking is the one you checked in - we three hagi bound JETs went into the lobby and found Flick andTsucky waiting for us with a big sign to welcome us.
In Hagi in the afternoon we experienced more Japanese bureaucracy. We went and applied for our gaijin cards (alien registration) and the application took about an hour. Then we went to meet the mayor - who was supposed to have really good English, because he studied at Tokyo University, but honestly, it was dismal.
Then, I went to my apartment. Thank goodness I could sit down.


Geoff said...


faye said...

Great to finally hear some news! Can honestly sympathise with the bureacracy crap - it drove me nuts over there!
Left a letter and the book with Geoff - I can't get to a post office out here at the airport! Hopefully he'll have better luck.
Keep the updates coming :-)