As I type this, I am looking out into Nagoya, Japan. This country rocks! The people are super friendly. The scenery is awesome. Everything is freakin' cool.
I landed last night and all of my flights went very well. During the flight over the Pacific Ocean to Japan, all of the seats had LCD screens on them and we had a selection of about 25 movies of which we could watch. They also had video games to play too.
Right now, it is almost 2pm on Thursday, Janurary 5th. The time change has had no effect on me due to my crazy sleeping schedule while I was in the States. All of the people in my group are amused by the fact that I made myself jetlag resistant.
Speaking of the people in my group, so far I have met one guy and two girls. All three of them are from Vancouver,BC and I am pretty sure I am the only American in the group. I am also the oldest one so far by a couple of years and the only one to have any prior education background. I have already been designated the resident computer nerd and repair person as well. Good thing I brought all of my software and tools with me. :)
There is soo much I could post right now, I am experiencing sensory overload. Everything here is different. The people, the language, buildings, cars, everything. But, it is all very cool.
Nagoya is a nice city that I would guess to be roughly the size of Seattle. It is extremely clean and well laid out. I am staying in the Nagoya Kanaya Hotel which is in the main shopping district of Nagoya. So far, I have spotted an Outback Steakhouse, 2 Starbucks, a Denny's, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is odd how many Western restaurants there are here and how much English can be found. English is very trendy here and it is used in quite a few billboards and storefronts.
No matter where you go, Starbucks is always the same. I just finished an iced mocha and it was the same mocha I would have grabbed in Boise. The people working there are very friendly and as soon as we walked in, they gave the three of us a menu that was in Japanese and English for us to look at.
While on the topic, let me talk about the Japanese people that I have encountered so far. In one sentence, the Japanese people are extremely friendly, outgoing, and gracious people. They make every effort to make my group and I feel welcome and the language is not that big of a barrier. With the Japanese I know and the English they know, we can find a happy medium in which to communicate. There has only been one occasion that I have had difficulty talking to a person. As soon as the Japanese lady behind me realized there was a breakdown, she immediately stepped in to translate for me and help me out. As I said, the people here make the nicest Americans look like assholes. I am sure there are some jerks, but I have yet to find one.
The cars here are spiffy too. Cars that I could only dream of seeing, let alone owning in the states are very common here. Since landing, I have seen one Toyota Supra, 4 Nissan Skylines, a very suped-up Mercedes-Benz AMG Kompressor V8, and a variety of other tight cars. I love Japanese cars; the Benz was just an exceptional looking vehicle with some Japanese flare.
I know all of this is new and exciting to me and that may dull somewhat over time, but having said that, I could live here. This place is everything and nothing like I thought it would be and more. Its a weird statement to make but I am blown away by Japan so far. I am glad that I did this.
To give you an idea of what stuff looks like here and to give people an idea of what I look like, seeing that I have never posted a pic of myself, here is me bonding with a special someone in front of a KFC.
This place rocks so much and I most certainly will have much to share with everyone while I am here. Expect lots of posts over the next couple of days and probably more pics than I have ever put on here before. I feel like Uncle Travelling Matt from Fraggle Rock. Anywho, I am off to go exploring again now. I will post my findings later on.