I have arrived safely in Japan after a smooth couple of flights. So far the trip has been rather hilarious.
Upon boarding my 10 hour flight to Tokyo, the guy next to me (a 23 year old) turns and says "I guess we're gonna be talking a lot because this flight is 10 hours!". What I was thinking: "Nooooooooooooo!", what I said: "yeah...". My annoyance was only bolstered when 5 minutes later he turns to me again and asks: "I wonder how long I should wait before ordering my first beer?". Me: "Why travel gods, why?!". My heart really began to sink when he mentioned he was flying to the Phillipines and started griping about the lack of internet, having to sleep under a moquito net, and going on and on about malaria. It's somewhat hard to have sympathy for someone like this when I lived without electricity or running water in Uganda and also got Malaria. But in actuality, Matt (my new travel buddy), was a really nice guy and was really just nervous about his first trip outside of North America. We spent time talking about his fears for the Phillipines and joked about the differences between Canada and America while I tried not to laugh when he ended every sentence with "eh?" (I mean come on!).
After the plane ride I had to make my way to Tokyo (the airport is an hour away) which was a fun bit of adventure. I prefer to liken my arrival in Tokyo to Godzilla's stomach: it was interesting, a bit unsettled, and full of Japanese people. When I got on the train, the guy across the aisle immediately started to chat me up (I mean who can resist right? My eyes are BLUE!). Randomly enough we talked for a long while about marathons that we had run, each of us doing two. This quickly transitioned to talking about beer (duh) because he was slamming back a few Yebisu (Japan's malt beverage choice). But before I knew it, I was at Shibuya and my brother and I were off to his apartment.
Jeff and I dropped my stuff then ran out for some food. Within 2 hours of being in Tokyo I had eaten chicken cartilage (awful!), sting ray (sweet for some reason), squid, octopus, and tons of fish. Japan is pretty crazy like that. My brother's apartment is also pretty hilarious. You control the temperature of your shower with an electric sensor on the wall, the dryer is in the ceiling of the shower (which makes complete sense! wait...), and I can pretty much hit my head on any door jamb. In essence, I'm slightly convinced my brother's apartment is a domestic transformer spaceship.
Anyway, this email is way too long for being gone for 24 hours but I just wanted to update everyone. Thanks for all your well wishes!