So…I finally made it to Japan. I’ve dreamt about this place for at 16 years…and now I get to be here for 3 years and 3 months (at least that’s what my visa says). Though, I’m pretty sure I’ll leave earlier.
During the time, I’ve decided to restart this blog and hopefully use it to share the world what I’ve learnt about the country (and myself) over the next 36 months. Please note that during the next two or three months, the blog will morph as I haven’t used it in a couple of years. Also note that I haven’t written (creatively) for a very long while, so be patient whilst I get some cobwebs off.
I also apologize for the terrible picture quality. I sold my NEX-6, and am using an old smartphone. I’ll get a new phone (not camera) once I’ve completely settled in.
The journey started back home in Maputo, where my uncles and brothers waved me goodbye. 45 minutes later, we landed in South Africa. By the way, I was travelling in a group of about 14 (which soon grew to 60). All of us are part of the ABE Initiative.
Our flight was delayed by two hours at the O.R. Tambo Airport due to one of the engines being replaced. I called one of the JICE representatives (they’re responsible for the initiative) to inform them of the delay. Nothing in particular stood out during the flight, except for the fact that I watched the latest episode of Mr. Robot.
I was worried we had missed the connecting flight to Narita airport, but the Hong Kong staff impressed me. They quickly split us into two groups, and got us on other flights. Here, we got delayed again due to cargo being loaded.
The toilet in the airplane had two flush modes! I’m going to use exclamation marks pretty liberally here on MozBAR. I’m excited about almost anything Japan. I took a picture of the flush dial in my room:
The feeling when I got out of the plane was simply indescribable. As I said before, I’ve waited a long time for this. Dreams do come true. But…I suppose that hard work uni begins now.
Narita staff wasn’t ready to process all of us, so we waited while they got that sorted. Eventually, all of us were newly minted with resident cards. I finally had an ID card with a good photo, after years of not being able to smile for them in Mozambique.
It was an hour-long ride from the airport to where we’d be staying for two weeks. After that time has elapsed, all of us will be going to our respective unis/cities. I shall be going to Kyoto with a couple of people, so I already have a small support group.
The construction in Tokyo is something else. Layers upon layers of bridges, but with green all around. Engineers and urban planners. should all come marvel at this. But what do I know…I’m just a simple product designer.
At the JICA Center, we met up with one the first batch students. He was very kind, and showed us around the area. He also shared some stories, took us to the convenience store where I got a sandwich, a salmon rice cake, and this:
It’s an energy drink. It tastes pretty good.
We chilled in the lobby for a bit (it’s what they call the ground floor). I confirmed that the number “Four” really is avoided here
We’re gonna be here for two weeks, and then we’ll branch out into the big, bad, world. I’m gonna set up a Slack group: to make communication between us easier.
I got back to my room, showered, unpacked a bit, and organised some music before I went to bed. I really want to listen to Blonde (Frank Ocean album), but I’ll delay that gratification for when I’m settled – in Kyoto. I bet I’ll kick myself for not listening to it earlier.
(Until next time in Japanese)