Toronto to Tokyo

“Everyone is responsible for the page turning tempo of his or her own story.”

The flight from Toronto to Tokyo wasn’t that bad. It was certainly very long. I hardly slept at all because I was lucky enough to be given the middle seat, so I had people on either side of me. Both were fellow JETs, so we talked and played cards and such. Once we got off the plane, it was kind of like two days had passed. Earlier that day we boarded the plane (we had left Ottawa in the morning) and now we were getting off the plane in the afternoon of the next day. Sort of confusing. It was SUPER easy though, JET has it all layed out for you. You literally get your luggage, go through the gates, and there are a million people standing there in bright pink t-shirts yelling “WELCOME TO TOKYO!” Then they point you to another bright pink shirted person standing a short distance away and they say “go to them” so you stroll on over to them with your bags and they point to another pink shirted JET and say “follow that person” and when you get to them they will say “go around this corner” and when you do there is another one of them: “go up this escalator!” etc, etc etc. So basically it was impossible to get lost. (This is the part where I tell you how I got lost… Just kidding. I get pretty lost later, but not right now. Right now it’s all good.) So eventually we get outside (all of us who were on the plane together), and we split up our luggage, one to be shipped to our new home and one to take the hotel. They already had put tags on our luggage with the address on before we left Canada so that was really easy. We boarded a bus and before we knew it we were off to the hotel! I won’t talk too much about the next couple days. It was just orientation, so we didn’t really leave the hotel, and I didn’t really feel like I was in Japan. There were something like 800 people there for this orientation, all other JETs. Brits, Kiwis, Americans, Canadians, and some other countries were there. We met everyone would be going to our prefecture. We were given a schedule to stick to (show up to a certain room on a certain floor at a certain time) and it was pretty uneventful other than that. Went to karoke once with the Ottawa JETs. It was super weird because singing into a mic without anything to drink is super weird. You can imagine. Also the videos they put on while you are singing are not the music videos to the songs. They are like, random people doing random things. One was like a girl just popping her head out from around random places in some city in the states. Literally. The words were on the screen and behind them would be some girl peeking out from behind a building. Then the scene would change and she would be peering out from a newspaper while sitting in a cafe. It made the whole karoke thing even more awkward. I put some pictures on flickr of this, I don’t think you can see the actual images on the screen so you’ll have to use your imagination. Also, unlike Canadian’s version of “going out” which in my mind is going to a bar and meeting new people and mingling and what not, Japanese version seems to be lock yourself in a tiny room with the people you came with. When you go to karoke they give you a key to a room and you go to it, and it is very small, and you just sit in there with whoever you came with and sing. They come to your room to take your drink/food orders. Its not a big room of karoke like I thought it would be. It was odd. Overall Tokyo was fun. Met a lot of new people and learned a lot about the job we would be doing in the future. I enjoyed it but was ready to get to my own place.

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