After 23 hours of total travel time from when we left my parents’ home, we finally returned to Japan last night to a typhoon-like rainstorm. The rain was blowing sideways. Consequently, today is nice and cool and not humid. What a nice transition from the perfect weather that was California and Oregon.
I went to work today, jet-lagged, bleary-eyed, and quasi-nauseous. It’s only a 5 minute bike ride to work, but I was dodging pedestrians, dogs, other bicyclists, and brake-less taxis. Wow, there are a lot of people here. I also wore a tie and a dour expression.
I also went to the gym, which is in crowded Shibuya, and it was weird being back in the land of skinny stylish teenagers aimlessly meandering fixated on their cell phones. But I wasn’t grumpy weaving through them. Though I did walk exactly 3.04 times faster than I did in the US. And my body, which was relaxed and filled up space in the US, began to hold itself in and take up as little space as possible.
At the airport it was no problem to slip right back into bowing, thanking, and excusing oneself. I was newly in awe of the super-organized, orderly, smooth-running, polite (but not quite friendly) society that Japan is. I missed the clean public bathrooms, the manageable food servings, the vending machines.
When we entered our apartment, it felt like home. My trees were alive. The city light sparkled from the balcony. And this evening there was even a little earthquake. It’s home. For now.
The Best Airport in the World
It’s Vancouver. T and I spent our 3 hour layover in the Vancouver airport along an indoor stream. We picked a nice spot by potted fake maple trees. We sat on plush chairs. There was free wireless internet. All the workers are patient and nice. They accept US dollars (but give change in Canadian). And it’s easy to find gates and connections. The whole airport is warmly accented with wood.
In contrast, the worst airport has got to be LAX. I can’t even begin to describe the utter decreptitude of this mess. And almost as bad is the new Bangkok airport, which has all the charm of an air duct with rows of metal chairs only a Nazi fetishist could find comfortable.