13 July, 2010

A day between countries

I have a few minutes before we launch out onto Tokyo to find a washing machine and fridge. Most shops don't open until 10am and our bodies are still on Australian time, which means that we're up a little early - it is 8.30am here, not 9.30am like our bodies are telling us. So I'll give you a little insight into yesterday.

We were up at 4.45am. The boys leapt out of bed and were ready to go by 5.15 (the plane didn't leave until 8.45 and we didn't need to leave home until 6). That was to set the tone for the rest of the morning until we got on the plane. They really didn't understand all the adults sitting around and waiting, the lines etc. "Why don't we just go?" At check-in we discovered we could have brought 11 more kilograms. Darn! That is another whole AU$100+ box that we posted. Oh well. There was no line at check-in, we began to wonder if the flight wasn't fully booked.

Once we got on the plane, we first were delighted to see the individual screens in front of us. 8 1/2 hours of square-eyed peace for parents! Then our earlier suspicions were confirmed - the flight was less than half-booked. All my toilet-lining-up fears were alleviated.

The day went on forever, though. I'd packed my watch, so I had no idea of time. Confused by the fact that all the meals were out too. I'd eaten an apple on the way to the airport at 6.30. Had coffee with Mum and Dad at 7.15 at the airport then after take-off we were given a main meal (not breakfast!) at about 10am. After that it was mostly drinks with only one snack until about 3pm when we had sandwiches! We were met and driven to OMF guest house, arriving about 6.30 (7.30pm Australian time) and as soon as we could, we headed off to the nearest convenience store for a Japanese staple - onigiri - Japanese rice balls. Yum. The boys inhaled them!

Other amazing things about the day are best listed:
  • Our plane was directly in front of the viewing area where Mum and Dad could stand (though we could only see them not talk or touch). So they watched us walk onto the plane.
  • We lost a pair of scissors. Try as we did, we didn't manage to banish all the scissors from boys' backpacks to their check-in luggage and we lost a pair. It seemed like they were training people at that section of the airport, so I had a feeling they enjoyed actually finding something which they could take off us! 5 y.o. cried, however. Another loss (after weeks of saying goodbyes the smallest thing can be traumatic).
  • We barely slowed down at customs in Tokyo! They weren't really interested in our luggage at all.
  • The weather isn't too hot today. Overcast and moist, but I'm not uncomfortable. It is apparently 24 degrees (Celsius) and occasionally dribbling. Hanging up washing inside like I've done it all my life.
The weirdest thing is that it feels like we've woken from a dream. Actually it hardly seems that we've been away. Very strange feeling - that we've got a life here and a life in Australia which only seem barely connected!


Ken Rolph said...

You may think that your time here was a dream and nothing was accomplished. But you are wrong. I managed to find in Myer one of those hand operated apple peeler, corer, slicers. It was in a new section full of hand operated mincers, slicers and grinders. All the stuff your grandmother used to have that got replaced with electrical appliances.

If you hadn't mentioned this device I wouldn't have been looking for it. So your time here was not in vain! Just thought you needed to know that.

Wendy said...

Glad to know that Ken. Before we left yesterday we didn't actually feel that the year was useless! I know that I felt that yesterday morning, but it is a little hard to remember that it is still true today. Make sense? Thanks for your reassurance.

Karen said...

Glad to hear you've arrived safely. Will be praying for continued smooth settling in for you all. I'm finding your posts on adjusting between the two cultures really interesting!!

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Glad you made it back safely. I'm enjoying catching up on the last 10 days worth of your blogs! Your underweight luggage makes up for mine! I had to pay excess on 8 kg to BKK and then 10kg to BKK. Ouch! Fortunately some friends at the retreat have taken one suitcase back to Cambodia with them, and I'll see it again in 2-3 weeks time! That only cost me 321 baht (about $12 Aus) instead of over $200. Not complaining though. It's the first time in 3.5 years I've had to pay excess, so if you spread that over 5 trips it's not all that bad). Sorry about the scissors, but sounds like he's happy with the replacements.
So good your folks could watch you board the plane! Much more fun for them.