Just for time’s sake, and because I don’t think you’ll want to read all the intricate details of my travel experience. Let’s just say that it was super rushed and a bit stressful at the end of the day. Typhoon Phanfone had just hit the day before and not only was our flight delayed for 5 hours, I had no sleep the night before. During the 5 hour layover I had to purchase a hotel room in the airport for 4 hours at an hourly rate just to function for the rest of the day. I was so happy I did! Then, once in Tokyo airspace we circled for an hour, and then landed. After that, everything was a blur. Immigration was so backed up that the wait was an hour, I was rushed through. And then, after that, luggage. Then finding KCP teachers and running to catch special trains. We all had to carry all of our luggage through the train stations, and streets. By the time we got to our dorms, we were all so tired and sweaty. Anyway, long story short, we were SO HAPPY to finally be in Japan that being tired didn’t matter. The first night was hard, not going to lie, I did shed a few tears from the sheer level of information being thrown our way. However, I talked to my husband, took a deep breath, and slept.
Due to the fact that we all flew in so late, the staff didn’t really have time to help us exchange money and explain PASMO cards and the train lines. So the next day was all about the placement test. I was super nervous, but pleasantly surprised that I knew more than I thought! I still got placed into level one, but I am happy to be creating a solid foundation for my learning to come. We were then led by a student to various parts of Shinjuku and then, Karaoke! It was fun to say the least! We had a big group full of students belting out, “Let It Go” and various songs by Queen. Everyone is energetic and super happy to be here, which makes being away from home that much easier for me. I made a few friends today, that I think will be friends for a long time. Everyone is generally so kind and helpful, even when they are tired. It’s refreshing to be surrounded with like minded people who have similar or the same goals as me.
By today, I feel like I’ve been here a month! Today was long, lots of orientation, explanations, and question asking. I’m settled in my dorm a little, and feel like I could go to conbini and get to my classes by train by myself if I have to. I am still just so overwhelmed, I can’t believe my dream is finally coming true. I just stare around and look like such a tourist. I’m pretty flexible to the changes around me, so I feel like I’m adjusting pretty well! I may experience culture shock later, but now everything has been relatively ok. I start classes tomorrow! Today after orientation we had a luncheon with our teachers, I spoke in Japanese to them. It was VERY BASIC and I just talked about my cats, but it was so fun to use what I’ve learned. They teach using Direct Method. So in class its Japanese only all the time. There’s English support later, but all the input is really good for me. We later went so I could find random things I forgot like a power converter, money exchange (finally!), and a planner! It was fun to finish the night with some ladies, talking about why we started learning Japanese and eating Thai food The food here is SO GOOD.
Even convenience store food. I get a rice ball every morning before class, and its the perfect breakfast! I will make a grocery run soon to fill up my fridge so I can save money!
First day of class! I got up this morning and went downstairs to study and prep a bit for Level 1 classes with my new friend. It was really refreshing to have somebody in the same level as me, and in the same dorm building!
First class was fairly simple, but my kana handwriting was kind of sloppy. I have super encouraging teachers, I am so happy they correct me, because I am here to learn! I feel happy when they point out my mistakes because I want to be fluent, and have really neat handwriting. I’m ready to work hard and work here someday! I hope I can express how much I respect my teachers by the end of my studies.
I’ll have more adventures this weekend. I know this is a lot to cover in one blog post, so from now on I’ll try to talk about one thing at a time! Thanks for reading guys! I hope my experiences help you in some way.