My Asia Adventure: First Day (The Flight) Part I

2000px-All_Nippon_Airways_Logo.svgOver the holidays I went away on a trip to three different countries in Asia. It was a most fantastic adventure yet~

I arrived in my first country, Japan, exactly one day after my departure from my country of origin. The flight there on Nippon Airway was great and completely eclipsed my past experiences on North American flights. Being a student, I have had the (un)fortunate pleasure of having to fly to all places on the American continent to attend major conferences in the most economical seats available. My flight to Japan was no exception, yet I found the economy class seats much more comfortable and luxurious than the American ones. I know it is a rather mundane detail to mention, but my friend and I (on separate flights) agreed that being served proper meals with plenty of snacks and refreshments in between made us appreciate the adventure from its very beginning (and sadly, also made us realize how poor the American airlines were in comparison). Lol, as an impecunious student, the fact that I was placed in a seat with my very own screen (my friend was only given the shared screens), pillow and blankets and being served full meals with menu options almost moved me to tears 😉

Anyway, my arrival to Haneda airport was smooth. I passed border security with no problem, but once I got out of the border check a case of disorientation hit me and I began to mix up my languages. I used Japanese entirely with the border security, but as soon as I passed the gates I became a bit lost and the reality of being alone in a foreign (yet familiar) country hit me and I started resorting back to English for the simplest things, which, of course, made it even more difficult to find my way around. I managed to exchange some currencies with little problem, after comparing rates at different banks around the airport and finding the best one, but the next issue came with finding my way to the hotel for the night. My hotel was near a little known station quite a bit away from the airport, and I could not for the life of me locate its name on the huge map. My dazed look must have signaled to the kind station officer, who approached to help me, but as the night quickly darkened my anxiety and fatigue exacerbated to the point that I stupidly could not say anything other than English. The poor man had not the faintest clue what I was talking about >.< I showed him my printed directions, which, of course, was all in English thanks to google map, lol, and somehow I managed to buy a ticket and got myself onto a train. (The station officer must have found it very strange how I was able to read Japanese yet seemed to only be able to use English.) As I got on the train, I thought I was in safe hands as I now only had to wait till they announced my stop, yet, to my horror, after leaving the airport for a full ten minutes to whatever it was heading, the train soon started traveling in reverse. Little did I know that it was supposed to do so to get onto the other track, so I quickly jumped off the train, thinking that I got on the wrong track (it was actually the right one) and ended up completely lost…