My next stop was Tokyo, Japan. I think my flight from Chicago to Japan was about 13.5 hours. This was by far my longest flight ever as the furthest I have flown is to Vancouver. I was nervous about not being able to sleep on the plane but the seats were reasonably comfortable and with the help of melatonin I was able to get some rest on the plane. In fact I slept through the second meal they offered us which I was actually okay with because the food was nothing special. It was my first airplane food experience and now I totally understand all the jokes about how terrible it is. Unfortunately for me I wasn't able to watch any good movies on the plane because my on demand component wasn't working so I had limited choices of things to watch. My choices included Snow White and the Seven Huntsman, The Avengers and Mirror Mirror. I had already seen Snow White and the others didn't interest me. Although I did manage to watch about half of a Japanese movie with subtitles that seemed to be a Japanese version of Girls but a lot less funny. I don't know what it was called but from what I saw it was about a bunch of 20 something year old girls trying to figure out their lives. I relate it to Girls because it was just that; very relatable. Even though it was a totally different culture it was interesting to see how they were faced with the same day to day issues as us girls in North America are stuck dealing with.
The whole plane ride I was thinking about what kind of amazing food they would have at the Tokyo airport because I was starving and dreaming of real Japanese sushi. When I got to the airport there really wasn't much at sll and all I wanted was sushi or a greasy western meal. You'd think it would be easy to find sushi in the Tokyo airport but because I had already been through customs there were minimal options. All the good restaurants seemed to be in a different terminal or before the point in which I had already reached. After wondering around for about an hour I decided to settle on the cafe/bar restaurant not to far away from my gate. The menu mostly consisted of udon dishes and noodle soups but it was extremely hot in the airport and I could not imagine having to eat such a hot meal at that time. I decided to go with the chicken curry and rice, a vitamin water and a croissant. Not being familiar with the japanese yen I had no idea what I was paying for this meal until I plugged it into my currency converter app and realized I spent a whopping $18 for mediocre curry, bread and a drink. I cannot wait to be in Southeast Asia where I can eat a meal for about $1. After my meal I continued to walk around and visit the souvenir shops. I was then approached by an elderly Japanese woman who asked if I wanted to learn how to do orgami. She took me to a little station her and some other ladies had set up and showed me the various pieces I could choose to learn how to make. I chose a flying crane and the lady who instructed me spoke absolutely no English and was giving me instructions in Japanese as if I knew the language. Being in tokyo even though I didn't leave the airport was my first dose of culture shock. Everything from the food choices, magazines and books in the bookstores to the intense language barrier. It was all very new to me and I was now a minority. I was proud of myself for being able to navigate my way through the airport and pass the time on my own without freaking out about the experience I am about to have and how the culture shock was only going to get more intense once I start backpacking. I am a little surprised at how calm I am and how I've just been going with the flow, as if I have done this a million times before. I did not breakdown in tears like I thought I would after being set off on my own. My dad drove me to Pearson and saying goodbye was hard because it was my first real goodbye. I knew that this was it and I would not be home for a long time. My dad started tearing up as he was hugging me goodbye and seeing him cry made me shed a couple tears and there I went, there was no turning back now and not and ounce of me even wanted to if I could, I was 110% ready for this journey! Now I just cannot wait to get to Koh Samui and see the studio and my home for the next month. Not looking forward to my overnight layover in Bangkok but after my experience in Tokyo I'm sure it will be fine.