Monday, April 7, 2014

Will I Reach My Destination in Japan?

Minna san, Koniiichiwa! (good afternoon, everyone!)

After leaving the warm and cozy confines of Narita Airport around 6PM, I began my journey to the vast and innovative world of Japan. The weather was slightly cold and it was cloudy. Many people were rushing from different directions to get to their train just like cockroaches you see in Hawaii at night. I felt like I was the only one lost and worried. I was on my own with limited Japanese skills without anybody to escort me with two luggage weighing in at 50 pounds each including my personal bag. I was able to connect to wifi, but it was difficult for me to understand how train stations work. After asking a nice old man who only uttered in Japanese words, he directed me to the right train.

Inside the train was clean, shiny, and spacious. There were few people scattered here and there with a tired expression. I was the only one in awe looking left to right. Everyone was in their own personal bubble busy with their cellphones. I went from station to station asking at least two people in my broken Japanese if I was on the correct train. My final destination was Tsutsujigaoka station which is where my dormitory is nearby. I ended up in Shibasaki station because of a miscommunication. I assumed everyone knew where my dormitory was. I found a 7-11 and I decided to ask the people inside where my dormitory was. It was 10PM as I entered inside. Many of the products were similar back home. Surprisingly, there was still a lot of people purchasing goods. I asked one of the employees to help me out.

After much effort in trying to communicate with the 7-11 employee, I decided to use the wifi inside to contact my dormitory resident adviser. I was lost and I had no where to go. I had a fear at the time that he would not be awake and I would have to sleep outside. To my surprise, he was awake! The dorm was only 10 minutes away. I had a huge sigh of relief when he arrived on his bike towards 7-11. We both gave each other a surprised look as if we met before. In my mind, I felt I have made a great accomplishment. Although, I did not reach my final destination, I was really close and it was after a long 30+ hour journey without any sleep. I did not believe I would get so far. I guess should not underestimate myself so much. And so, my journey to Japan continues.

- Estanislao "Stan" Cruz

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