Here I am, Kunohe, Iwate! It's half past 5 right now and there are people coming home to the apartments round about.
The flight here was great, dear Auntie Lynn put in a word for me with her fellow air hostesses and once we'd taken off I was upgraded to club class! Best flight ever really.
The first week in Japan was difficult. I'm not sure if there is any real way to prepare for such a momentous change in lifestyle, but even if there is, I was not prepared! I arrived in Narita airport, went for my train into tokyo and got the shinkansen to Ninohe almost on autopilot since I had barely slept on the plane the night before. I remeber being impressed by all the working folk's uniforms and being amazed at the houses with blue roofs! I attempted a photo from the window of the shink with my phone.
I had my first experience of a heated toilet seat on that train. I had a notion that that would become a theme of the year, and it has already.
Three hours later I got to Ninohe and met Sakanoue-san, and we drove to Kunohe, where he showed me my new house and all the important stuff therein, and my bike which used to be Hazel's. This was a perk, I was expectiong to go buy a bike! we ran into Hiroko-san breifly, I was glad to see a semi-familiar face. And already it was time for dinner, so we went to an old fashioned japanese restraunt in kunohe. I remember being exausted, homesick and generally out of sorts. I didn't eat much.
as it happens, that night there was a childrens class on in the town hall, so Sakanoue-san took me there to see what goes on. I met Fumiko and Ebun for the first time. I was glad to meet another gaijin out here!
All too soon it was time to go, and exaustion and homesickness made for a miserable night for me.
Luckily my phone worked, and although it's expensive I took 10 mins to phone mum. and 10 to Bry.I felt better enough to sleep.
on the second day, I was whisked off at 9am to go meet all the officials in the town hall. Still feeling like a zombie, I stumbled my way through. That morning I'd discovered the hard way that they play music over the public speakers every day at 6am, 10am, noon, 6pm and 9pm. There's also quite often an announcement to go with it. Sakanoue-san took me out to Ninohe that day, to get photos for my alien application. I bought envelopes and some paper and started writing letters as soon as I got back! And I briefly popped in to see Hiroko with some questions about the area. She is always so helpful! Hiroko told me about the english club on thursdaysin karumai and the class in ninohe on sundays. I felt a little better
on fiday afternoon, Hiroko came and took me to see a plot of land that she kept. There was lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. And she extended the offer to me to help myself to them if their were ripe ones! I felt calmer, and we both took some lettuce and strawberries. That night there was a welcome party for me! I felt a little more at home. Fumiko and Ebun were there, I met a whole host of other new people inc Hayato and Motoko.
Soon enough, it was hometime and I crashed out almost immediately, but still woke up at 3am.
Then it was the weekend.