Sunday, March 4, 2012

New beginnings!

So, I promised many people in my life that I would start a blog in order to keep everyone up to date on my life and experiences. It is also quite practical (at least for me) so I don't have to tell all the people in my life the details of everything that I'm doing. Instead, I can say "just go check my blog." SO MUCH EASIER! Of course, I will give anyone and everyone personal descriptions, if they would like them  :) 

You'll have to bear with me on the writing aspect of everything. I've always loved writing, but I'm afraid I'm much more of an artistic soul than literary. I promise good pictures, though! 

Traveling from Los Angeles to my destination in Japan wasn't as smooth of a trip as I would have hoped for. I was supposed to take off at 11:30 am. So, naturally, for LAX, I had to get there 2.5 hours ahead of time. And also naturally, there was absolutely no line at security. It was only when I arrived at my gate that I learned my flight had been pushed back to 3:30. Spending 6+ hours at the airport isn't exactly my idea of fun. Thankfully, I somehow managed to be at the same gate as the most attractive, collective group of men I had ever seen in my life. I found out they played rugby and were traveling to Hawaii. I asked if I could go with, but then remembered I signed a contract (that can be nullified right???). Along with the live and in-person GQ cover sitting across from me, there was a Starbucks and Baja Fresh directly next to my gate. I had the best of California: coffee, Mexican food, and good looking men. Those 6 hours suddenly seemed completely alright with me. Did I mention the men were all wearing suits? Yeh.......
Finally after the best 6 hour wait possible in an airport, we boarded the plane, and that long wait seemed instantly worth it. I had never been on an international plane before, so I didn't know what to expect from Business Class. I assumed it was just more leg room - which I was PUMPED about (these long legs do not do crammed space). What I got instead, was heaven. Individual TVs and leg room would've been enough for me. But, here's what I actually got: a fully reclining chair equipped with a foot rest, a cubby for my shoes, in which was a pair of slippers and a toiletry kit (seriously???), not just a blanket, but a full comforter-type blanket (no scratchy felt stuff), a fluffy pillow, eye mask, a three-course meal, champagne when I sat down, hot nuts, and hot towels randomly through the flight. Oh and my favorite, I was called "Miss Taylor" the entire flight. Ummm.......people do this on the regular?!?! No wonder people love flying First Class all the time. I now understand. And I won't go back. Actually, yeh I will. That is WAY too expensive. But for International flights, you can bet your bottom I will be in the front of the plane in the Business Class section. 12 hours in those little freaking way. I was definitely out of place, however. When the lady first handed me the hot towel, I had no idea what to do with it. I was about to pat my forehead before I saw the 11 year-old girl next to me wiping her hands. I decided to watch this teeny bopper for the rest of the flight and use her as a role model. But she would soon prove to be a bad role model for me - I was eating one of their fancy appetizers and looked at how this girl was eating hers (still have no idea what it was). But she opened up the pastry-type dish and just ate the inside. When I copied her, I had set down my silverware for 2 seconds before the stewardess came back and looked at my massacred dish, assumed I was done, and whisked it away before I could utter the words "but I didn't eat it, yet!" That was the only dish that actually looked somewhat filling. Fancy food = pint size dishes. 
I spent the rest of the flight playing with buttons and reclining my seat all the way just because I could. Soon, I fell asleep and somehow kept waking up just in time for the meals. I would've watched the personal TVs if I could've figured out how to turn on the damn thing. Sleep was good enough for me, though. 
Before I knew it, we had landed in Tokyo. Of course, it was 3 hours after my connecting flight had already taken off. Wifi was nonexistent (at least any versions that I could actually read the Log In page) so there was no way to contact anyone who was supposed to pick me up. Luckily, they stayed up to date after I told them I was delayed in Los Angeles. So, I had to go to a hotel for the night. I was secretly hoping for one of those tube hotels in which you basically sleep in a large cubby hole. Not because I wanted to sleep in it, but because it would make for way better of a story and I would actually get to see what it looks like. I barely fit into the MRI machines without having a panic attack, I couldn't imagine sleeping in a tunnel. But, alas, I was put into a hotel that seemed to be stuck in the 1950s and smelled much like what I would imagine a crazy cat lady's house would smell like. I had a 5:00 am wake up call and I was off and back to the airport. Luckily, many of the workers spoke some English so it wasn't too difficult to navigate my way around the huge airport. 

The rest of the day was uneventful. I met our translator, Makiko and all the girls on the team including the other American, Megan Wiggins. Everyone is extremely nice and all the girls try to speak English as much as possible (being limited to about 2 sentences). Makiko has already proven to be a necessity when trying to communicate anything with the girls. Lost in translation doesn't quite describe it. But into day 2, I've already learned all the girls names and some of the basic phrases. The only issue I've been having is remembering all the rules they have for everything. Their culture is extremely regimented compared to Americans. I kinda love it! They give thanks for every little thing. Americans, I feel, often forget how blessed we are just to be alive and healthy, let alone fortunate enough to be thriving in any aspect of their lives. The Japanese constantly give thanks and their respect to everything and everyone around them. I can only hope to leave my experience here with a little piece of their respect that they have for life and everything around them. 

Ok, my hands are officially cramping. They're not in the endurance condition they were during my college and 3-papers-a-week days! That's all for now from Japan! (Hope it wasn't too painful :))

xoxo Jordan

1 comment:

  1. I can hear your voice in your writing - it's wonderful! Okay, enough teacher commenting... As one of your moms I'm so glad you've decided to blog. It will be wonderful to follow your adventures!! And live vicariously through you. Love and hugs. Janice